Internet Access And Privacy Policy

5. Internet Access and Privacy Policy

The Minerva Public library provides open access to the Internet as an integral part of its mission. By providing Internet service in the building, the library enhances its existing collection in size and depth, and can “level the playing field” by providing every patron with access to this valuable resource.

5.1 Intellectual Freedom and Acceptable Use
The same standards of intellectual freedom, privacy, and confidentiality endorsed by the library apply to all the resources and services it provides. The library has a policy of open access to all parts of its collections, including access to the Internet. The library does not restrict use based on age or place of residence, and generally does not prioritize use based on information need.

The library seeks to protect the First Amendment rights of its patrons and their individual right to privacy. However, Internet users must be sensitive to the fact that workstations are in public areas and, therefore, images on the screen are subject to view by a wide audience. The workstations owned and operated by the Minerva Public library will be used for educational, informational, entertainment, and recreational purposes only; they may not be used for illegal purposes or for displaying graphics that may be reasonably construed as obscene.

Misuse of the computers or Internet connection may result in the loss of library computer privileges.

5.2 Use of the Internet by Children
As is the case with the use of all other library materials and resources, parents, guardians and caregivers are responsible for their minor children’s use of the Internet. It is the parent or guardian who sets family standards and values, and the library cannot usurp that right nor assume that responsibility. The Internet offers an opportunity for parents or guardians to hold discussions with their children about their family’s standards. Parents or guardians are strongly encouraged to work with their children to develop acceptable rules of Internet use and to assist their children in using the internet.

5.3  Privacy

The library’s website is provided for information purposes only.

The Minerva Public Library collects no personal information from website visitors.  The library uses cookies to collect traffic data for analysis, and uses Google Analytics to track general use as described by Google, but does not track or permanently record information about individuals and their visits.                                                                                                     

5.4 Use of the Workstations
All patrons must register at the Adult or Youth Services Service Desks to use an Internet workstation. No Internet workstations may be reserved or scheduled in advance. All workstations are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

A patron’s Internet session is limited to a set number of minutes if other patrons are waiting. If no one is waiting, the patron may stay on past the time limit until the computer is needed by another patron. Patrons are welcome to return and use the Internet throughout the day.

The library generally limits the number of patrons using a single workstation to two. We realize that a parent or guardian may want to work with a child at one workstation and the library wishes to encourage that interaction.

5.5 Responsibility

The Internet is not a monitored environment, and while there is a vast amount of reliable information available on the Internet, not all of the sources there provide accurate, complete, or current information; and some might be offensive to some library customers.

The Internet is a rapidly changing environment.  The library does not monitor and has no control over the information obtained and is not responsible for its content. Users of the Internet must be responsible for determining that the information they access is acceptable, reliable, and suitable to their needs. The inclusion of any links from the library website to other websites does not necessarily imply a recommendation or endorsement of the views expressed within those sites.

All users of the electronic resources of the library agree to hold the Minerva Public Library harmless for any and all claims, losses or damages, obligations or liabilities directly or indirectly relating to the use of the library website and the Internet.  In no event shall the Minerva Public Library have any liability for lost profits or for indirect, special, punitive, or consequential damages, or any liability to any third party, even if the Minerva Public Library is advised of the possibility of such damages.