Ann Arbor District Library Internet Policy
In keeping with our stated mission, Ann Arbor District Library in accordance to Michigan state laws provides limited public access to the Internet. Public access to the Internet is available to all users of the Ann Arbor District Library on selected computers throughout the Library system. The Library is making the Internet available to the public as an information and educational resource in support of our role as this community's information and lifelong learning center.
Consistent with our mission and the 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:
- Electronic information, services, and networks provided by libraries should be readily, equally, and equitably accessible to all library users.
- Libraries and librarians should not deny or limit access to information available via electronic resources because of its controversial content or because of personal beliefs or fears of confrontation.
- Information retrieved or utilized electronically should be considered constitutionally protected unless determined otherwise by a court with appropriate jurisdiction.
- Responsibility for, and any restriction of, a child's use of the Internet rests solely with his or her parents or legal guardians.
The Library assumes no responsibility for any damages, direct or indirect, arising from its connections to the Internet. The Library makes no guarantees, either expressed or implied, with respect to the quality or content of the information available on the Internet. Not all the information available via the Internet is accurate, current or complete. Users are encouraged to be good information consumers by evaluating the validity of information accessed via the Internet. If a Michigan court decision states that a particular website contains obscene material or sexually explicit material harmful to minors, the Library will block that site.
Users are cautioned that ideas, points of view, and images can be found on the Internet which are controversial, divergent and inflammatory. The provision of access does not mean or imply that the Library endorses or sanctions the content or point of view of any of the information or commentary which may be found on the Internet.
The Internet offers access to a wealth of information that can be personally, professionally and culturally enriching. Library staff have attempted to identify on the Library's home page specific starting points for searches and links to sources on the Internet which are consistent with the Library's mission and roles. But, because the Internet is a vast and unregulated information network, it also enables access to ideas, information, images and commentary beyond the confines of the Library's collection, mission, selection criteria and collection development policies. Because of this and the fact that access points on the Internet change often, rapidly and unpredictably, the Library cannot protect individuals from information and images which they might find offensive or disturbing.
Computers available to the public which can be used to access the Internet must be shared by library users of all ages, background and sensibilities. Since staff cannot consistently and effectively monitor the public's use of the Internet, customers are asked to be sensitive of others' values and beliefs when accessing potentially controversial information and images. If requested, the Library will provide filtered Internet access on a per session basis.
Users are cautioned that, because security in an electronic environment such as the Internet can not be guaranteed, all transactions, files and communications are vulnerable to unauthorized access and use and, therefore, should be considered public.
Access to Stations Dedicated to Children Under 18
Access to the Ann Arbor District Library Youth Department Internet stations at the Downtown library are restricted to users aged 14 and under and their parents. Parents must be accompanied by a child.
Child Safety on the Internet
Parents or guardians are responsible for the Internet information selected and/or accessed by their children. Children, under 18 years of age, who use the Internet unsupervised may be exposed to inappropriate or disturbing information and images. Parents are encouraged to discuss the use of the Internet in relation to family values and boundaries with their children and to monitor their children's use of the Internet.
To assist parents, the Library has available on-line and in print form the pamphlet "Child Safety on the Information Highway" published by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. The pamphlet includes "Guidelines for Parents" and "My Rules for On-line Safety." Parents are encouraged to review this information with their children.
All users of the Internet are expected to use this library resource in a responsible and courteous way, consistent with the purposes for which it is provided, and to follow all Internet-related rules, regulations and procedures established for its use including, but not limited to, those of the Library. Responsible, courteous use of the Internet includes:
- Recognizing that the Internet, like all of the Library's information sources, must be shared and used in a manner which respects the rights of others and refrains from activities that prevent others from using it.
- Using the Library's Internet resources for educational, informational and recreational purposes only.
- Refraining from using the Library's Internet resources to conduct a business or commercial enterprise, or engage in commercial activity such as the distribution of advertising.
- Refraining from illegal or unethical use of the Internet.
- Respecting intellectual property rights by making only authorized copies of copyrighted, licensed or otherwise-controlled software or data residing on the Internet.
- Respecting the privacy of others by not misrepresenting oneself as another user; by not attempting to modify or gain access to files, passwords, or data belonging to others; and by not seeking disallowed access to any computer system via the Internet.
- Refraining from damaging or altering the setup of the equipment used to access the Internet at the Library.
- Refraining from altering or damaging software or data residing in the Internet.
- Refraining from the deliberate propagation of computer worms and/or viruses.
- Refraining from the transmission of threatening, harassing or abusive language and images.
Compliance with the Library Policy and Guidelines
In addition to this specified policy, general guidelines for the use of all public-access computers govern the use of the Internet in the Library. Violation of the policies and regulations that govern the use of the Library's Internet resources may result in suspension or loss of the privilege to use these resources. Illegal activity involving the Library's Internet resources will be subject to prosecution by the appropriate authorities.
Computing resources at the Library are self-serve. When time permits, staff will be available to answer specific questions about computer applications and Internet searching.
The Library is not able to offer e-mail accounts to library users at this time.
Policy adopted by the Ann Arbor District Library Board on August 22, 1996.
Revisions adopted December 18, 2000, March 24, 2003, and June 19, 2006.