Public Internet Access and Use
In order to provide public internet access, the Thunder Bay Public Library Board has adopted a Public Internet Access and Use Policy.
It is the intent of the Thunder Bay Public Library Board to provide public access to Internet and other electronic resources in fulfilment of the Library’s mission statement.
The Thunder Bay Public Library will contribute to the educational, recreational and economic growth of the City of Thunder Bay and will provide its citizens with the ability to use information in current and developing formats. The library also fulfils its traditional role of providing equal access throughout the community.
The library Board established the following policy for Internet use in the library:
1) Policy Statement:
The Thunder Bay Public Library does not monitor and has no control over the information accessed through the Internet, and cannot be held responsible for its content. Not all Internet sources provide accurate, complete, age appropriate or current information. It is the user’s responsibility to question the validity of any information.
Parents may find some of the material on the Internet objectionable. As with other library materials, parents are expected to provide guidance in its use. Any restriction of a child’s access to the Internet is the responsibility of the parent / legal guardian.
The Thunder Bay Public Library recognizes the concerns that parents have about potential harm to their children when they are exposed to pornographic, criminal, or hate material on the Internet. In order to address these concerns, the library has taken the following steps:
- requiring unaccompanied youth 10 to 15 to have a signed parental permission form on file
- children under 10 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian at the adult Internet stations
- requiring that all Internet users sign up for workstation use
- requiring that privacy screens be in use at all times on unfiltered stations
- investigation of software that allows selection of websites by professionallibrary staff
- Library provides the option of filtered and unfiltered internet workstations and all Kiosks are filtered
- developed a child-oriented "gateway" of selected Internet sites organized by age and themes for use by children in the Children’s department
- refer parents to link to the Canadian Library Association [CLA] website -"Net Safe; Net Smart"
All users of electronic information resources such as the Internet are expected to use these resources in a responsible manner which includes:
- using resources for educational, recreational and informational purposes and not for unauthorized, illegal or unethical purposes
- respecting the privacy of others using public access workstations and not interfering with their use
- making only authorized copies of copyrighted or licensed software or data
- respecting library time limits for using the Internet and yield to the next signed-up person
- patrons agree to take responsibility for all financial transactions theyperform on the Internet (eg.) on-line banking, shopping, stock trading, etc. The Library assumes no responsibility for lost data or financial transactions which may occur during system down times, scheduled or unscheduled.
Violation of the acceptable use policy is defined as Internet abuse, and can include the following:
- using the Internet to access, display, download, upload, forward or e-mail material with pornographic (as defined by the Criminal Code of Canada - Section 163), criminal, or hate literature content
- subverting or attempting to subvert any security devices in either softwareor hardware format which the library has installed on its Internet workstations
- installing or attempting to install viruses or other programs designed to damage or alter software on the workstations, the LAN (Local Area Network) or the Internet, or seeking unauthorized access to any computer system
- using email to send unsolicited commercial material, spamming or mail bomb
- misrepresenting oneself as another user
- attempting to modify workstations in any manner or attempting to gain access to files, passwords or data belonging to others
- attempting to modify, vandalize or steal library property
Violations including, but not limited to, the above may result in the following:
- the library reserves the right to request that patrons discontinue use of the Internet
- patrons in violation of the library’s Internet use policies will have their Internet privileges revoked or may be banned from using the library
- patrons using the library’s Internet service or workstations for illegal purposes will be subject to prosecution
Children’s Internet Stations:
The Thunder Bay Public Library recognizes that children should have equal access to all information and services of the library, including the Internet, which offers a world of informational resources. However, the Thunder Bay Public Library does not act in place of or in absence of a parent. Parents or guardians are responsible for monitoring their children’s Internet use and choice of workstation.
The Thunder Bay Public Library also recognizes that children deserve developmentally appropriate resources which can meet their recreational and educational needs and so has developed an Internet Gateway for the Children’s Services Department which contains sites selected for that purpose and organized by age and subject matter. Furnishings and language-level used are also specifically designed for Children’s physical and developmental stages.
The Gateway may be modified and supplemented as need arises. It may contain nteractive games within specific sites but not e-mail, chat rooms or other forms of on-line communication except where a specific on-line event such as a live-author relay chat may be included for a specific educational aim and as a special publicized event.
Approved by the Thunder Bay Public Library Board: April 8, 2004.
Reviewed by the Policy and Planning Committee: August 21, 2007.
Amended by the Thunder Bay Public Library Board: September 13, 2007.