Acceptable Use Policy

 

KDL Policy 4.6.1

The Library allows access to a variety of electronic resources. This includes the Lakeland online catalog, the catalogs of other libraries, a variety of databases, and the Internet. The Internet stations also provide access to a variety of office software. No station provides support for all file types, browser plug-ins, or Internet technologies. The Library recognizes this is a dynamic environment with content that constantly changes.

Kent District Library neither has control over resources offered through the Internet nor has complete knowledge of what is on the Internet. Information on the Internet may be reliable and current or may be inaccurate, out-of-date, and unavailable at times. Some content may be offensive. Library users access the Internet at their own discretion. The Internet is not governed by any entity so there are no limits or checks on the kind of information contained there. Only a user can decide on the accuracy, completeness, and currency of the content.

Consistent with the Library Privacy Act, MCL 397.601 et seq. ("Privacy Act"), and this Acceptable Use Policy, Kent District Library respects the privacy of patrons when they use a Library computer. The Library reserves the right, however, to monitor a patron's use of a Library computer for compliance with this Acceptable Use Policy. Although the Library generally shall not retain a record of a patron's use of a Library computer beyond 24 hours, the Library may retain such a record for any investigation and determination of a potential or actual violation of this Policy (including appeals).

In particular, and without limiting the foregoing, Library staff may produce a screen shot of a Library computer for evidentiary purposes if a Library staff member has a reasonable suspicion that a patron is using the computer in violation of this Acceptable Use Policy. Any record of a patron's use, including a screen shot, shall be retained by the Library only so long as appropriate for any investigation and determination regarding a potential or actual violation. By accepting this Policy prior to using a Library computer, a patron is consenting to monitoring of the patron's use of the Library computer (including screen shots).


Filtering

In accordance with Federal and State law (the Children's Internet Protection Act, 47 USC §254 and 20 USC §101, and Section 6 of the Privacy Act), all Library computers with Internet access are filtered. Note, however, that no filter is 100% effective. Parents or legal guardians are responsible for their minor child's reading, listening, and viewing of Library material, including the Internet.

Compliance with the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) requires filters that block access to visual depictions that are obscene or child pornography, as defined by 47 USC §254. CIPA also requires protection against access by patrons under age 17 to visual depictions that are harmful to minors, as defined by 47 USC §254. A patron who is at least 17 years of age may request the disabling of software used to filter visual depictions on a computer used by that patron, provided that he/she will use the unfiltered computer for bonafide research or other lawful purposes. Library staff will not inquire into the reasons for disabling the filter.

Patrons are responsible for complying with this Policy when accessing the Internet. In addition to other provisions of this Policy, patrons (including minors) shall not access visual depictions that are obscene or child pornography as defined by Federal law (47 USC §254(h)(7)(E), (F)) and shall not access or view obscene matter as defined in §2 of 1984 PA 343, MCL 752.362 (PA 343). In addition, patrons who are minors for purposes of Federal law shall not access visual depictions that are harmful to minors as defined by Federal law (47 USC §254(h)(7)(G)) and patrons who are minors under State law shall not access or view sexually explicit matter that is harmful to minors as defined in PA 343. Subject to other demands on staff time for library services, the Library staff will make a good faith effort to monitor periodically the use of Library computers by minors. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Library holds the parents or legal guardians responsible for their minor children's use of the Internet in light of the fallibilities of filters and other demands on Library staff time.

In order to further comply with CIPA the Library has taken certain measures to assist in the safe and effective use of the Internet by individuals under the age of 17, as follows:

To address the issue of access by minors to inappropriate matter on the Internet, including material that is harmful to minors, the Library:
  1. Maintains the filtering program described above to block Internet access to visual depictions that are obscene, child pornography and, in the case of use by minors, harmful to minors.
  2. Allows adults to request that content filters be turned off.
To address the issue of the safety and security of minors when using electronic mail, chat rooms, and other forms of direct electronic communications, as well as unauthorized disclosure of, use, and dissemination of personal identification regarding minors, the Library urges minors to follow the safety guidelines below:
  1. Never give out identifying information such as home address, school name, or telephone number.
  2. Let parents or guardians decide whether personal information such as age or financial information should be provided online.
  3. Never arrange a face-to-face meeting with someone through a computer without parent or guardian approval.
  4. Never respond to messages that are suggestive, obscene, or threatening.
  5. Remember that people online may not be who they say they are.
To address the issue of unauthorized access, including so-called "hacking" and other unlawful activities by minors online:
  1. Minors and all other Library Internet users are required to agree to an online Internet User Agreement that states that "Library computers are not to be used for any illegal activity."

In addition, if a patron requests a specific site to be unblocked from the filtering program, the branch manager shall refer the request for review by administrative staff to determine whether it contains obscene matter or sexually explicit matter that is harmful to minors. If it does not, the administrative staff may authorize the system wide unblocking of the site. The patron will be informed of the decision in writing. The decision may be appealed in writing within seven (7) days to the Director, or the Director's designee, whose decision shall be final.


Violations

The Library's computers, network, and Internet connection may not be used for any illegal activity or in an unauthorized manner in violation of this Acceptable Use Policy. Illegal acts will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

Users violating this Policy will first be asked to comply. For individuals who repeatedly violate this Policy after previous warnings, the Library reserves the right to prohibit use of the Library's computers, network, Internet connection, and/or the Library for a period up to 72 hours by action of the branch manager or the staff member in charge. An individual may appeal this decision to the Library Director, or the Director's designee.

The Library also reserves the right to prohibit use of the Library's computers, network, Internet connection, and/or the Library for a period of time exceeding 72 hours by action of the Library Director. In such instances, an individual will be informed of the decision in writing by certified mail, and may appeal this decision in writing within seven (7) days to the Library Director, or the Director's designee, whose decision shall be final.


Time and Other Limits

Each individual is allowed to use the Library's public computers one (1) hour per day. More time may be allowed if computer stations are free. Extensions for additional time are done electronically at those branches with reservation software. At branches without this software, patrons may ask staff to extend the time limit.

All computers will be electronically shut down five (5) minutes before the Library closes.


Precautions

Software and other files downloaded from the Internet may contain viruses or spyware that may infect other computers. Kent District Library is not responsible for damage or loss that may occur from use of the Library's computers.

Since the Internet is not secure, patrons are responsible to ensure that their personal data is not compromised. Sending any information, including credit card numbers, via the Internet is at the sole risk of the user. Kent District Library has no control over the security of this data.

A fee may be charged for material printed from KDL computers.


Revised 12-20-12