BPL Internet Access (PDF)
Internet Access Policy
While recognizing that the Internet provides access to a vast array of tools and resources for different age levels and points of view, Burlington Public Library does not act in place or in absence of a parent and is not responsible for enforcing any restrictions which a parent or guardian may place on a minor's use of this resource. (Burlington Public Library Board, May 1996)
Internet Access and Use Guidelines
Internet access is provided at Burlington Public Library locations in keeping with the Library's mission to enrich the lives of the citizens of Burlington by supporting literacy, learning and community connections. The Library considers Internet resources an extension of our material collections for library users. The Internet is one of the richest information resources available to our customers.
All library users, staff and volunteers are expected to use the Internet in a responsible manner and to comply with the following access and use guidelines:
- Be aware that the workstations are in public areas shared by people of all ages and sensibilities. Although the Library has taken measures to increase privacy, complete privacy cannot be guaranteed. Each user is ultimately responsible for the selection of sites and should be aware that other library users, including children, may be involuntarily exposed to what is displayed. Think about the content and images you are viewing. If you would hesitate to show the site you are viewing to a child, your mom, or ‘Uncle Bob,’ it means it is inappropriate in a public setting. Please click away to another site.
- Not all Internet sources provide accurate, complete, age appropriate or current information. It is the user's responsibility to question the validity of any information.
- All members of the public, regardless of age may use any of the public workstations.
- Parents or guardians are responsible for monitoring their children's Internet activity and choice of workstation. Filtering software does not replace the need for parental guidance.
- Respect the privacy of others using public access workstations.
- Use is limited if others are waiting to use an Internet workstation.
- Unless participating in a library tutorial, no more than two people are permitted at an Internet workstation at one time.
- Where permitted by copyright, users may print their information at the posted rate.
- At the end of computer sessions users must exit all programs and then click on the "EXIT" button in the bottom right hand corner of the screen.
The Library and its staff will:
- Use reasonable efforts to ensure compliance with Internet use guidelines and procedures.
- Make users aware of our Internet access and use policies and guidelines verbally and through signage and brochures.
- Take reasonable measures to ensure the privacy and confidentiality of Internet users. This includes the installation of privacy screens on unfiltered workstations and location of PCs.
- Offer a mix of filtered and unfiltered Internet workstations. On filtered workstations install commercial filtering software aimed at blocking sites that contain sexually explicit or hate speech material.
- Install updates provided by the filtering company to its list of blocked sites.
- Make all workstations available to all members of the public, regardless of age.
- Provide staff assistance to library Internet users whenever time and knowledge permits.
- Offer introductory training sessions to the Internet for a fee as resources permit.
- Inspect and report suspected illegal sites.
Given the Nature of the Internet
- The library assumes responsibility only for the information provided on its web pages.
- The library cannot control the availability of information links that often change rapidly.
- Burlington Public Library assumes no responsibility for any direct or indirect damages arising from the use of its connection to Internet services.
- No filtering product can block all offensive sites. The Library assumes no liability in the event the filter is not 100% effective. The Library assumes no responsibility for the currency of the filter or the content provided through it.
- The Burlington Public Library is not responsible for any expenses incurred or the potential repercussions of a third party using personal/banking/credit card information that has been entered on a Library computer terminal.
The Following Activities are Prohibited
- Use of workstations for illegal, actionable or criminal purposes or to seek access to unauthorized areas.
- Infringement of copyright and other intellectual property rights.
- Use of FTP.
- Use of personal software programs.
- Subverting or attempting to subvert any security devices in either software or hardware format which the library has installed on its Internet workstations.
- Installing or attempting to install viruses or other programs designed to damage or alter software on the workstations, the local area network or the Internet, or seeking unauthorized access to any computer system.
- Sending unsolicited commercial material or spamming.
- Misrepresenting oneself as another user.
- Attempting to modify or gain access to files, passwords or data belonging to others.
- Vandalism or theft of library property.
Consequences of Violating Internet Access and Use Guidelines
Users in violation of the library’s Internet Access and Use Guidelines may have their Internet privileges revoked. Repeated violations will result in removal from the library.
Staff will respond to complaints or observed incidents of misuse of the Internet by any user. You could be asked to click away from an Internet site.
Misuse or abuse of computers or programs is not acceptable. Offenders may be required to leave the library.
People using the library's Internet workstations for illegal purposes will be subject to prosecution. Vandalism or theft of library property is illegal and will be reported to the police.
In the case of library staff and volunteers, appropriate disciplinary action will be taken.
(revised October 2012)
Children and the Internet
The Internet is a tool for lifelong learning. Through the World Wide Web, a wealth of information is at our fingertips. But, like all resources, not all material is suitable for all age levels or tastes.
As with books, magazines, DVDs, and television programs, there will be some items which you may find controversial or inappropriate, for yourselves and especially for your children. Parents are encouraged to supervise their child's Internet sessions, and to inform the child if there are resources they don't want the child to access.
The library provides a mix of filtered and unfiltered Internet workstations. On filtered workstations a commercial filtering software, aimed at blocking sites that contain pornography and graphic sexual images, has been installed. The library assumes no liability in the event the filter is not 100% effective. Unfiltered workstations are equipped with a privacy screen. It is the parent's decision as to which workstation their child may use.
Not all sources provide accurate, complete, age appropriate or current information, so users should evaluate Internet sources as they would printed publications. It is the user's responsibility to question the validity of any information.