Internet and Computer Use Policy
In order to fulfill its mission to the citizens of Anderson County, the Anderson County Library System provides access to an extensive range of informational, educational, and recreational resources, including those available through the Internet. This policy has been established to ensure responsible and appropriate use of the Internet and computers within the library system.
(1) Patrons must have their own library card in order to use the Internet. They may not use someone else’s card, even with their permission. Library cards and Temporary Internet cards are available at the checkout desk.
(2) Patrons must comply with the library’s Patron Conduct Code and the requests of staff members.
(3) The library has established sign-up procedures and time limits for use of the Internet workstations. The library has also established fees and procedures for printing. If you attempt to alter, bypass or disrupt these procedures or automated systems, you violate this policy. As all public workstations are set up to offer the same access and performance, staff may require that incoming users NOT insist on a specific computer, if that one is in use, when others are readily available.
(4) The library has installed web filtering software in accordance with applicable state and federal laws. If you attempt to bypass web filtering software or teach another person how to bypass such filters, you violate this policy. Ask a staff member if you believe a web site has been blocked in error.
(5) Library staff will assist Internet users in a manner consistent with other library services. The availability of staff and needs of other users will necessarily affect the extent of assistance we can provide.
(6) In addition to the above terms, you violate Internet and Computer Usage policy if you:
(a) Violate copyright laws or software licensing agreements.
(b) Display or send obscene (as defined by SC Code 16-15-305) images, messages, or files.
(c) Violate state, federal, or local laws or regulations.
(d) Use your own software media, or download or install software, including that containing pornographic content, on Internet or other library workstations.
(B) Penalties for Policy Violations
If you violate this policy, you may lose Internet access, including wireless access, or other library privileges. If you break the law, you may be prosecuted by local, state and federal authorities.
(C) Rights and Responsibilities of Users
The Internet enables access to a wealth of valuable and reliable information from a variety of sources. However, unlike most materials found in a library (books, magazines and audio-visual materials, which are selected by professional library staff) it also provides access to information that may be inaccurate, controversial, illegal, personally offensive to the viewer, or inappropriate for children. Individual users must exercise judgment in evaluating the validity and appropriateness of information retrieved via the Internet and must assume personal responsibility for their use of the workstation. The Anderson County Library System cannot be held liable for the content of any Internet site.
While the library upholds users’ rights to privacy and confidentiality in their use of all library resources, the nature of electronic resources makes it impossible to guarantee these rights. Since some Internet sites may be inappropriate for viewing in a public setting, users should exercise discretion in consideration of the rights of others.
(D) Children’s Use
Children under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult when using the Internet stations on the second floor of the Main Library or at any of the Internet computers in the branches. The Internet provides access to valuable educational and informational resources for minor children and youth, who are expected to abide by this policy. As with other library resources, the library affirms the responsibility of parents to determine the appropriateness of Internet resources for their children. Parents and guardians are strongly encouraged to supervise their children’s Internet use, as library staff cannot act in the place of a parent or guardian and assume this responsibility.
(E) Access Criteria
The library will implement software and/or network control mechanisms designed to limit or restrict access to sources of information or images deemed to be obscene within the scope of federal and state obscenity laws and the constitutional test for obscenity provided by the United States Supreme Court in the “Miller Test” announced in “Miller vs. California”, 413 U.S. 15, 24-25 (1973), “Smith v. United States”, 431 U.S. 291, 300-02, 309 (1977), and “Pope v Illinois”, 481 U.S. 497, 500-01 (1987), etc.
The library will also implement software and/or network control mechanisms designed to limit or restrict access to images that may be deemed to be child pornography, containing a visual representation of a minor under 18 years of age engaging in sexually explicit conduct, as defined in 18 U.S.C.2256. There is an inference that a participant in sexual activity, depicted as a minor through its title, text, visual representation, or otherwise, is a minor.
(F) Pornography Definitions
For Library purposes pornography is defined as information or images that may be deemed to be obscene, including hardcore pornography depicting sexual acts where penetration of the genitals is clearly visible, or where lewd exhibitions of the genitals, excretory functions and masturbation are exhibited.
Child pornography is defined in the same manner but with children as the focal point. It includes sexually suggestive photographs of children with the child portrayed as half or partially clothed, posed in such a way as to suggest or depict a willingness to engage in sexual activity or sexually coy attitude.
(G) Downloading Of Files Onto Data Storage Devices
Patrons may download information from Library computers onto data storage devices (disks or flash drives). Patrons may use their own data storage devices or ones that have been purchased from the Library.
Charges set by the library board apply to all printing from computers available within the Library System.
This policy replaces the policy approved by the Anderson County Library System Board of Trustees, 1997, and is subject to Board revision. Adopted September 10, 2001, Last revised October 20, 2008