402 Main Street Greenfield, Massachusetts 01301
librarian@greenfieldpubliclibrary.org
(413)772-1544

Acceptable Use (Computers and Internet)

The Greenfield Public Library offers public access to the Internet as an extension of the library’s commitment to meet the informational, educational, cultural and recreational needs of our diverse community. The Library has a responsibility to provide material and information presenting all points of view and the Library supports access to all formats of material to meet the informational needs of the community.

The Internet is a powerful tool for finding information, but not all web sites are accurate, reliable, or unbiased. The Internet should not be considered a substitute for other library resources. The most appropriate information may more easily be found in books, magazines, or research databases. Users are encouraged to ask a reference librarian for assistance to find the best sources for needed information.

ACCEPTABLE USE

Access to and use of the Internet is a privilege. Internet access should be used in a responsible and ethical manner consistent with the educational and informational purposes for which it is provided.

The following purposeful, illegal and/or criminal activities constitute unacceptable use:

  • Using library workstations for any illegal or criminal purpose that violates local, state, or federal laws (including, but not limited to, committing fraud; hacking; or engaging in communications which are libelous or slanderous);
  • Viewing child pornography;
  • Deliberately displaying obscene images;
  • Violating copyright law or software licenses;
  • Removing privacy screens;
  • Compromising the privacy of users;
  • Attempting to gain unauthorized entry to the library’s network or to cause degradation of system performance;
  • Attempting to install, delete, or modify library software; attempting to install or run any programs that have not been installed by the library;
  • Downloading software from the Internet onto library computers or onto disks;
  • Moving or changing the arrangement of library computers and attached equipment;
  • Damaging computer equipment or software in any way.
  • Disrupting the intended use of the library Internet computers.

CHILDREN’S USE OF THE INTERNET

The Library is aware of parental and governmental concerns about child safety on the Internet. The Library also cares deeply about children and has put in place policies and procedures to ensure children have an enriching and safe online experience.

Internet computers in the children’s room are restricted to children ages 13 and younger, and/or their accompanying caregivers. These computers point to web sites and search engines that are recommended as appropriate and useful for children. The children’s librarians instruct children in the use of the Internet computers and offer assistance in locating helpful web sites to find information. The library also makes available copies of A Librarian’s Guide to Cyberspace for Parents and Kids and Child Safety on the Information Highway, as guides to help adults direct children’s use of the Internet.

While instruction is provided and help offered, librarians cannot monitor individual use of the Internet. Access to the Internet carries with it the potential to deliberately or accidentally access inaccurate, inappropriate, or offensive material. Therefore, parents and guardians are encouraged to take an active role in their children’s use of the Internet and to talk about their personal values, expectations, and rules for safe behavior when using this resource. Parents should encourage their children to speak to the librarian if they get to a web site that makes them feel uncomfortable.

The Library affirms the right and responsibility of parents or legal guardians to guide their children’s use of all library resources, including the Internet. As is the case with all other library materials, any restriction of a child’s access to the Internet is the responsibility of the child’s parent or legal guardian.

PRIVACY

The library respects a user’s right to both confidentiality and privacy. Each user is asked to respect the privacy of other computer users. Privacy screens are provided, and may not be removed from Internet terminals. Users are cautioned that the Internet is not a secure medium. All transactions, files and communications (including transmission of personal financial information) may be subject to access by third parties, whether legal or illegal. The library will not release information on the use of electronic resources by members of the public except as required by law. (See Policy on Confidentiality of Library Records for more information.) Reservation lists and sign-up sheets identifying computer users will be kept for 1 week, solely for purposes of ascertaining violators of the library’s Internet policy.

OBSCENE MATERIALS

The library strives to balance the rights of users to access all types of information resources with the rights of users and staff to work in a public setting free from disruptive sounds and visuals. Users are reminded that the library’s computer terminals are located in public areas that are shared with library users and staff of all ages, backgrounds and sensibilities. Individuals are expected to consider this diversity and respect the sensibilities of others when accessing potentially offensive information or images.

The deliberate display of obscene materials or images, including any attempt to print out those materials on library printers, is prohibited as a violation of Massachusetts General Law, Chapter 272, Section 29, and applicable federal laws.

VIOLATIONS

Violations of any part of this policy may result in the loss of library privileges. Persons violating the library’s Internet Use policy will be notified in writing that their behavior has violated the library’s policy. If such behavior occurs a second time, penalties will be imposed.

Penalties may include suspending or terminating the patron’s access to library computers or rescinding their library card, which prevents use of any C/W MARS library for any purposes.

Users will be held responsible for any damage to hardware, software, data, furniture or equipment. A librarian may check the workstations after each use.

Illegal acts involving library computing resources may also be subject to prosecution by local, state, or federal authorities.

WAIVER OF RESPONSIBILITY

The Library does not endorse the viewpoints or vouch for the accuracy of information obtained through the Internet. The Library cannot control or monitor material which may be accessible from Internet sources. The Library’s selection policies which serve to govern the Library’s purchase of materials are not applicable to material accessed electronically. Library patrons use the Internet at their own risk. The Library assumes no responsibility and shall have no liability for any direct, indirect, or consequential damages arising from its connection to the Internet. The Library is not responsible for changes in content of the sources to which it links or for the content of sources accessed through secondary links.

Librarians will identify and display starting points for searches which are appropriate to the Library’s mission and service roles. However each individual user must accept responsibility for determining which electronic resources they will access and the relative value of the content. Since the Internet is not secure, each user accepts personal and financial responsibility for information transmitted or received. Parents are responsible for their children’s use of the Library’s Internet computers.

Adopted by the Greenfield Library Board of Trustees, June 8,1999.
Amended, July 11, 2000; November 6, 2001; October 21, 2003;
October 11, 2005