Adopted 1/27/09; rev. 12/8/09; revised 12/7/10; reaffirmed 12/6/11
I. General Statements Regarding Internet
The Royal Oak Public Library provides access to a broad range of information resources, including those available through the Internet. Access to the Internet enables the library to expand its information services significantly. Access to the internet is made available by means of Library-supplied computers as well as through wireless access available to users from personal equipment. This policy applies to use of the Internet by any means.
A. Validity of Information. The Internet offers access to a wealth of information and Internet sites including useful ideas, information and opinions from around the world. However, not all sources on the Internet provide information that is accurate, complete or legal. Internet users will need to evaluate for themselves the validity of the information found.
B. Filtering of the Internet In accordance with Ordinance 2008 – 06 of the City of Royal Oak, access to the Internet by all Library-supplied public computers and by wireless connection is filtered with the exception of one unfiltered Library-supplied public computer.
C. Library does not Endorse Information on Internet. Because the Internet is a vast and unregulated information network, it also enables access to information, ideas and commentary beyond the confines of the Library’s mission, selection criteria, and collection development policies. The provision of access does not mean or imply that the Library endorses or sanctions the content or point of view of any of the information or commentary that may be found on the Internet.
D. View Internet at Own Risk. The Internet may contain information that is controversial, sexually explicit or offensive. Library patrons use the Internet at their own risk. Parents or guardians of minor children are responsible for their child’s use of the Internet through the Library’s connection as stated more fully below.
II. Nature of the Public Library Setting
A. Respect Others. Because library users of all ages, backgrounds and sensibilities are using the computers, library patrons are asked to be mindful of the sensitivities of others when accessing potentially controversial information and images.
B. Use with Caution of Risks. Users are cautioned that, because security in an electronic environment such as the Internet cannot be guaranteed, all transactions, files and communications are vulnerable to unauthorized access and use. The library is not responsible for the actions of others; therefore patrons should protect their computers and devices to prevent undesired access from Internet users in or outside of the Library.
C. Protect Against Intrusion. When using wireless or wired Internet access with patron-owned computers or devices, patrons should ensure that their equipment is adequately protected against viruses, spyware, and intrusion by other internet users. Using patron-owned computers or devices in the library to access the Internet places those computers or devices on a local-area network shared with others engaged in similar use. The library is not responsible for the actions of others, and therefore patrons should protect their computers and devices to prevent undesired access from other Internet users in or outside the Library.
III. Patrons Under 18 Years of Age, Public Act 212 of 2000
Responsibility of Parents and Legal Guardians. As with other materials in the Library’s collection, it is the Library’s policy that parents or legal guardians are responsible for deciding which library resources are appropriate for their children. The Library urges parents and guardians to discuss Internet use with their children and to monitor their use of this educational tool.
Access for Patrons Under 18 years of Age
Unfiltered terminals. A parent or guardian must accompany and be sitting at the computer terminal with patrons under 18 years of age wishing to have access to the unfiltered Internet workstation.
Filtered Terminals. A filtered terminal means the computer has a program installed that is designed to restrict minors from receiving obscene material or sexually explicit material that is harmful to minors. Computer filter devices are not foolproof.
Age Restrictions for Library Computer Labs. In recognition of concerns regarding minors using the Internet, minors under the age of eighteen are only permitted to use Library owned computers located in the Teen and Youth Services Areas of the Library. Minors under 18 years of age are not permitted in the adult computer lab under any circumstances. The computers in the Teen Area may only be used by individuals aged 10 through 18 years old.
IV. Acceptable Use
All users of the Library’s Internet connection and workstations are expected to use this resource in a responsible and courteous manner, and to follow all rules and procedures as established in this policy.
A. Lawful Use. The Library Internet connection and workstations shall be used in a lawful manner. Workstations cannot be used for any fraudulent or unlawful purpose prohibited under any applicable federal, Michigan or local law, including but not limited to accessing material that can be classified as obscene or child pornography.
B. Intellectual Property. Users must respect intellectual property rights and obey the copyright laws of the United States and all other intellectual property rights. Responsibility for any consequences of copyright infringement lies with the user. The library expressly disclaims any liability or responsibility resulting from such use.
C. Computers in the Youth Department. Adults are not permitted to use the computers in the Youth Services Area of the lower level unless they are accompanied by a minor.
D. Use Must Not be Harmful to Minors. Michigan law prohibits users from allowing minors access to sexually explicit materials harmful to minors. Internet Users shall not permit any minor to view sexually explicit material or any other material deemed harmful to minors.
E. Compliance with Library Policy 3.30 Code of Conduct. The same rules apply to the use of the Internet as with the use of any other Library materials. The Library has adopted a Code of Conduct, Policy 3.30. All Internet Users must comply with the Library’s Code of Conduct, Policy 3.30 which shall be posted in the Library and on the Library website.
F. Privacy. Users must respect the privacy of others by not misrepresenting oneself as another user; by not attempting to modify or gain access to files, passwords or data belonging to others; and by not seeking disallowed access to any computer system via the Internet.
G. Sign up. The Library-owned computers are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Patrons are required to login at the library-owned computers using either a library card or a visitor card. Library cards and visitor cards are non-transferable. Staff may ask to verify identification.
H. Time Limit. The Library has a limited number of terminals. As a result, Internet Users shall understand that they do not have unlimited access to Library owned computers. The Library shall establish and post a daily maximum time limit for user access to library owned computers. Lesser time limits may be imposed if others are waiting for Library owned computer and for Express Email computers regardless of whether others are waiting.
I. Printing. Printing costs related to computer use shall be borne by the Library user of these services. Payment is required in accordance with the Library fee schedule.
J. Personal Software Prohibited. Users shall refrain from installing personal software or installing equipment on Library computers or networks or the modification of any operating system or network configuration. The user shall also refrain from downloading or uploading files onto Library computers, except as expressly allowed by the Library.
K. System Modifications. Users are not permitted to change the security setup, operating systems, the network configuration or any other configuration of any Royal Oak Public Library computer workstation without authorization.
V. Violations of Internet Use Policy
A. Users of the Library’s computers or Internet access must adhere to the Internet Use Policy. Failure to follow these guidelines will result in the loss of the ability to use the Internet.
B. The Library Director, or his or her authorized designee, is authorized to terminate any User’s access if the User has failed to comply with the Library’s Internet Policy or rules.
i. Initial Violation: Users observed violating this Internet Use Policy will be asked to cease the violation with a verbal warning. If the User does not comply with the request, the User’s access to the Library’s computers and Internet shall be terminated. If they refuse, the police may be called.
ii. Subsequent Violations: The Director or the Director’s authorized designee may further limit or revoke the patron’s library privileges if infractions continue. Such limitation or revocation shall be in writing specifying the nature of the violation. Subsequent violations of the same rule shall result in additional suspensions of increasing length.
iii. Violations Affecting Safety and Security. If the violation of the Library’s Internet Use Policy affects safety or security or is a violation of law, the Library has the right to immediately call the police and terminate Library Internet or other privileges without complying with Subsection 1. The Library Director or his or her designee may immediately suspend the patron's library privileges for a minimum of two (2) weeks and the patron shall be sent written confirmation of such suspension specifying the nature of the violation. If upon, investigation, additional suspension time is warranted due to the nature of the violation, the Library Director or his or her designee shall send written notice of such additional suspension time. Subsequent violations of the Internet Use Policy that affect safety or security or are violations of law shall be addressed pursuant to Subsection B.2 above.
C. Any User whose Internet Access has been suspended may file a written appeal of the suspension by sending this appeal in writing to the President of the Library Board within 10 business days of the suspension. The decision of the Library Board is final.
D. Illegal acts involving the Library’s Internet access service may be subject to prosecution.
VI. Staff Assistance
Staff may assist library users in getting started on the Internet. However, the library cannot guarantee that Internet-trained staff will be available to assist users at all times the Library is open. Staff are not allowed to enter information for library computer users. Because of the many different applications available on the Internet, staff may not be able to provide specialized or technical knowledge about a particular application.