Public Internet Services Policy

Policy Type: OPERATIONAL

Policy Number: OP 03

Policy Title: Public Internet Services Policy

Initial Policy Approval Date: Apr 20/05
Last Review/Revision Date: May 27/19
Year of next review: May 2021

The Wawa Public Library endorses the use of the Internet as an essential source of information to complement traditional library collections. The internet is also recognized as an essential communication tool, connecting individuals and communities of interest. This policy establishes the provision of public network services to access the internet and the acceptable use of these services.

Section 1: Reliability and Appropriateness of Information on the Internet

  • Resources will be made available to inform users about the reliability and appropriateness of information available on the Internet.
  • 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.
  • The board is not responsible for the quality, legality, appropriateness or availability of any Internet sources accessed through the library’s public network.
  • Section 2: Access to the Public Network

    The Internet functions in an unregulated, global environment and, therefore, provides access to a wide variety of resources over which the library has no control. The Library endeavors to minimize the opportunity for unintentional exposure by people using library space to content being accessed by another library user. The board will ensure that access to, and use of, the public network is compatible with the Wawa Public Library policy or Intellectual FreedomFN – 04.

  • Wired and/or wireless access to the Internet via public computers or users’ personal devices is free.
  • The Library provides workstations that are adapted for people with disabilities.
  • The Library reserves the right to set time limits or ask users to limit their time on the public computers. The staff reserve the right to adjust computer time and scheduling as necessary.
  • The Library does not use filtering software. It is the position of the Board that the technology is contrary to the principle of intellectual freedom and that is not effective in making the internet safer for children nor in preventing criminal activity.
  • In respect of the range of sensibilities and viewpoints of its diverse clientele, staff will remind users that they are in a public space and will encourage all users to respect the sensibilities of others. The staff reserve the right to redirect users whose activities on the public computers or their personal devices diminish the enjoyment of the library space by others.
  • 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 devices can be captured by anyone else with a wireless device and appropriate software.
  • 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.
  • The library is not responsible for any damages sustained while using a personal device.
  • 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 has been entered via the public network.
  • Section 3: Privacy and Confidentiality

  • Use of the library’s public network falls under the provision of the library’s Confidentiality and the Protection of Privacy Policy, OP – 01.
  • Privacy at the workstations is not guaranteed and users must respect the privacy of others. Internet workstations are situated in public areas, and content being viewed by users may be seen by other people. Staff will take reasonable measures to ensure privacy and confidentiality.
  • Section 4: Use by Children

  • Children may access all information and use all facilities provided by the library.
  • The library has not installed filtering software on any of its computers.
  • The board will ensure that children’s and youths’ access to the Internet is compatible with the policy on Children’s Services OP – 10 and the policy on Intellectual Freedom FN – 04.
  • The board accepts NO responsibility for enforcing restrictions which a parent or guardian places on a child’s use of the Internet resources.
  • 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 by providing guidelines for ‘Internet Safety’.
  • Parents will:
    1. 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, means up to, and including, the age of 16.

    Section 5: Acceptable Use

  • To ensure equitable access to the public network and efficient us of resources, the board sets rules for public network access and reserves the right to modify these whenever and wherever appropriate.
  • Users who deliberately violate the rules may have their library privileges suspended.
  • The Acceptable Use Rules are:
    1. users should view the use of the computers for Internet access in the same way as they view the use of the general collection, that is, they are shared resources.
    2. users should view the use of the public computers and personal devices in the library the same way as they view the use of any library space and should restrain from activities that disturb others and use designated spaces for groups and audio. (e.g. Skype)
    3. when viewing the Internet, users should be respectful of sensibilities of others.
    4. 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, viewing, downloading and/or printing child pornography. Illegal use will be reported to the police.
    5. users of the public network may not violate or circumvent copyright and other intellectual property rights. The board will promote fair us copyright principles and will advise users of their legal responsibilities regarding these.
    6. misuse or abuse of computers or software is not acceptable. Offenders may be required to leave the library. User-created files shall not be saved on the library’s computers.
    7. Files that are saved will be removed. Users may store files on personal removable storage media.
    8. user-supplied software shall not be installed on the library’s computers, and users may not modify or reconfigure software installed on the library’s computers.
  • The staff will make all reasonable efforts to ensure that all users comply with the Acceptable Use Rules.
  • Section 6: Assistance from Staff

  • Staff will provide assistance with:
    1. access to the public workstations and personal devices
    2. helping users begin their search for information
    3. access to subscription databases and e-books

    Section 7: The Wawa Public Library’s Website

  • The library will maintain a website that provides:
    1. information about services and operations
    2. access to the catalogue
    3. access to subscription databases and e-books
    4. a selected, evaluated and organized collection of reliable and current information sources available on the Internet
    5. a range of accessibility features through assistive technology conforming with WCAG 2.0 guidelines and staff assistance, upon request for people with disabilities

    Section 8: Email

  • Users may set up e-mail accounts through web-based hosts. These accounts are free of charge and password-driven to ensure privacy.
  • Users are reminded to properly log-out from their e-mail accounts.