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Computer & Internet Use Policy
The Vigo County Public Library, in fulfillment of its mission and in response to the diverse needs of the community, provides access to resources in a variety of formats utilizing traditional and digital mediums. Access to the Internet and the use of computer hardware, software programs, and information databases is essential for delivery of resources via digital technology and is central to the Library’s mission and key to the Library’s service role.
While the ability to utilize digital technology and access information on the Internet provides a wealth of material that is personally, professionally, and culturally enriching to individuals, the Internet is an unregulated medium which enables access to materials that may be inaccurate, offensive, disturbing, and possibly illegal.
Library Safety Measures
Effective July 1, 2004, the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) requires that a technology protection measure (a TPM), also known as Internet filtering software, be placed on all Internet computer workstations in the Vigo County Public Library to protect against access to visual depictions that (1) are obscene, (2) contain child pornography, or (3) are harmful to minors (defined as any person younger than 17 years of age).
While the VCPL will make every attempt, through the use of its TPM, to prevent direct access to materials not generally acceptable in a public library, it is technically impossible to guarantee that the TPM will be error free. The Vigo County Public Library is not responsible for the unintentional exclusion of desired, necessary, or relevant information that may be the result of its TPM software. An authorized staff member may disable the TPM, upon request by an adult user, to allow unrestricted access for research or any other lawful purpose. The Children’s Internet Protect Act (CIPA) does not allow disabling Internet filtering software for minors under any circumstances.
Responsibility of Users
With the freedom and privilege to access computer networks comes the responsibility to use them in a responsible and ethical manner that includes, but is not limited to, the following:
Using resources for educational, informational, and recreational purposes only and not for unauthorized, illegal, or unethical purposes.
Respecting the privacy of others by not misrepresenting oneself as another user, by not attempting to modify or gain access to files, passwords, or data belonging to others; by not seeking unauthorized access to any computer system or damaging or altering software components of any network or database.
Making only authorized copies of copyrighted or licensed software or data.
When using the unfiltered Internet, the individual user accepts responsibility for determining what is appropriate and must use the Internet in ways consistent with the mission of the Vigo County Public Library.
In accordance with the Library’s mission the individual user, whether using filtered, or unfiltered Internet access, must also be aware of and respect the rights of others and refrain from the display of images or materials that may be offensive to other users or staff. The Vigo County Public Library recognizes and supports federal laws pertaining to information access and is obligated to comply with laws pertaining to exposure to certain explicit images and materials.
Access by Minors
The Vigo County Public Library upholds and affirms the right and responsibility of parents to determine and monitor their children’s use of library materials and resources, including those available through the Internet. The Vigo County Public Library encourages parents and guardians to work closely with their children in accessing online resources and services and selecting resources that are consistent with personal and family values.
In order to provide reasonable safeguards for minors (defined as under the age of 17), the VCPL:
Filters all Internet access computers
Develops and maintains appropriate websites and online resources for children and teens
Provides information for parents and minors regarding safe Internet use practices
Policy Enforcement and Limits of Liability
The Vigo County Public Library retains the right to determine appropriate use of Library computer equipment and network resources for the purpose of enforcing this policy. Users who violate the policy or refuse to abide by instructions of Library staff may be suspended from the use of network resources or have Library privileges revoked.
The VCPL assumes no liability for any loss or damage to users' data or devices, nor for any personal damage or injury incurred as a result of using VCPL computer or network resources. This includes damage or injury sustained from invasions of the user's privacy.
Complaints regarding the application of these policies should be brought to the attention of the Library Director for investigation.
Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Vigo County Public Library on the 16th day of December, 2013.