internet policy

long hill township library provides public access to the internet in keeping with its mission to serve the community's educational, informational, cultural and recreational needs.

consistent with our mission and the professional principles of public librarianship, this internet use policy affirms the safeguarding of first amendment rights, intellectual freedom, equity of access, confidentiality of information about users and their use of all library resources including electronic, and individual responsibility. the library affirms the following principles and user rights as delineated in the american library association's bill of rights in cyberspace:

the library assumes no responsibility for any damages, direct or indirect, arising from its connections to the internet. the library makes no guarantee, either expressed or implied, with respect to the quality or content of the information available on the internet. not all the information available via the internet is accurate, current or complete. users are encouraged to be good information consumers by evaluating the validity of information accessed via the internet.

users are cautioned that ideas, points of view and images can be found on the internet which are controversial, divergent and/or inflammatory. the provision of access does not mean or imply that the library endorses or sanctions the content or point of view of any of the information or commentary which may be found on the internet.

the internet offers access to a wealth of information that can be personally, professionally and culturally enriching. library staff have attempted to identify on the library's home page specific starting points for searches and links to sources on the internet which are consistent with the library's mission and roles. but, because this is a vast and unregulated information net work, it also enables access to ideas, information, images and commentary beyond the confines of the library's collection, mission, selection criteria and collection development policies. because of this and the fact that access points on the internet can and do change often, rapidly and unpredictably, the library cannot protect individuals from information and images which they might find offensive or disturbing.

since the library computers on which the public can access the internet are located in public areas which must be shared by library users of all ages, backgrounds and sensibilities, individuals are asked to consider this when accessing potentially controversial information and images. library staff cannot consistently and effectively monitor the public's use of the internet. yet the library reserves the right to ask individuals to discontinue the display of information and images which cause a disruption.

users are cautioned that, because security in an electronic environment such as the internet cannot be guaranteed, all transactions, files and communication are vulnerable to unauthorized access and use and, therefore, should be considered public.

child safety on the internet

parents or guardians are responsible for the internet information selected and/or accessed by their children. children who use the internet unsupervised may be exposed to inappropriate or disturbing information and images. parents are encouraged to discuss the use of the internet in relation to family values and boundaries with their children and to monitor their children's use of the internet.

to assist parents, the library has available in print form, the pamphlet child safety on the information highway published by the national center for missing and exploited children, which include "guidelines for parents" and "my rules for online safety." parents are encouraged to review this information with their children.

user responsibilities

all users of the internet are expected to use this library resource in a responsible and courteous manner, consistent with the purpose for which it is provided, and to follow all internet-related rules, regulations and procedures established for its use including, but not limited to, those of the library. responsible, courteous use of the internet includes:

compliance with library policy and guidelines

in addition to this specific policy, general guidelines for the use of all public access computers govern the use of the internet in the library. violation of the policies and regulations that govern the use of the library's internet resources may result in suspension or loss of the privilege to use these resources. illegal activity involving the library's internet resources will be subject to prosecution by the appropriate authorities.

staff assistance

staff will assist library users in getting started on the internet. however, the library cannot guarantee the internet-trained staff will be available to assist users at all times the library is open. regrettably, staff is not able to offer extensive explanations about the internet or personal computer use or provide in-depth training. time permitting, staff will try to answer specific questions about the internet and offer suggestions for effective searching. staff can also provide information about internet training opportunities and internet books and manuals.

e-mail

the library is not able to offer e-mail accounts; however, patrons may apply for "free" accounts at sites such as "hotmail.com" or "yahoo.com" and access these from the public computers in the library.

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