Computer and Internet Use

Mission

The Free Public Library of Hasbrouck Heights provides excellent library service to its residents. We accomplish this, in part, by offering free access to the Internet.

 

Internet Access

The Internet, a worldwide network of computer networks, is an essential medium for obtaining and transmitting information of all types. Therefore, public access to the Internet is extremely important to the mission of the Library to encourage life-long learning.

The Internet, however, is an unregulated medium. It also provides access to information that may be inaccurate, illegal, or that some may find offensive or disturbing. The Library as no control over the information found through the Internet and is not responsible for its content, timeliness, or accuracy.


Responsibilities of Library Staff and Users

Library staff will not monitor a user’s Internet use, except for length of use in order to ensure equal opportunity of access for everyone. The user, or the parent or guardian of a minor, is responsible for his or her Internet session at all times.

The Library reserves the right to terminate an Internet session that disrupts Library services or that involves user behavior that violates the Library’s policies.


The Library affirms the right and responsibility of parents/guardians, NOT Library staff, to determine and monitor their minor children’s use of the Internet. (Minors are defined in this policy as children and young adults under the age of 18 years.) Parents are responsible for their children’s use of the Library’s resources and facilities.


Disclaimers

While the Library endeavors to provide access to information of the highest quality, the Library specifically disclaims any liability as to the information's accuracy, timeliness, authoritativeness, usefulness or fitness for a particular purpose. The Library will have no liability for direct, indirect or consequential damage related to the use of information accessed through the Library's Internet service.


The Library will make every effort to maintain Internet access for all hours the Library is open to the public. The Library will have no liability, however, if the service becomes temporarily unavailable for technical reasons.


Since software and information downloaded from any sources, including the Internet, may contain computer viruses, users are advised to utilize virus-checking software on their home computers. The Library is not responsible for damage to users’ flash drives or computers or for any loss of data, damage or liability that may occur from use of the Library’s computers.


Use of Computers in the Children’s Department

Computers located in the Children’s Department are available to children and for the parents and caregivers supervising their children. The responsibility for and any restriction of a child’s use of the Internet rests solely with the child’s parent(s) or legal guardian.


Unacceptable Uses of Computers

All patrons are expected to comply with the Internet use guidelines described here. As with all library resources the Internet is to be used respectfully and appropriately.The public is prohibited from:

 

* Modifying any computer settings or equipment even for temporary use.
* Use of the Internet on library computers to send threatening, harassing, offensive
messages or images via the Internet or deliberately transmitting computer viruses
* Viewing offensive materials, such as pornography or vulgar images in any format.
* Jeopardizing the security access of computer network or other networks on the Internet.
* Misrepresenting themselves when using the Library's Internet access.

 

Patrons who engage in any of the above such activities will be reported to the proper authorities. Failure to comply with the policies described here may result in the suspension of library privileges.


Filters

The Free Public Library of Hasbrouck Heights does not filter its computers.


Filters are known to block sites with legal information that library users may find helpful for school, job, work, health and other needs. Filters also do not fully protect children from “objectionable material” such as hardcore pornography, hate speech and violence.


The Library strongly respects the right and responsibility of parents to guide their children’s library use, including the Internet. This Library encourages parents to learn about this important technology so they can guide their children.

A major purpose of libraries is to empower their users. User empowerment means having access to the broadest range of information.


The computers are placed in plain sight of both staff members and patrons.


Response to Violations

The user's access to the Library's computer network and Internet is a privilege, not a right. Failure to comply with this policy and its procedures will result in the forfeiture of the user's right to access the public computers.


The Library reserves the right to modify the policies as necessary to ensure the fair and reasonable use of the Internet.


The Library maintains no record of individuals using the Internet. The Library may keep a record of patrons violating the Internet Use Policy.


Consistent with the library’s mission and with professional principles of public librarianship, this Internet Use Policy affirms the safeguarding of First Amendment rights, intellectual freedom, equity of access, confidentiality of information about users and their use of all library resources including electronic and individual responsibility. The Library affirms the following principles and user rights as delineated in the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights in Cyberspace.



Approved by the Free Public Library Board of Trustees on March 18, 2014