Internet Access and Acceptable Use

Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to set the framework for public access to the internet through library-supplied computers or other devices and through the wireless network.

Scope

This policy applies to staff and members of the public accessing the internet through the Oakville Public Library.

Policy

Oakville Public Library (hereinafter known as the Library) provides internet access in all branches through library-supplied computers and other devices and through its wireless network.

The Library endorses the principles of intellectual freedom and open access and does not monitor or exercise control over what is available via the internet. The internet is unregulated, enabling access to ideas, information and images beyond the confines of the Library's mission, selection criteria and selection policies. Internet users are subject to all applicable federal, provincial and municipal legislation and by-laws that regulate internet use, including provisions of the Criminal Code regarding obscenity, child pornography, sedition and the incitement of hate. Library computers cannot be used for illegal, unethical or criminal purposes or for access to unauthorized areas. The Library assumes no responsibility for infringement of copyright and other intellectual property rights. The Library will block sites that are in contravention of the above laws and unauthorized areas.

The Library offers a mix of filtered and unfiltered access but assumes no responsibility for the effectiveness of any installed commercial filter nor any liability in the event the filter is not 100% effective. Filtering on selected computers is intended to block sexually explicit and hate material. Public awareness and parental guidance remain key to making the best possible use of internet resources. The Library cannot and does not act in place of, or absence of, a parent or legal guardian and is not responsible for enforcing restrictions which a parent or guardian may place upon a minor's use of this technology. On its website, the Library includes links to websites that provide guidance on internet safety.

Internet use is limited on a per session basis and to a daily maximum number of hours per user. Users are responsible for charges levied by the Library for printing from internet workstations.

Users must not install, modify, delete or download software onto Library computers or alter or misuse the hardware in any way. The Library will not be held liable for the security of users' equipment or software, privacy of online transactions, service interruptions, or for any direct or indirect claims for damages arising from access to internet services. The Library cannot guarantee access to any or all software, programs or resources.

Individuals are asked to show consideration for others when accessing the internet in a public environment shared by users of all ages, backgrounds and sensibilities. Users are asked to refrain displaying content (text or images) that might reasonably offend others including overt sexual images, and to respect the privacy of others. By using the Library's services, the user agrees to abide by existing policies and guidelines. Staff will respond to complaints or observed incidents of misuse by any user. The Library will invoke consequences for failure to observe and comply with the Internet Access and Acceptable Use policy. Complaints about illegal content will be passed on to the police. References and Related Documents Internet policies from selected libraries across Canada and the United States were examined. Consultation took place with the Director, Information Systems + Solutions, Town of Oakville, with respect to bit torrent sites and file sharing of copyrighted material.

Definitions

Devices - examples include tablets, smartphones, laptops etc. which are used to access the internet
Filter - software designed to control access to access to information on the internet
Intellectual Freedom - refer to the Library Board's policy dated June 28, 2012 https://www.opl.on.ca/about/policies/intellectual-freedom
Internet - the internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks carrying an extensive range of information resources and services, such as the World Wide Web and the infrastructure to support email
Wireless - technology that allows an electronic device to exchange data wirelessly using radio waves over a computer network

Effective Date: November 28, 2013 Motion #: 13.11.111
Next Review Date: 2017
Supersedes Policy Dated: September 25/08, September 23/04, November 27/03, October 29/98
Motion #: 08.09.82, 04.09.236, 03.11.131, 98.64
Filed in: Board Manual, Public Service Manual (Sect. 5.22), Added to Website


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