An Acceptable Use Policy is a policy that users must adhere to in order to be provided with access to a network or to the Internet. By connecting to a network—whether the library’s or some other—while on library property, users consent to the conditions of the library’s policy; also while connecting remotely to library owned or leased electronic resources.
As a part of the library’s mission to develop resources to meet the educational, professional, recreational, cultural, and personal enrichment needs of the community we serve, electronic resources are made available to all regardless of age, educational level, financial status, physical ability, or library card ownership. Library trustees and staff will develop such rules and procedures as are necessary to ensure the fair and reasonable use of Internet access.
• Users access the library’s resources at their own risk. The library is not responsible for lost or stolen property, computer infection, compromised credit card or other personal information, or for other damage to a user’s equipment, software, or data occurring as a result of his or her use of the library’s Internet services; nor for any liability that may occur as a result of use.
• Damage to devices, networks, information systems, software, programs, files, applications, data, or settings belonging to other users or to the library will be the responsibility of the offender. Parents or legal guardians are responsible for the charges of patrons under the age of 18.
• The library does not filter the Internet. We affirm and uphold the position of the American Library Association, which is set forth in several documents adopted by the Council, its governing body. The Interpretation of The Library Bill of Rights, entitled Access to Electronic Information, Services, and Networks, calls for free and unfettered access to the Internet for any library user. The Resolution on the Use of Filtering Software in Libraries and The Statement on Library Use of Filtering Software reiterate the U.S. Supreme Court’s declaration in Reno v. American Civil Liberties Union that the Internet is a forum of free expression deserving full constitutional protection. The Resolution and Statement consider any use of filtering software that blocks access to constitutionally protected speech to be a violation of The Library Bill of Rights. Filters block access to information that is legal and useful, and cannot distinguish between protected and unprotected speech.
• The library does not monitor, has no control over, and does not accept responsibility for material on the Internet. Electronic resources may be accurate, thorough, and timely. Some, however, may be inaccurate, incomplete, out-of-date, offensive, or illegal; others may be controversial or of a mature nature. At their own discretion, users access the Internet and are responsible for the results of their searches. Library staff will not supervise a user’s Internet use, except for length to assure equitable time-sharing.
• As with all library resources, the library affirms the right and responsibility of parents or guardians, not library staff, to restrict their minor children’s use of the Internet. Minors are defined in this policy as young people under the age of 16 years. Parents who believe that their children cannot responsibly use the library’s Internet access are requested to monitor their use. The library directs concerned parents and guardians to The McAfee 10-Step Internet Safety Plan (http://promos.mcafee.com/en-US/PDF/US_Internet_Safety_Plan.pdf) for guidance on keeping their children safe online. An online search will yield other helpful guides.
• The library does not retain computer records. Non-library files on the computer hard drive, the contents of the temporary folders and the cache, search histories, as well as the location bar on the Internet browsers, will be deleted daily.
• Users of the library’s Internet connection agree to obey all applicable federal, state, and local laws; any responsibility or liability for infringements lies solely with the user.
The library will treat information displayed on computers and printers, as well as on patron and circulation records, as confidential. The library will protect the confidentiality of records, electronic or otherwise, that identify individual users and link them to search strategies, sites accessed, or other specific data about the information they retrieved or sought to retrieve. Requests for disclosure of information will be honored only when required by local, state, or federal law. Otherwise, and in accordance with VT statute 22 VSA 171ff, public libraries will keep records of patrons 16 or older confidential unless the patron waives that right; public libraries are required to disclose the records of patrons under 16 if requested by parents.
Rules for General Use
• Library computer use is first come, first served.
• A patron is allowed one half hour of use on library computers with an additional half hour if no one is waiting. Groups of users will count as one user and be held to the time frame above.
• The librarian will determine acceptable noise-level requirements.
• Access to email is available only through web-based email services (Yahoo, Hotmail, Gmail, etc.).
• Users should properly exit applications when finished.
• Users should report network or computer problems to staff immediately.
• Library staff can provide limited individual computer help as time permits but cannot guarantee assistance with all computer uses.
• The first three pages of print or copy are free. There is a charge of fifteen cents per page to print or copy additional pages.
We strive to protect the First Amendment rights of our patrons as well as their rights of privacy. However, Internet workstations are located in public areas, and images on the screen and printouts of those images may be visible to others. Some material may be inappropriate in a public setting. Internet users should respect the sensitivities and rights of other patrons, which is consistent with the library’s general rules of conduct and behavior code.
Whether on a personal or a library device, a patron should refrain from the use of Internet visuals or sounds that may disrupt the ability of other patrons to use the library and its resources. The freedom to access information is a fundamental right, but use of the library and its resources is a privilege. Library staff reserve the right to ask a user to discontinue the accessing of any violent, sexually explicit, or otherwise potentially disturbing materials in the presence of other patrons.
• Attempting to gain unauthorized access to, remove, degrade, crash, or otherwise tamper with devices, networks, information systems, software, programs, files, applications, data, or settings not the user’s own; also any activity that interferes with the ability of library staff or other users to lawfully access and use any of the above; also any activity that jeopardizes the security of any of the above.
• Attempting to gain unauthorized access to passwords or accounts; disclosing another user’s information to others; impersonating another user.
• Reproducing library software; loading other software, programs, or applications onto library computers (the temporary placement of personal files is permitted, however, during the user’s Internet session).
• Posting commercial messages to Usenet groups without prior permission; attempting to send junk e-mail or spam to anyone who doesn’t want it; attempting to mail bomb a site with mass amounts of e-mail in order to flood the server.
• Unauthorized handlings of electronic materials (including electronic mail, text, images, programs, or data) that are confidential, copyrighted, or contain trade-secret information. The library complies with the Copyright Act, Title 17 of the U.S. Code, and with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, 105 PL 304, which make it illegal to download, upload, reproduce, or distribute in any fashion copyrighted material without permission or a license to do so from the copyright holder, except as permitted by principles of fair use.
• Engaging in transactions involving any substance the possession or use of which is prohibited by law.
• Using library equipment to access, view, copy, or distribute any material that is illegal, including but not limited to obscenity and child pornography.
• The unauthorized disclosing or use of personal information regarding minors; anything that compromises the safety of minors when using e-mail, chat rooms, and other forms of direct electronic communications.
• Engaging in defamation or in malicious, threatening, harassing, or obscene behavior or speech; violating the privacy or rights of others.
• Unauthorized monitoring of electronic communications.
The librarian reserves the right to terminate an Internet session that disrupts library services or violates library policies. The librarian also reserves the right to suspend the user’s computer or library privileges for abuse of these conditions. Computer users will be informed in writing by the librarian if their privileges have been restricted or suspended for more than one day. An appeal by the user may be made to the Board of Trustees. Illegal use of the network may be subject to prosecution by local, state, or federal authorities.