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Internet User Policy

NOTE: This policy is also available on request at the Madawaska Valley Public Library.

Madawaska Valley Public Library Internet Use Policy


The Madawaska Valley Public Library (the Library) endorses the use of the Internet as an essential source of information to complement traditional library collections and services. The Internet operates in an unregulated, global environment, and therefore, provides access to a wide variety of communications and resources over which the Library has no control. 
Section 1: Reliability and Appropriateness of Information on the Internet
  1. Resources will be made available to inform users about the reliability and appropriateness of information available on the Internet.
  2. The Library is not responsible for the accuracy of the information available on the Internet. This is the responsibility of the producer/originator or publisher.
  3. The Township of Madawaska Valley Public Library Board (the Board) is not responsible for the quality, legality, appropriateness or availability of any Internet sources accessed through the Library’s public network.
  4. As some Internet sources do not provide accurate, complete or current information, it is the user’s responsibility to be a good information consumer.
  5. There are information resources on the Internet which are inappropriate to a library setting. As the Library is a public venue, staff has the authority to end any Internet session deemed inappropriate.
Section 2: The Library’s Website
  1. The Library will maintain a website that provides:
a)      Information about services and operations
b)      Access to the catalogue
c)      Access to subscription databases and e-books, as available
d)     A selected, evaluated and organized collection of reliable and current information sources available on the Internet
  1. The Board is only responsible for the content of website pages managed by the Library.
Section 3: Access to the Public Network
  1. The Board will ensure that access to, and use of, the public network is compatible with the Library’s policy on Intellectual Freedom (FN-03).
  2. Access to the network will be available from the public computers or users’ personal devices.
  3. The use of personal devices will be limited ONLY to the upstairs / adult section of the library so as not to block ease of access / egress and no blocking of aisles.
  4. The Library’s wireless system will be functional during the hours when the Library is open:
a)      Clients may access the library’s wireless system via personal devices only through a password that is available at the circulation desk.
b)      Due to limited space, library staff reserves the right to set time limits on the use of personal devices to allow fair and equitable access by all.
  1. The Library reserves the right to set time limits or request users to limit their time on the public computers. The staff reserves the right to adjust computer time and scheduling on public computers, as necessary.
  2. Email on public use computers will only be made available through free email providers, such as Hotmail, via public web browsers, like Internet Explorer.
  3. The Library’s wireless network is not secure. The Library cannot guarantee the safety of traffic across its wireless network. The Library does not assume any responsibility for the configuration, security or files on personal devices resulting from connection to the Library’s network. Users should be aware that information sent to or from their personal devices can be captured by anyone else with a wireless device and appropriate software.
  4. The Library is not responsible for any damages sustained while using a personally owned device within the Library’s premises or within proximity to the Library’s wireless network, or while using the Library’s wireless network.
  5. The Library will not be responsible for any expenses incurred by, or the potential repercussions of a third party using, personal / banking / credit card information that have been entered via the public network.
Section 4: Privacy and Confidentiality
  1. Use of the Library’s public network falls under the provision of the Library’s Confidentiality and the Protection of Privacy Policy (OP-01).
  2. Privacy at the workstations is not guaranteed. Staff will take reasonable measures to ensure the privacy and confidentiality of a user’s use of the Internet in the library.
  3. Users must respect the privacy of others. Internet workstations are situated in public areas, and content may be seen by other people in the vicinity. Users are expected to use the Internet in accordance with this environment.
  4. The Board assumes no responsibility for the security and privacy of on-line transactions, as the Internet is not a secure medium, and third parties may be able to obtain information about the user’s activities.
Section 5: Use by Children
  1. Children may access all information and use all facilities provided by the Library.
  2. The Library has not installed filtering software on any of its computers.
  3. The Board will ensure that that children’s and youths’ access to the Internet is compatible with the policy on Children and Teen Services (OP-12) and Intellectual Freedom (FN-03).
  4. The Board accepts no responsibility for enforcing restrictions which a parent or guardian places on a child’s use of any Internet resources.
  5. Staff will:
a)      Affirm and acknowledge the rights and responsibilities of parents and guardians to monitor and determine their children’s access to materials and resources
b)      Assist parents, when requested, in providing guidelines for “safe surfing”.
  1. Parents will:
a)      Assume responsibility for deciding which resources and type of network access are appropriate for their children
b)      Be made aware that the term “children”, as used by the Library refers to those under the age of 18.
Section 6: Acceptable Use
  1. To ensure equitable access to the public network and efficient use of resources, the Board sets rules for public network access and reserves the right to modify these whenever and wherever appropriate.
  2. Users who deliberately violate the rules may have their library privileges suspended.
  3. The Acceptable Use Rules are:
a)      Users should view the use of public computers for Internet access in the same manner as they view the use of the general collection, that is, they are shared resources.
b)      The Library reserves the right to set time limits or request users to limit their time on the public computers. The staff reserves the right to adjust computer time and scheduling on public computers as necessary.
c)      Scheduling of public computers will be at thirty (30) minute intervals from thirty (30) minutes after the library opens to one hour prior to closing.
d)     All public computers will be shut down thirty (30) minutes prior to closing time on any given day. Clients will be given sufficient notice to terminate their online sessions.
e)      Users must respect the laws of Canada when using the public network.
f)       Use of the public network for illegal, actionable or criminal purposes, or to seek access to unauthorized areas is prohibited. Examples of such illegal activities include, but are not limited to, harassment or stalking, libel, illegal commerce or solicitation, “hacking” or tampering with other computer systems, and viewing, downloading and/or printing child / adult pornography.
g)      Illegal use will be reported to the police.
h)      Users of the public network may not violate or circumvent copyright and other intellectual property rights. The Board will promote fair use copyright principles and will advise users of their legal responsibilities regarding these.
i)        Misuse or abuse of computers or programs is not acceptable. Offenders may be required to leave the library, and their library privileges may be suspended. In the case of staff and volunteers, appropriate disciplinary action will be taken.
j)        User-created files shall not be saved on any Library computer. Files that are saved will be immediately removed. Users may store files on personal removable storage media.
k)      User-supplied software shall not be installed on any Library computer, and users may not modify or reconfigure software installed on the Library’s computers.
l)        The Acceptable Use Rules will be posted on the Library’s website, and in the Library; these will be amended as required.
Section 7: Assistance from Staff
  1. Staff will provide assistance with:
a)      Access to the public workstations
b)      Helping customers begin their search for information
c)      Access to subscription databases and e-books, if available
Section 8: Compliance
  1. The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) will ensure that all staff and volunteers working in the Library are informed and familiar with this policy and the Acceptable Use Rules.
  2. The staff will make all reasonable efforts to ensure that all users comply with the Acceptable Use Rules.
  3. The Board will support its staff in their fair and informed enforcement of this policy and associated rules.
  4. Actions taken by library staff may be appealed to the CEO and the Board.
Related Documents:
Policy Number OP-01             Confidentiality and the Protection of Privacy
Policy Number FN-03             Intellectual Freedom
Policy Number OP-12             Children and Teen Services