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Mead Public Library Internet Safety Policy

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As a means of promoting effective use of the Internet-based resources at Mead Public Library, the staff makes a concerted effort to provide ready access to information about safe use of the Internet. In compliance with the Neighborhood Children’s Internet Protection Act (NCIPA), the Library gives special attention to informing minor children and their parents about safe Internet practices designed to promote the confidentiality, privacy, and personal safety of minor children and to prevent, when reasonably possible, the exposure of minor children to materials harmful to minors and to materials the Library Board deems inappropriate for minors to access on the Internet, i.e. nudity of a sexual nature and sexual acts/text. In addition to safe Internet practices, the policy addresses illegal practices, such as hacking.

The Board has adopted an Internet Safety Policy that is subject to change from time to time without prior notice to the public. This Policy is maintained by the Library Director or designee who assures that it is available to the public in printed and online versions.

A. Each family has the right and responsibility to decide what materials minor children will read, listen to, view, or create using the Public Internet Research Workstations at Mead Public Library except as prohibited by law and the Public Internet Workstation Acceptable Use Guidelines. Parents who feel more comfortable directly supervising these activities of their children should accompany them to the library and remain close by throughout the family’s visit. Library staff members provide general guidance for adults, teens, and children in selection and use of age-appropriate materials. However, their advice is not tailored to the opinions or perspectives of each individual or family that uses the library.

Parents of young children may wish to review the suggested sources that the staff makes readily available at Public Internet Workstations for more information about the selection of Internet resources that are suitable for children. Parents and teens may wish to review and discuss the suggestions about Internet use available at Internet sites recommended by the staff for that purpose.

B. Parents should talk with their minor children to determine whether or not it is appropriate for them to use direct electronic communications such as Internet e-mail, chat rooms, instant messaging, etc. at the Library. If so, parents need to instruct young children and teens not to share information that strangers could use to identify them, their family, their friends, their house, or their school. Parents also need to instruct children not to respond to messages that make them feel uncomfortable, including those that are bullying, suggestive, obscene, threatening, or otherwise inappropriate. Parents and children should immediately report such messages received while at the Library to a staff member.

C. The Mead Public Library “Acceptable Use Guidelines” for Public Internet Research Workstations prohibits illegal use of the Internet by children, teens, and adults. Whenever anyone signs on to use the Internet at Mead Public Library they are first asked to indicate that they have read and understood the “Acceptable Use Guidelines.” People who do not abide by that policy will be asked to end their use of the Internet and to leave the library. Repeat violations may result in loss of Internet use privileges. Illegal uses will be reported to the appropriate authorities.

Illegal uses of the Internet include but are not limited to hacking, identity theft, false representation for fraudulent or illegal purposes, violation of copyright, viewing or printing obscene materials, and viewing or printing child pornography.

D. Everyone who uses Internet resources whether at home, at school, or at the library should be very careful about providing their personal identification information to unknown parties. This admonition is of particular importance for young children and teens who, unfortunately, may be targeted as potential victims of crime.

Under the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 (COPPA) certain commercial websites that collect personal identification information from their users cannot do so for children under age 13 without parental consent. Young children need to abide by that restriction whenever it is stated at a website.

Parents and children, including teens, should carefully review the information about protecting personal identification information at websites recommended by staff members available at the Public Internet Research Workstations.

E. Mead Public Library uses software filters on Public Internet Research Workstations deployed in the Landwehr Children’s Library Center in order to reduce the likelihood of the display of materials harmful to minors and of materials the Library Board deems inappropriate for minors to access on the Internet, i.e. nudity of a sexual nature and sexual acts/text. However, filter software is not foolproof. Children using the Internet in the Landwehr Children’s Library Center who come across harmful or inappropriate materials, whether text or images, should immediately report the incident to parents and/or library staff members. Staff members will then determine whether or not additional blocking of the site or sites is necessary.

In other areas, the Library relies on compliance with its “Acceptable Use Guidelines” in order to reduce the likelihood of the display of materials harmful to minors or of materials the Library Board deems inappropriate for minors to access on the Internet, i.e. nudity of a sexual nature and sexual acts/text.

The “Acceptable Use Guidelines” prohibits display of images inappropriate for viewing in a public space on library Public Internet Research Workstations. This includes illegal uses, such as display of obscene materials or child pornography, as well as display of pornographic materials, materials harmful to minors, and materials the Library Board deems inappropriate for minors to access on the Internet. Violations of this policy may result in revocation of Internet use privileges.

03/04

Mead Public Library Acceptable Use Guidelines for Public Internet Research Workstations