West Orange Public Library: Policy On Internet Use
Access to Internet Resources
1.1 Subject to the conditions set forth below, the West Orange Public Library (the "Library") is committed to providing free, open, and equal access to the Internet. This policy furthers the Library's mission of offering the broadest range of material to West Orange's diverse community. It is consistent with the principles of intellectual freedom expressed in the American Library Association's Library Bill of Rights, which the Library endorses and follows.
1.2 The Internet is an unregulated medium. It offers access to material that may be personally, professionally, and culturally enriching. It also offers access to material that may be inaccurate, incomplete, untimely, illegal, and, in the view of some users, offensive to themselves or inappropriate for their children. The Library does not monitor and has no control over the information accessed through the Internet and is not responsible for its content. Under 47 U.S.C. section 230, the Library shall not be treated as the publisher of any information on the Internet provided by another party.
1.3 The Library's main Webpage, along with its Web pages for children and teens, is accessible at www.westorangelibrary.org. The Library's Web pages list recommended links to additional Websites so that users may more easily locate material suited to their particular ages or their particular interests. The Library is not responsible for the content of linked sites or for the content of sites accessed through subsequent links.
In Library Access
2.1 The Library affirms the right of each individual to have access to constitutionally protected material allowable in a public space. The Library also affirms the right and responsibility of parents and legal guardians of minor children to determine and monitor their own children's use of Library materials and resources.
2.2 Parents or guardians who wish to limit or restrict the access of their own children should personally oversee their children's use of the Internet. The Library does not monitor or supervise the use of computers by minors. The Library does not act in loco parentis; it does not take the place of parents or guardians in deciding what children may read or view. Parents and children are encouraged to read "Child Safety on the Information Highway," available at http://www.safekids.com; a link to this publication also appears on the Library's Children's Webpage.
2.3 As set forth in paragraphs 3.5 and 3.10 below, the Library supports users' right to privacy. The Library's workstations, however, cannot be made completely private or completely secure. Current technology cannot guarantee perfect security; users should be aware that electronic communications and files may become public. Users, moreover, should be mindful that the Library's computers are located in a shared and public space and that a user's research may be visible to passersby or to neighboring computer users. Because the library is a shared and public space and there is no part of the library that is not open to minors, patrons shall not use computers in the library to view materials considered to be obscene for persons under age 18 as defined by NJSA 2C:34-3
2.4 Library staff is available to assist users with reference questions. Staff, however, is unable to give users extensive instruction in computer or Internet use or provide users with extensive aid in troubleshooting equipment or Web-related problems.
Rules of Conduct
3.1 Persons wishing to use one of the Library's computers must obtain a Library card.
3.2 Computers are available on a first-come, first-served basis. An Internet computer session may be reserved by accessing the reservation software on the Library computer dedicated for this purpose.
3.3 West Orange library cardholders are entitled to computer sessions in one hour increments. West Orange library card holders may extend their own sessions at their computer if there is no waiting list.
3.4 Persons who do not have West Orange Library cards may request and use a one-hour Visitor Pass. When this time is expired no extension will be granted. Users may request and use another one-hour Visitor Pass. No extensions will be granted.
3.5 Printouts and disks may be purchased at the prevailing Library rate.
3.6 Misuse of Library computers may result in the termination of a user's access session or in suspension or loss of the privilege to use the Library's computers. Misuse includes, but is not limited to, using the computer for illegal activities; hacking into the Library computer system or any system; damaging or attempting to damage computer equipment or software; interfering with systems operations, integrity, or security; gaining unauthorized access to another person's files or otherwise invading the privacy of another user; sending harassing messages to other users; altering or attempting to alter the Library's computer settings; and violating copyright laws and software licensing agreements.
3.7 Users may not save data or programs on the hard drives of Library computers.
3.8 The Library is not responsible for damage done to users' disks, data, hardware, or software by any virus that may have been contracted on or through Library equipment. Although the Library has installed virus protection on its computers, it is impossible to protect against the appearance of a new virus.
3.9 The Library is not responsible for any damage done to computer users' disks, data, hardware, or software as a result of the malfunctioning of library hardware or software.
3.10 A user who has damaged, through inappropriate or unauthorized use, hardware or software owned or licensed by the Library will be liable for the cost incurred by the Library to repair the damage. If the damage is not repairable, the user will be liable for the cost incurred by the Library to replace the damaged hardware or software.
3.11 Users are asked to respect the privacy of other users. They may not seek access to another user's data or search history. They may not hover over a terminal being used by another. Persons invading the privacy of another user may be asked to leave the computer area; they also may lose computer privileges as set forth in paragraph 3.6 above.
3.12 The Library's computers are set up for the use of one person at a time. Parents or guardians, however, will be permitted to assist and supervise their children's use of the computers. Parents or guardians must supervise use of the computers by children ages seven or under.
3.13 The Library may, at its discretion, reserve computers for specific purposes.
3.14 Children in grade six or under may not use the Internet computers in the Adult Department.
Special Rules of Conduct Applicable To Children's Room
4.1 Except as otherwise set forth in paragraphs 4.2, all the rules, regulations, and policies set forth above apply with equal force to the use and operation of the Children's Room computers.
4.2 Only children in grade six or under may use the Children's Room computers. Parents or guardians may assist or supervise their children's use of the Children's Room computers, but may not use one of the Children's Room computers to conduct research of their own.
Approved by the West Orange Public Library Board of Trustees July 26, 2001, amended September 20, 2001, modified September 14, 2004, modified March 23, 2006, modified May 12, 2010, modified February 23, 2012, modified April 25, 2013. Modified March 25,2021