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Berkeley Public Library
Technology Policy for Public and Staff
Libraries make it possible for citizens to obtain access to the information needed to make informed decisions. As a member of the Illinois Library and Information Network (ILLINET), the Berkeley Public Library is committed to networking by maximizing the use of resources available in all types of libraries. Every library user benefits from expanded access to information beyond the four walls of a brick and mortar building. Free Internet access is one of many services that the Berkeley Public Library offers to Berkeley residents seeking information.
The Internet contains resources to materials and opinions representing various points of view. Most resources available through the Internet are “global” resources rather than “local” resources. Berkeley Public Library cannot control the information content available through global resources from outside sources via the Internet. Internet sources enhance and supplement resources that are available locally within a library. Library users must be aware that the Berkeley Public Library does not exercise control over information obtained via the Internet and must keep in mind the following points when evaluating information obtained via the Internet:
- Information obtained via the Internet may or may not be reliable and may or may not be obtained from a reliable source.
- Information obtained via the Internet may or may not be accurate.
- Information obtained via the Internet may or may not be current and up to date.
- Links to information on the Internet may not always be valid, and particular information sites on the Internet may sometimes be unavailable and this unavailability often occurs unpredictably.
- Certain information obtained via the Internet may be considered controversial by some library patrons.
- The Library does not censor patrons’ access to materials or protect patrons from information they may find offensive.
The Berkeley Public Library urges library users to be informed consumers and carefully evaluate information obtained via the Internet. Library staff is available to assist patrons in making judgments about the reliability or currency of information, but cannot provide definitive analysis of particular sources due to the extremely large variety and volume of information available via the Internet.
Berkeley Public Library is not responsible for damages, indirect or direct, arising from a library patron’s use of Internet resources.
Library Patrons’ Rights
Library patrons have certain rights with respect to the use of electronic information networks such as the Internet:
- Library patrons have the right to confidentiality and privacy in the use of electronic information networks to the extent possible, given certain constraints such as proximity of other patrons and staff in public access settings. Users should be advised that because security is technically difficult to achieve on the Internet and computers are located in public areas, electronic transmissions of files and information and viewing screens could become public.
- Library patrons have the right to equitable access to electronic information networks.
- Library patrons have the right to access and read all library service policies and discuss questions with appropriate library staff.
PATRON ASSISTANCE AND INSTRUCTION
Berkeley Public Library staff will provide assistance to patrons in the use of electronic information networks and can offer searching suggestions as time permits. However, Library staff cannot provide in-depth training on Internet use or any of various software applications.
USE OF EQUIPMENT AND NETWORKS
The Berkeley Public Library requires that library patrons using electronic information networks such as the Internet do so within the guidelines of acceptable use. The following activities are unacceptable:
- Use of electronic information networks for any purpose which results in the harassment of other users.
- Destruction of, damage to or unauthorized alteration of the library’s computer equipment, software, or network security procedures.
- Use of electronic information networks in any way which violates a Federal or State law.
- Attempting to use the Library’s electronic information network to operate a personal business.
- Use of electronic information networks in any way which violates licensing and payment agreements between the Berkeley Public Library and network/database providers/vendors.
- Unauthorized duplication of copyright protected software or violation of software license agreements.
- Violation of system security.
- Behaving in a manner that is disruptive to other users, including but not limited to overuse of computer equipment, which serves to deny access to other users.
- Transmitting threatening or obscene materials or interfering with or disrupting network users, services or equipment.
- Unsolicited advertising is not allowed.
- Attempting to subscribe to fee-based services on the Internet.
- Users may not represent themselves as another person.
CHILDREN’S ACCESS TO ELECTRONIC INFORMATION NETWORKS
The Berkeley Public Library supports the right of all library users to access information and will not deny access solely by age.
The Berkeley Public Library recognizes that electronic information networks such as the Internet may contain information that is inappropriate for children. Parents are expected to monitor and supervise their children’s use of the Internet. Library staff does not monitor children’s use of library materials or Internet resources. Parents are encouraged to discuss safety issues and appropriate use of electronic information with their children.
BREACH OF POLICY
Violation of any aspect of this policy can result in the loss of library privileges.