Internet Use and Policy Guidelines

Policy No. 200-6 (J)

Purpose: The Pacific Grove Public Library makes available information in a variety of formats, print, nonprint and electronic. This policy establishes the guidelines for public use of the Internet as an access to electronic resources from information networks.


1. Access to Internet Resources

1.1 The Pacific Grove Public Library seeks to inform, educate and culturally enrich by providing books and other library materials for all library users.

1.2 The Pacific Grove Public Library supports the democratic principle of the citizen's right to free access to information. The Library endorses the American Library Association's Intellectual Freedom statements, including The Library Bill of Rights, The Freedom to Read Statement.

1.3 Throughout its history the Pacific Grove Public Library has made information available in a variety of formats, from print to audiovisual materials. The Library now has the computers to add electronic resources from information networks around the world to the Library's other resources.

1.4 In providing Internet access as an information resource, the Pacific Grove Library's goal is to enhance its existing collection in size and depth, and as a public access agency give opportunity to anyone who wishes to participate in navigating the Internet, either at the Library or at home through the Library's web site.

1.5 The Internet allows access to ideas, information and commentary from around the globe. The Internet is a vast, unregulated global network of information resources. As such, it provides access to materials which may be personally, professionally, and culturally enriching to individuals of all ages; it also enables access to material that may be inaccurate or controversial as well as materials which may be offensive to some users.

1.6 The Library only assumes responsibility for the information provided on the home page and the supporting web pages resident on its server. The Pacific Grove Public Library does not monitor and has no control over the information accessed through the Internet. The Library provides links to useful and interesting sites, but the Library does not edit or restrict Internet content. The Library upholds everyone's intellectual freedom and applies no restriction on the right to read, listen or view. As with other sources, patrons themselves must evaluate the information. Users are responsible for the choice of sites that they visit.

1.7 It is the Library's policy that parents or legal guardians must assume responsibility for deciding what library resources are appropriate for their children. There may be some resources parents may feel are inappropriate for their children. Parents should let their children know if there are materials they do not want them to use. Parents who are concerned about their children's use of library electronic resources should provide guidance to their own children. Restriction of a minor's access to library resources including the Internet is the responsibility of the parent or guardian; the Library does not have the right or responsibility to act in the parent's place. At least one library computer will be designated as a Children's workstation. Selected web pages on this workstation will guide young users to age-appropriate educational and fun sites selected by Library staff. Parents and guardians should be aware that children will not be restricted to these sites.

2. Access

2.1 Internet workstations are available during normal library hours except during maintenance periods. Workstations will be shut down 15 minutes before the library closes.

2.2 Pre-registration and time limits may be imposed at workstations based on public use.

2.3 Downloading is not available on Internet workstations.

2.4 Printing is available for a fee as established by the City's current Master Fee Schedule.

2.5 Library Reference staff will provide basic assistance to patrons using the Internet; however, staff cannot provide extended training or technical support for Internet users.

3. Privacy

3.1 The Library respects but cannot guarantee users' rights to confidentiality when using Library resources, including the Internet. Patrons should respect the privacy of Internet users and Internet users should not show displayed material to other Library patrons.

3.2 While respecting the user's right to privacy, Library staff may take appropriate action to resolve problems that might arise during the use of the Library's Internet service and to enforce Library policies and rules.

4. Appropriate Use of the Library's Internet Service

4.1 The Library's Internet workstations are primarily for research, educational and informational use.

4.2 The Library does not provide local email accounts, access to newsgroups, Internet Relay Chat software, nor disk access for downloading files from the Internet.

4.3 Patrons who wish to use the Library workstations to check their own email accounts may do so only if there is a free workstation.

4.4 The Library's Internet workstations may not be used to purchase products online.

4.5 Any use of the Internet that violates Federal, California, or local laws is prohibited. Examples of illegal activities include but are not limited to fraud and displaying or distributing child pornography or other obscene materials.

4.6 The Internet must be used in a responsible manner, consistent with appropriate behavior for the Library. Users must be quiet, courteous towards others, and respectful of Library equipment.

4.7 Users may not modify Library hardware or software, change configurations, or attempt to access non-public files or accounts.

4.9 The United States Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S. Code) prohibits the unauthorized reproduction of copyrighted materials, except as permitted by the principle of "fair use." This includes most electronic information sources. Users may not copy or distribute many electronic materials without the explicit permission of the copyright holder. Users are responsible for any consequences of copyright infringement.

4.10 Both the City of Pacific Grove and the Pacific Grove Public Library are committed to providing an environment free from sexual harassment. Internet users are asked to refrain from the display of material which may be interpreted as part of an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment. Internet users should not attempt to show material displayed to other library patrons or staff.

Failure to follow these guidelines and any of the other rules for Internet use in the Library may result in suspension of Internet privileges. Continued violation may result in suspension of library privileges as provided by the Pacific Grove Public Library's "Library Behavior Policy."

Approved by the Pacific Grove Public Library Board, January 11, 2000

Adopted by the Pacific Grove City Council, February 9, 2000