Internet & Computer Use

 

Thanks to the Internet and other computer-based resources, patrons of the New Canaan
Library can now access a far richer collection of materials than previously imaginable or
affordable.


The New Canaan Library is committed to providing its patrons with access to an
increasing array of computer resources. In return, we ask that each patron act responsibly and not
do anything that detrimentally affects other patrons’ access. This policy statement spells out
some specific “do’s and don’ts.”


Our computer and Internet resources (computers, software, related equipment, on-line
access and databases) are funded through limited governmental and charitable sources.
Computers differ fundamentally from print media in their expense, capabilities, and fragility.

 

Guideline for Use of the Internet:


Internet Resources


In general, Library patrons should use the Internet for purposes appropriate to the
Mission of the Library.


The user, not the Library, ultimately selects the materials to view. Patrons are advised
that:


• The Library does not verify information on the Internet. Patrons should be aware that
errors and intentional misinformation do occur regularly. The New Canaan Library
makes no warranty, expressed or implied, of the fitness, timeliness, accuracy, or
usefulness of information accessed via the Internet.


• The Internet contains material that some patrons will find offensive. There are sites
that are unacceptable for use or viewing in a public library setting, and some sites are
extremely inappropriate for children.


• The Library will make reasonable efforts to exclude from its own websites links to
sites with obscene content, but websites change continuously and without notice, so
guarantees are not possible. Furthermore, links on other websites are generally not
reviewed or approved by the Library. Patrons on Library computers will be notified
when they are no longer viewing the Library web site.

 

Internet Access

 


Because some material accessible on the Internet is extremely ill suited to children, the
Library computers in the Children’s Room and identified computers in the Lapham Wing are
subject to software filtering of Internet sites. This software does not always work reliably.
Material inappropriate for children may still be accessible and materials appropriate for children
may be inaccessible. Neither the Library nor its staff undertake oversight obligations with respect
to minors in this regard. Parents who allow their minor children to use computers at the Library
assume the risk that inappropriate sites will be accessible.


Filtering software may also block sites that should be available to adults. For this reason,
other Library computers are not equipped with filtering software. These computers are marked
for use by persons 18 or over. Parents who want their minor (i.e. 17 and under) children to be
able to use these computers should sign a permission and responsibility agreement. Library staff
may occasionally, on a time-available basis, check to see whether any persons using unfiltered
computers who are apparently minors have this agreement. However, patrons should be aware
that the Library takes no responsibility for the consistency, timeliness, or results of these efforts.
Parents are solely responsible for the actions of their minor children within the Library.
Unfiltered wireless access to the Library network and the Internet is offered in the
Lapham Wing and the Children’s Room. Patrons, including minors, who bring their own
computers to the Library may use them, and may connect to the unfiltered wireless network,
subject to the usage guidelines below. The Library will also loan laptop computers to patrons for
use within the Library. When loaned to minors these laptops will have Internet filtering software
activated.


Guidelines for Computer Use:

 


Library computer resources may only be used for legal and ethical purposes and in a
cooperative manner. Examples of uses not permitted include, but are not limited to, the
following:


• Damage to equipment, software, or data.


• Unauthorized copying of copyrighted material or violation of software licenses.


• Spreading computer viruses; unreasonable use of processing capacity, connect time or
bandwidth, information storage space, or printing facilities; deliberately crashing any
computer.


• Disruption or unauthorized monitoring of electronic communications; use of any
Library computer to “crack” or “hack” Library or other systems; violation of
computer system security; unauthorized use of computer accounts, access codes, or
network identifiers assigned to others; violation of another user’s privacy, including
attempts to read another person’s files; harassment of other users.


• Use of sounds and visuals which might reasonably be disruptive to others; libel or
slander; sending, receiving, or displaying obscene text or graphics.


• Activities for profit, including advertising, “spamming” (i.e. commercial e-mail) or
chain letters.


• Downloading files to a hard drive other than to the designated “Public Access” folder.
• Use of any executable software programs.


• Parents should warn their minor children never to disclose personal information in
chat rooms or other electronic communications without specific parental consent.


The Library reserves the right to limit the time patrons use the Internet.

 

 

Privacy


While the library adopts reasonable efforts and policies to improve the privacy of patrons,
users should be aware that workstations, servers, and Internet Service Providers often record the
actions of users. Furthermore, legislation (including the USA Patriot Act) may obligate the
Library to release records to governmental authorities without regard to Library policies. The
Library therefore cannot ensure user’s privacy.

 

Violations & Penalities:


The Library reserves the right to terminate any computer use or Internet session at any
time for violation of these guidelines. Repeated violations may lead to the suspension or
revocation of Library access to computers, the Internet and its resources. Users (or the parents of
users, in the case of minors) who damage Library equipment (including introducing viruses) will
be expected to pay for repairs or replacement of the equipment, including reasonable charges for
staff time, before user privileges are reinstated.


Policy Changes:


Due to the emerging nature of these services, this policy is subject to change at the
discretion of the New Canaan Library Board.

Adopted by the Board of Trustees, January 13, 1998.
Adopted and revised by the Board of Trustees June 10, 2003.