As part of fulfilling its mission to "provide learning resources and information services that support and improve individual, family and community life", St. Louis Public Library provides Internet access. The Internet offers electronic links to thousands of websites that contain valuable local, national and international sources of information. Every library Internet computer user, however, has the responsibility to evaluate the accuracy, currency, completeness, validity and appropriateness of information they find.
Choosing and Evaluating Sources
The Internet is a series of electronic communication links leading to a highly diverse array of information. Library patrons use it at their own risk. In an effort to assist its users, the Library has created web sites for adults and children to help guide them to sources that are accurate, complete and current and that provide them with a wealth of information on the local, national and global level. In addition, the Library provides training for members of the public to assist them in using the Internet in a safe, effective and efficient manner
As part of their effort to help patrons find what they need easily, library staff create links to Internet websites within the institutions selection and reference guidelines. The Library bears no responsibility for changes in content of selected websites, for the content of sources accessed through secondary links or for Internet content generally.
Filtering (implemented July 1, 2004)
In compliance with the Childrens Internet Protection Act (CIPA) the Library has installed filtering software on its computers that have Internet access. The filtering device is designed to protect against access to visual depictions that are obscene, harmful to minors and child pornography, as required by law.
Users should be aware of the limitations of Internet filtering software. While designed to restrict access to Internet content that could be deemed inappropriate, these systems are no substitute for individual judgement and/or parental involvement and oversight. Filters may block sites which have legitimate research value, as well as allowing some content through which parents might find objectionable.
In accordance with the law, Library staff may disable the filtering device to enable adult users, age 18 and above, access for bona fide research or other lawful purposes.
Rules Governing Use
St. Louis Public Library provides cardholders with computers connected to the Internet. Cardholders must use their own personal St. Louis Public Library card and PIN number when using or booking Library computers. The Library does not provide or maintain e-mail accounts or e-mail software. On their own, library Internet customers may access web-based e-mail systems. The library does not endorse any e-mail system. The Library determines the levels and types of Internet services available, including which browser software versions and plug-ins are available.
The library has established procedures that govern the amount of time an individual user can devote to a single session, determine scheduling priorities for various types of computers, and specify the conditions under which a customers computer session may be terminated by staff.
The library expects Internet users to comply with the terms of the librarys Internet policies, the policies of the Librarys Internet service provider, and all applicable federal, state and local laws, including but not limited to criminal, copyright, privacy, defamation and obscenity laws. The Library will render all reasonable assistance to local, state or federal officials for the investigation and prosecution of persons using Library technology in violation of any law.
Users may not:
Violations of this policy may result in loss of access and/or St. Louis Public Library privileges. Unlawful activities will be dealt with in an appropriate manner (see Rules Governing Use of St. Louis Public Library).
St. Louis Public Library does not assume responsibility for any damages, direct or indirect, arising from use of the Library's computers, network, or Internet connection.
Users agree to INDEMNIFY AND HOLD HARMLESS the Library, its employees, and agents from any claim, demand, liability, cause of action, suit, judgment, or expense (including attorney's fees), arising out of any use of the Librarys computer equipment, network, phone lines, wireless service, or Internet connection.
Internet Use by Minors
The parents of minor children are responsible for their children's use of the Library and its resources. As part of that responsibility, parents are responsible for their children's use of the Internet through the library's computers. As part of compliance with federal and state law, the Library requires a parents written permission for persons under the age of eighteen to use the institutions Internet computers. Parents or legal guardians should guide their children in use of the Internet and inform them about materials they should not use. To help parents with this important responsibility, the Library has taken certain measures designed to assist in the safe and effective use of these resources by all minors. In compliance with the Neighborhood Childrens Internet Protection Act (NCIPA), these measures are:
Users should be aware that the Internet is not a secure medium and that third parties may be able to obtain information regarding users' activities. However, St. Louis Public Library will not release information on the use of specific Internet resources by members of the public except as required by law or as necessary for the proper operation of the Library.
Adopted by the Board of Directors: April 1, 2002
Revised April 3, 2006