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Internet Access Policy

Purpose

The Lexington Public Library endeavors to develop and maintain collections, resources, and services that meet the cultural, informational, recreational, and educational needs of Lexington’s diverse, multicultural community. In keeping with this mission, the Library provides its patrons with access to the Internet, the global electronic network that contains dynamic resources.

Electronic media offer an unprecedented forum for sharing information and ideas. Libraries are a national information infrastructure providing people with access and participation in the electronic arena. Libraries are essential to the informed debate demanded by the Constitution and for the provision of access to electronic information resources to those who might otherwise be excluded.

The Lexington Public Library has a history of providing the highest quality library service available to the citizens of the Lexington-Fayette County area for over 200 years; the Library continues this history with the arrival of Internet access for all patrons. The Lexington Public Library recognizes that by offering this service, it offers patrons the opportunity to participate in the Information Age.

Public Use

The Library provides Internet access as an information resource for its patrons. Electronic mail and access to news and discussion groups are not provided. Adults may be required to provide identification in order to use an Internet computer. Persons under the age of 18 must register as a Library Internet user in order to use an Internet computer. Children under the age of 8 years are not allowed use of an Internet computer, unless supervised by a parent or guardian.

Disclaimer

The Internet is an unregulated system produced by a diverse society. The Library does not censor material available through the Internet and is not responsible for its accuracy, currency or propriety. Parents or legal guardians who wish to restrict their child’s or ward’s access to any material must supervise their child’s use of the Internet.

Library patrons use the Internet at their own discretion and must make judgments about any information found. Library patrons use the Internet at their own risk; the Library cannot control what information a person may view on the Internet. Persons seeking information on the Internet must understand that such information may be reliable and current, or it may be inaccurate, out-of-date, or unavailable at times.

The Library assumes no responsibility for any damages, direct or indirect, arising from use of its World Wide Web server or from its connection to other Internet services. The Library is not responsible for any damage, direct or indirect, or for any liability that may arise from patron use of the Library’s Internet services.

Legal and Ethical Use

As with all other library materials, equipment and facilities, the Library’s computers and networks are not to be used for unacceptable or illegal purposes. Matters considered to be illegal will be referred to appropriate authorities for consideration and possible prosecution. Examples of unacceptable and illegal use includes, but are not limited to, the following:

Harassment of other users; abuse, damage or destruction of equipment, software, or data belonging to the Library or other users ("hacking"); disruption or unauthorized monitoring of electronic communications; unauthorized copying of copyright-protected material; violations of existing obscenity and pornography laws; violations of computer system security; unauthorized use of computer accounts, access codes or network identification numbers; violation of software license agreements; violation of network usage policies and regulations; violations of another user’s privacy.

Users are not to post, upload or transfer illegal material; are not to use the Library’s identity; and may not incur costs to the Library.

Users in all areas of Library locations may not display images, sounds, or language which depicts nudity, sexual content, excessive violence or offensive text.

Juvenile/Ward Access to the Internet

Parents or legal guardians are responsible for their child’s or ward’s use of all library resources including use of the Internet at the Library. The Library cannot assume this responsibility. Parents or guardians should let their children or wards know if there are materials that they do not want their children to use. Library employees are available to offer suggestions in response to questions, but only a parent or guardian and child or ward can decide what the child will access. Parents or guardians may wish, and are encouraged, to supervise their children’s or ward’s Internet sessions.

Children under the age of 8 years are not allowed direct, unsupervised use of an Internet computer. A parent or guardian must supervise these children.

A parent or guardian may request that the Library not allow their child or ward access to Library Internet computers. A signed form will be provided and is required to implement this request.

Sanctions

Violation of these policies is a serious matter and will be dealt with appropriately. Library staff will make a reasonable attempt to control unauthorized, unacceptable and/or illegal use. As a first step, patrons will be asked to clear the screen of any material that interferes with maintaining a reasonable and comfortable environment for the public. Lack of cooperation on the part of the user may result in loss of Internet privileges.

Violators of these policies may lose library privileges. Illegal acts involving Library computing resources may also be subject to prosecution by local, state or federal authorities.

Approved by the LPL Board of Trustees, 07/23/97