CEDAR SPRINGS PUBLIC LIBRARY

Overview of Library Internet Use Policy

The Cedar Springs Public Library is pleased to provide access for the community
to informational, educational and recreational resources via the Internet.

The Internet is a vast network of computer networks linking millions of computers around the world and offers global access to information. The information contained on the Internet changes rapidly and unpredictably, and therefore, the Library is unable to monitor or control the materials contained on the Internet. Nor can the library ensure the accuracy or legality of the information accessible via the Internet. Patrons with library accounts exceeding $40 will not be allowed to use the Library's public access computers.

It is the policy of the Library to promote the responsible use of the Internet by all users, especially among minors (under the age of eighteen), who may otherwise be exposed to harmful material. In furtherance of this policy, computer terminals made available to minors will provide filtered Internet access. Adult patrons will be provided unfiltered access to the Internet upon request. Further details regarding this policy are discussed in the accompanying document entitled “Library Internet Use Policy: Definitions and Guidelines” which should be read carefully by all patrons desiring to access the Internet.

Responsibilities of Users

Staff Assistance

Staff provides limited assistance for basic start-up procedures. If patrons have never used the Internet or have specific questions about the Internet, circulating books and reference books are available.

Supervising Children’s Use

Parents and/or legal guardians of minors are responsible for their children’s use of the Internet. Parental supervision of children searching the Internet is advised, even with filtered access, as the Library cannot guarantee that the filters will be successful in screening out all harmful material. Parents or guardians, NOT library staff, are responsible for the Internet information selected and/or accessed by their children. Library personnel do not monitor or supervise Internet access except for length of time of use.

Choosing and Evaluating Sources

The Library has no control of the Internet and its resources and assumes no responsibility for the quality, accuracy, or currency of any Internet resources. Neither the Library nor the City of Cedar Springs, its officers, directors, or employees, shall be liable for any damages (direct or consequential), including lost profits, for any information obtained or provided on the Internet. Users should evaluate Internet sources just as they do printed publications, questioning the validity of the information provided. The Internet may contain material of a controversial nature.
All patrons accessing the Internet must respect the rights of other patrons not to be inadvertently exposed to materials and images they find personally unsuitable. The Library computers are located in public areas that must be shared by users of all ages backgrounds and sensibilities. Thus, all patrons are encouraged to consider this when accessing potentially controversial information and images. The Library reserves the right to suspend and/or deny Internet access to patrons who display information or images causing a serious disruption to the peaceful library environment.

Rules Governing Use

To use an Internet workstation, patrons need to sign up for one 30-minute time period. If no one is waiting at the end of that 30 minutes, a patron may sign up for one more 30 minute-time period. A maximum time period of one hour per day per person is permitted. Sign up must be done in person. No reservations will be taken over the phone. The use of “chat rooms” is prohibited.

Internet computers may only be used for legal and ethical purposes. Examples of unacceptable purposes include, but are not limited to, the following: harassment of other users; libeling or slandering other users; destruction of or damage to equipment, software, or data belonging to the Library or other users; disruption or unauthorized monitoring of electronic communications; unauthorized copying of copyright-protected material. Any patron found using the Internet to access, download, display or disseminate information that is unlawful and/or being used for an unlawful purpose, as defined under state or federal law, will lose Internet access privileges.

Printing and Downloading

For a cost of 20 cents ($0.20) per page, patrons may print information. Patrons may also download to pre-formatted disks purchased for $1 from the Library

 Library Internet Use Policy:

Definitions and Guidelines 

Statement of Internet Use Policy: It is the policy of the Cedar Springs Public Library to provide all patrons with access to the Internet for purposes of accessing legal information for educational, informational and recreational purposes, while also encouraging the responsible use of the Internet in order to minimize the risks that minors will be exposed to harmful material. In furtherance of this policy, minors will be provided Internet access via computer terminals installed with Internet filters, which are designed to deny access to information deemed “harmful to minors,” as that term is defined below.

This policy recognizes that minors are peculiarly vulnerable in the particular area of Internet usage; that minors are less able to make a critical decision in an informed and mature manner in regards to accessing information on the Internet; and that careful and responsible child rearing is an important priority and value within this community which the Library wishes to promote through its own policies.

Adult patrons will be provided unfiltered access to the Internet upon request. However the Library reserves the right to suspend and/or deny adult patrons unfiltered access to the Internet should it come to the attention that adult patrons are using Library computers to access, download, display or disseminate information that is either unlawful and/or being used for unlawful means, as defined by state or federal law.

I.      Definitions

The following definitions and Internet use guidelines shall apply.

a.      "Minors” refers to individuals under the age of 18.

b.      "Internet” refers to a vast network of computer networks linking millions of computers around the world, offering virtually unlimited access to information of an ever-changing and unpredictable nature, over which the Library has no control.

c.      "Internet filter” refers to a form of computer software sold commercially, designed to be installed on computer terminals providing access to the Internet, which operates to prevent access to information by filtering out certain information otherwise available on the Internet.

d.      "Harmful to minors” in reference to describing information contained on the Internet, means that quality of work in whatever form of nudity, sexual conduct, sexual excitement or sado-masochistic abuse, when it:

                                            i.      according to the average person, applying local community standards, would find that the work, taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient interests of minors;

                                          ii.      the work is patently offensive according to local community standards with respect to what is suitable material for minors; and

                                        iii.      the work, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value for minors.

e.      "Nudity” as used in the definition of "harmful to minors” means the showing of the human male or female genitals, pubic area or buttocks with less than a full opaque covering, or the showing of the female breast with less than a fully opaque covering of any portion below the top of the areola, or the depiction of covered male genitals in a discernibly turgid state.

f.        "Sexual conduct” as used in the definition of "harmful to minors” means acts of masturbation, homosexual or heterosexual sexual intercourse, or physical contact with a person’s clothed or unclothed genitals, pubic area, buttocks or, if such a person be female, breasts.

g.      "Sexual excitement” as used in the definition of "harmful to minors” means the condition of human male or female genitals when in a state of sexual stimulation of arousal.

h.      "Sado-masochistic abuse” as used in the definition of "harmful to minors” means flagellation or torture by or upon a person or the condition of being fettered, bound, or otherwise physically restrained in an intentionally sexual manner or setting.

II.      Internet Use Guidelines

a.      Minors desiring to access the Internet at the Library will be provided with filtered access to the Internet, in order to minimize the risk that minors will be exposed to information deemed “harmful to minors” as defined above. However, the Library cannot guarantee that the Internet filters will be successful in screening out all information potentially harmful to minors. Nor does the Library staff monitor minors’ usage of the Internet. Therefore, parents and legal guardians are encouraged to supervise their children’s use of the Internet notwithstanding the use of Internet filters.

b.      Upon request unfiltered Internet access will be provided to adult patrons desiring to access the Internet. However, as Library computer terminals may be located in open spaces and in clear view, adult patrons are encouraged to exercise good judgment and to respect the rights of other patrons not to be inadvertently exposed to controversial materials or images. The Library reserves the right to suspend and/or deny adult patrons unfiltered Internet access which causes a serious disruption to the peaceful Library environment

c.      If a minor unaccompanied by a parent or legal guardian, attempting to access information on the Internet that is filtered, believes he or she has been improperly denied access to non-harmful information, he or she may request unfiltered access for purposes of accessing the specific information desired. Such individual requests should be directed to one of the staff librarians on duty, who will either personally respond to the request or will direct the request to the appropriately designated individual. It is the policy of the Library to promptly respond to such requests and to provide unfiltered access to the desired information provided the information is determined to be non-harmful under the criteria defined above. However, the Library reserves the right to deny such requests if the appropriately designated individual concludes that the information sought is “harmful to minors” as defined above.

d.      Library patrons having any questions concerning Internet filters should consult the Library reference desk, where additional information and materials are available.

III.      Disclaimers

a.      While the Library endeavors to provide access to information of the highest quality, the Library specifically disclaims any warrant as to the information’s accuracy, timeliness, authoritativeness, usefulness or fitness for a particular purpose.

b.      The Library will have no liability for direct, indirect or consequential damages related to the use of information accessed through the Library’s internet service.

c.      The Library, having installed and enforced the operation of filtering software in compliance with the Children’s Internet Protection Act, will have no liability for damages related to the operation of, or failure of, the filtering software, or for its circumvention by users.

d.      Since software and information downloaded from any sources, including the Internet, may contain computer viruses, users are advised to utilize virus-checking software on their home computers. The Library is not responsible for damage to Users’ disks or computers or for any loss of data, damage or liability that may occur from use of the Library’s computers.

Library patrons having any questions concerning Internet filters and/or smart cards should consult the Library reference desk, where additional information and materials are available.


CEDAR SPRINGS PUBLIC LIBRARY

Acceptable Internet Use Agreement

Child/Parent Permission Agreement

As the parent or legal guardian of the minor child (under age 18) signing below, I have read and agree to the Cedar Springs Public Library’s Internet Use Policy. I understand that, despite the best efforts of the Library, (including filtering), some materials on the Internet may still be personally objectionable.  I accept the responsibility and agree to allow my child, under 18 years of age, to use the Internet.  I agree that my child will conform to the above rules and to the restrictions as outlined for persons under the age of 18. 

On behalf of myself and the individual for whom I am signing this Agreement, we hereby waive any right we might have to any claim against the Cedar Springs Public Library, its employees, trustees, officers and agents arising from use of the Internet.

Please print clearly—thank you!

Parent or
Legal Guardian’s
Name________________________________________________________

Child’s Name__________________________________________________

Address______________________________________________________

City________________________ZIP__________Phone________________

Child’s Age_____ Child’s Birthday___________

Parent or
Legal Guardian’s
Signature_________________________________Today’s Date__________

Signature of Child__________________________Today’s Date__________

Date_____________  Child’s Library Card Number_____________________