In response to advances in technology and the changing needs of the community, the New City Library endeavors to develop collections, resources, and services that meet the cultural, information, recreational, and educational needs of Clarkstown’s diverse population. It is within this context that the library offers access to the Internet.
The Internet is currently an unregulated medium. It offers access to a wealth of information and graphical materials that are personally, professionally and culturally enriching to individuals of all ages. The Internet also allows access to some material that may be offensive and/or illegal.
Internet sources are not subject to the same selection criteria that the library uses for other materials.
The Library staff will not monitor any user’s Internet use, except for length of time used to ensure equal opportunity of access for everyone. The Internet is a global entity with a highly diverse user population and patrons use it at their own risk. The Library has no control over information accessed through the Internet and is not responsible for its content. All Internet resources accessible through the library are provided equally to all library users. The user (or the parent/guardian of a minor) is responsible for his or her Internet session at all times. Minors are defined in this policy as children and young people under the age of 18 years of age.
Internet access in the Children’s room may be “filtered” and/or guided to only certain sites. Filtering may or may not allow valid and legally protected materials to appear. Filtering may or may not stop offensive, inaccurate, or illegal materials to appear. No filter is 100% effective and the Library does not guarantee that a site may or may not be accessed.
It is the right and responsibility of parents or guardians, not the library or its staff, to determine what is appropriate and to monitor their minor child’s use of the Internet. Minors are defined in this policy as children and young people under the age of 17 years. Parents are advised to supervise their child’s Internet sessions.
A user’s access to the Library’s computer network and Internet is a privilege, not a right. A user may lose this privilege by his or her own actions, or by failing to report any violations by other users that come to the attention of the user. Failure to comply with this policy and its procedures will result in the forfeiture of the user’s right to access these computers. (See Unacceptable Uses of Computers, below.) The Library reserves the right to terminate any Internet session that disrupts library services or that involves user behavior that violates the Library’s policies. The Library staff will develop such rules and procedures as are necessary to ensure the fair and reasonable use of Internet access.
Acceptable Uses of Computers
Users should be sensitive to the public nature of shared facilities and take care not to display images, sounds, or messages in a way that will negatively affect those who find them objectionable or offensive. Display of Internet content should comply with personnel harassment policies and state and Federal laws.
Unacceptable Uses of Computers
Among the uses that are considered unacceptable and which constitute a violation of this policy are the following:
- Uses that violate the law or encourage others to violate the law. Transmitting of offensive or harassing messages; offering for sale or use any substance the possession or use of which is prohibited by law; viewing, transmitting or downloading pornographic materials or materials that encourage others to violate the law; downloading or transmitting confidential, trade secret information, or copyrighted materials. Even if materials on the networks are not marked with the copyright symbol, users should assume that all materials are protected unless there is explicit permission on the materials to use them.
- Uses that cause harm to others or damage to their property. Engaging in defamation (harming another’s reputation by lies); uploading a worm, virus, “trojan horse,” “time bomb” or other harmful form of programming or vandalism; participating in “hacking” activities or any form of unauthorized access to other computers, networks, or information systems.
- Uses that jeopardize the security of access of the computer network or other networks on the Internet. Disclosing or sharing the user’s password with others; impersonating another user; using one’s own software programs on the library’s computers; altering the Library’s computer settings; damaging or modifying computer equipment or software.
- Uses that compromise the safety and security of minors when using e-mail, chat rooms and other forms of direct electronic communications. Minors under age 18: Giving others private information about one’s self or others, including credit card numbers and social security numbers; arranging a face-to-face meeting with someone one has “met” on the computer network or Internet without a parent’s permission.
- Uses that are termed harmful to minors as defined by the Communications Act of 1934, 47 USC Section 254 [h][7, as meaning any picture, image, graphic image file, or other visual depiction that taken as a whole and with respect to minors, appeals to a prurient interest in nudity, sex, or excretion; depicts, describes, or represents, in a patently offensive way with respect to what is suitable for minors, an actual or simulated sexual act or sexual contact, actual or simulated normal or perverted sexual acts, or a lewd exhibition of the genitals; taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value as to minors.
- Uses that violate confidentiality of information, specifically: New York Consolidated Laws 4509 pertaining to library records, below:
NY CLS CPLR 4509 (2001)
4509. Library records.
Library records, which contain names or other personally identifying details regarding the users of public, free association, school, college and university libraries and library systems of this state, including but not limited to records related to the circulation of library materials, computer database searches, interlibrary loan transactions, reference queries, requests for photocopies of library materials, title reserve requests, or the use of audiovisual materials, films or records, shall be confidential and shall not be disclosed except that such records may be disclosed to the extent necessary for the proper operation of such library and shall be disclosed upon request or consent of the user or pursuant to subpoena, court order or where otherwise required by statute.
Adopted by the New City Library Board of Trustees on June 20, 2002.