Internet Acceptable Use Policy

I. Internet Use Policy

Purpose Statement

The Whitehall Public Library maintains a website and provides access to the Internet as one means of providing the free access of information to Library users. All Internet resources accessible through the Library are provided equally to all users, with the understanding that it is the individual user’s responsibility to demonstrate judgment, respect for others, and appropriate conduct while using Library resources and facilities.

The library internet connection may not be used for illegal activity, to access illegal materials, or to intentionally access materials that would be considered offensive or harassing to other library patrons. Library employees are authorized to take prompt and appropriate actions to enforce the Rules of Conduct, and to prohibit use by people who fail to comply with the Internet Acceptable Use Policy as stated or implied. Any patron who does not agree with any decision made by the Librarian in Charge concerning their conduct may appeal the decision.

Optional Use of Filtered Search Engines

The Whitehall Public Library supports the right and responsibility of parents to direct use of the Internet by their own children, and provides convenient access to filtered search engines on all Internet terminals. Filtered search engines (which are not under the control of the Library) may restrict access to sites that could be deemed objectionable, but may also limit access to sites that have legitimate research value. No filtering system is completely effective or efficient. Access to filtered research engines has been provided, but Library staff will not require that children utilize filtered search engines for their research.

Library Developed Web Pages

The staff of the Whitehall Public Library has developed a web page with recommended links in order to facilitate use of the Internet. Users should recognize, however, that the Library is not responsible for changes to the content of linked sites, nor for the content of sources accessed through the subsequent links. Staff will provide assistance to Internet users to the extent that time and other patron demands allow.

Rules of Conduct

1. Users must be at least 5 years of age and agree to abide by the Whitehall Public Library Internet Acceptable Use Policy.

2. Parents or guardians of minor children must assume responsibility for their children’s use of the Internet through the library’s connection. It is the parents’ responsibility to make sure their child uses the library’s computers properly.

3. The library’s internet connection will not be used for illegal activity, to access illegal materials, or to access materials that would be considered offensive or harassing to other library patrons.

4. Installation, downloading, or modification of software is prohibited without specific approval of the Librarian in Charge.

5. Users will respect copyright laws and licensing agreements.

6. Users will not make any attempt to gain unauthorized access to restricted files or networks, or to damage or modify computer equipment or software.

7. Users must sign up to use the Internet on a next-available basis. Terminals will not be “saved” for anyone who is not in the immediate vicinity when their name is called. Reservations may be allowed at the discretion of the Librarian in Charge.

8. Access sessions will be limited to 30 minutes if other patrons are waiting, unless otherwise authorized by the Librarian in Charge.

9. Users must end their session and leave the terminal when asked to do so by authorized Library staff.

10. Upon completion of an Internet session due to others waiting, a user may be required to wait 30 minutes before signing up for another session.

11. The Librarian in Charge may establish the number of access sessions available per day, per user: such limitations will be dependent on facility-specific demand in order to provide access for the majority of users.

12. Users will respect the privacy of other users, and will refrain from attempting to view or read material being used by others.

13. By mutual agreement, more than one person may share one access session as long as their behavior or conversation does not disturb other users or Library staff.

14. Users will be responsible for damaging or breaking the computers. Remember, computer usage is a privilege that may be revoked at any time for inappropriate conduct or not following the above guidelines.

15. Users who owe $10 or more in fines on their library card will have their Internet privileges suspended until they reduce their fines to less than $10.

Termination or Prohibition of User Access

Library staff may terminate any user’s access session, or prohibit a user from subsequent access sessions when given cause to believe that the user has failed to comply with the Internet Acceptable Use Policy. Upon violation of the Internet Acceptable Use Policy, consequences will range from a verbal warning to revocation of library privileges based on the discretion of the library director. Revocation of library privileges may be appealed by submitting an appeal in writing to: Whitehall Library Board of Trustees, c/o Whitehall Public Library P.O. Box 36, Whitehall, WI, 54773.
[updated 7/7/2016]