Public Internet and Computer Access Policy
As provided in the Uintah County Library’s Mission Statement, the internet is recognized as a valuable information resource. The provision of this service to the public, however, is subject to Federal, state, and local laws, available funding, physical space, and public need or demand.
The Uintah County Public Library offers a variety of computer services to the community. This Computer Use Policy was developed under the direction of the Library Board of Directors in order to meet the provisions of the applicable Utah Code Sections. This policy includes rules for use and is guided by the Federal Children’s Internet Protection Act and portions of the Utah Code described in UCA 9-7-213, 9-7-215, and 9-7-216 and Administrative Rule 223-2, and is reviewed at least once every three years. The current version of the policy is posted at the library circulation desk and on the library website (http://www.uintah.lib.ut.us/). A summary of the
library laws regarding internet use is provided on the opening screen of each public Internet computer session in the library.
Providing public internet service entails the commitment of significant Library resources, both in originating computer services and continued maintenance. In initiating service or attempting to meet public demand for such service, the Library enters into contractual relationship with users
of that service. In this contractual relationship, all parties have certain obligations and responsibilities.
Responsibilities of Uintah County Library
- The Library will provide internet services to the public at reasonably fast transmission rates though commonly available workstations.
- The Library will maintain computer internet services at reasonably fast transmission levels so long as public interest demands it and the service can be financially supported.
- The Library will enhance computer services to meet public needs and/or emerging technologies subject to existing funding and facilities.
- The Library will assist the user by providing browsing, downloading, and printing capabilities, as well as answer basic questions regarding computer and software operation and the internet in general. The Library is currently unable to provide exhaustive or formal internet training.
- The Library will allow fair and open access to internet resources; however, the Uintah County Library restricts access to Internet or online sites that contain material described in U.C.A. Section 9-7-215. Filters will be maintained on all library computers to prevent access to such sites through the Utah Education Network (UEN). Adult patrons are entitled to request that a filter be disabled for purposes of research or other lawful purpose.
- Regulation and security of internet resources will be maintained for the purpose of preserving the resource as well as providing for the orderly and efficient use of a publicly shared medium.
- The Library will solicit and encourage users and other interested parties to comment on the level and quality of service as well as suggest service or product enhancements.
Public Internet Access User Responsibilities
The Internet, a world-wide network of computer networks, is an essential medium for obtaining and transmitting information of all types. However, the Internet is an unregulated medium, and information that is inaccurate, illegal, or that some may find offensive or disturbing, is available for access. To initiate a session using the Internet, all users must agree to the library’s use policy, which appears on the browser’s opening screen.
The Library restricts access to the Internet or online sites that contain material described in Utah Code Annotated §9-7-215, prohibits illegal activity on Internet computers, and takes no responsibility for content of materials viewed on the Internet. Briefly, illegal activity under Utah law includes gambling, fraud, and viewing materials legally defined as child pornography, obscenity, and materials harmful to minors. For the complete text of the Utah code that pertains to Internet use in the Library, please ask the library staff or find it on the World Wide Web: (Utah Code Annotated 9-7-213, 9-7-215, 9-7-216 and Rule 223.2).
- Misuse, abuse or modification of software and/or hardware is strictly forbidden.
- Searches conducted and materials retrieved must meet community standards and comply with all relevant local, state and national laws.
- Accessing sexually explicit, pornographic sites or materials is expressly forbidden.
- Accessing sites inciting violence, racial hatred, or criminal activity is expressly forbidden.
- Downloads and printouts must adhere to current copyright law.
- Engaging in computer ‘hacking’ or unauthorized network access is forbidden.
- Disruptive, combative, or boisterous behavior is not permitted.
- Users must comply with all relevant Library and resource use policies.
- Confidentiality or privacy is not guaranteed. The internet is not a secure medium and user access may be monitored at any point by either authorized or unauthorized individuals.
- The Library reserves the right to deny internet or Library services to individuals violating the law and/or library policies. Illegal activities will be reported to the appropriate authorities.
- Children’s Computers: Parents must sign the “Internet Use Agreement” in order for their children to use the library computers. The Library takes no responsibility for content of materials that children view on the Internet, games they may play on the computers, etc. Staff members oversee computers as much as possible, but parents are responsible for the actions of their children, whether or not they are present. Additionally, children are not allowed to engage in Internet “chat rooms.” There are exceptions for educational and therapeutic chat sites; however, visitation to such sites must be arranged in advance, approved in writing by a parent or guardian as well as the children’s library specialist or the Library Director.
The Library, pursuant to Federal laws and Utah code §s 9-7-215 and 9-7-216, imposes a technology protection measure (filtering software) on all library computers with Internet access (including staff and public access computers). This filtering is intended to meet the requirements
of Utah Code §9-7-215, and to: (1) protect against illegal visual depictions that are child pornography or obscene, or (2) protect minors against visual depictions that are child pornography, harmful to minors, or obscene.
However, the federal Children’s Internet Protection Act and Utah state law specify that patrons age 18 and over may request a library staff member to disable the filter during that patron’s Internet session. Users need not give a reason for disabling the filters, but are responsible for their sessions at all times. Administrative procedures and guidelines for staff to follow in
enforcing the policy have been established and are described herein, and procedures to handle complaints about this policy and its enforcement, and about observed patron behavior, are included below and are available at the library for public review.
Access to Specific Internet Components
Uintah County Library does not offer unlimited access to all internet technologies or resources. Materials, access or technologies may be selected for value or relevance.
- The World Wide Web — Permitted through the assigned browser
- Telnet — Permitted
- Email and attachments— Permitted if the user’s account may be accessed directly through the browser—not allowable if requiring separate software (as Eudora)
- Gopher — Permitted through the browser
- Printing or file downloads — Permitted through Library-engineered channels designed to facilitate such functions.
- Software downloads—Legal software downloads are permitted.
- Audio Book downloads – Permitted
Any area(s) not addressed by this section must be approved in advance in writing by the Library Director or her/his designee.
Consequences for violating Library policies may include:
- Verbal warning from staff or other users (staff may intercede on behalf of others).
- Ending a computer session or being required to leave the library.
- Suspension of library privileges including access to computers or to the building.
- Police intervention, which could include legal citations, arrest, and prosecution for trespass and/or other offenses.
Staff Handling Violations of Policy
When staff members observe a violation of this policy, they are expected to report the violation to their supervisor or the person in charge. Patrons in violation of this policy will be given a verbal warning. When enforcing library policy, staff members are expected to maintain a calm, non-judgmental attitude and to avoid a loud tone of voice.
If the problem behavior persists, or in the case of extreme misuse, the patron will be asked to leave the library for the day. The police will be called if the patron refuses to leave the library after being asked to do so, or when using the library’s computers to engage in illegal acts.
Loss of internet privileges will for a definite time, up to one year, to be determined by the Library Director. Any suspension longer than one week may be appealed to the library Board of Directors.
Procedures for addressing concerns about this Policy and its enforcement:
Questions or concerns about this policy and/or its enforcement may be directed to any Library Director and should be in writing, dated, and signed. If any concern cannot be resolved by the Library Director to the satisfaction of the patron, a written report will be submitted at the next meeting of the Library Board. After full consideration of the specific concern, the Library Board will make a final determination of the matter. The patron will be informed in writing of their response within a week of the meeting.
Library patrons who have questions or concerns about this or any Library policy and enforcement of these policies may contact the Library Director or the Library Board of Directors for more information.
Reviewed: February 11, 1998
Amended: February 22, 2006
Amended: March 28, 2007
Amended: April 25, 2007
Amended: June 22, 2011.
Reviewed: May 1, 2013