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Internet and Online Access Policy 

General Introductory Statements:

Public access to the Internet and online services have become an integral part of Provo City Library’s programs and services.  The intent of this policy is to meet the provisions of Sections 9‑7‑213, 9-7-215, and 9‑7‑216 UCA, and Administrative Rule 458‑2, as well as provide guidelines for patrons and staff regarding Internet access and online computer use.

Developed under the direction of the Library Board of the Provo City Library, this Internet and Online Access Policy was discussed and adopted during an open meeting of the Library Board on May 11, 2016.  This policy supersedes all previous Internet and Online Access Policy statements of the Provo City Library and is effective on May 12, 2016.

This document will be reviewed by the Provo City Library Board at least every three years, and a copy of the new policy will be sent to the Utah State Library Division as required by Administrative Rule 458‑2.

Legal requirements:

The Provo City Library’s Internet and Online Access Policy complies with Section 9‑7‑215 Internet and Online Access Policy Required, and Section 9‑7‑216 Process and Content Standards for Policy UCA, as well as reporting procedures established by Utah Administrative Rule 458‑2.

The Provo City Library has in place a policy of Internet safety for minors, including the operation of a technology protection measure, hereafter called “filtering software”, on any publicly accessible computer with Internet access that protects against access to visual depictions that are child pornography, materials harmful to minors, or obscene.  The filtering software will be enforced to provide Internet safety during any use of a computer by a minor.

The Provo City Library has in place a policy of Internet safety, including the operation of filtering software on any publicly accessible computer with Internet access that protects against access to visual depictions that are child pornography or obscene.  The filtering software will be enforced to provide Internet safety during any use of a computer.

The Library policy restricts access to Internet sites that contain visual depictions that are child pornography, harmful to minors or obscene, and may also limit Internet access or otherwise protect against materials other than the materials specified in Utah statute.  Filtering software will provide Internet safety for all library computers connected to the Internet.  However, an authorized library representative may disable a technology protection measure at the request of an adult patron to enable Internet access for research or other lawful purposes.

The Library Board has disapproved the use of public access Internet computers for online gaming (e.g. gambling) or any illegal purposes in an effort to protect patrons and the library against materials other than the materials specified in Utah law.

Additional Policies and Guidelines

The Provo City Library:

• Will assist patrons in using the Internet to the extent that time and other patron demands allow.

• Will provide access to computers and associated resources exclusively for the use of children (12 and under) or children with parents or guardians in the children’s area of the library.

• Will re‑evaluate whether to block or unblock a specific site if a patron disagrees with the filtering software’s handling of that site.  Users may request reconsideration of a website’s status by completing a Request for Internet Site Review form, available at the Reference Desk or online, and submitting it to Library staff.

• Will NOT be responsible for the availability or accuracy of information accessible via the Internet.  The Internet is an unregulated medium, with access points and content which change rapidly and unpredictably.

• Will NOT guarantee that its filtering software will be totally effective.

• Will NOT accept responsibility for the use of the Internet by children and young adults.  Responsibility for the use of all library materials, including Internet resources, rests with children’s and young adult’s parents or legal guardians.  Parents are encouraged to work closely with and supervise their children to ensure that children’s use of Internet resources is consistent with their family’s values.

• Will NOT guarantee the security of any personal information transmitted via the Internet using the Library’s connection.

• Will NOT accept responsibility for damage to any user’s disk or computer, or for any loss of data, damage, or liability that may occur from patron use of the Library’s Internet connection or malfunctioning Library hardware or software.

Users of our Internet service agree that they:

• Will comply with procedural restrictions (e.g. sign‑ups, time limits, and printing charges) developed by Library staff to provide for equitable use for all patrons.

• Will accept responsibility for determining that the information they access is acceptable, reliable, and suitable to their and/or their children’s needs.  Not all Internet sources provide accurate, complete or current information.  Users should also be aware that some sites do not provide a secure medium for transmitting personal information (e.g. name, address, or credit card number).

• Will respect copyright laws and licensing agreements.  Materials obtained or copied from the Internet, including software, may be subject to copyright law, which prohibits the unauthorized reproduction or distribution of copyrighted materials, except as permitted by the principles of fair use.  Any responsibility for consequences arising from copyright infringement or any other illegal use lies with the user.

• Will avoid exposing others involuntarily to material that they or, if under 18, their parents might find unsuitable.  The Library computers are in public areas and privacy cannot be guaranteed.

• Will respect the privacy of other Internet users.  This includes not representing oneself as another user, not attempting to view what others are accessing without their permission, not trying to gain access to someone else’s data, and not hovering over other users while waiting for a turn.

• Will NOT modify Provo City Library’s hardware, software, or settings.  (This includes downloading software from the Internet.)  Misuse of Library computers may result in fines or loss of Internet and/or Library privileges.  Users who intentionally damage Library computers may be prosecuted.

• Will NOT load personal files or software on Library computers.

• Will NOT use Library computers to display or disseminate visual images containing pornography, obscenity, graphic violence, or other images harmful to minors and inappropriate in a public library setting.  While respecting an individual user’s right to privacy, staff has the right to monitor use of Internet workstations to ensure compliance with this policy.  Inappropriate use of this resource is prohibited and may result in the loss of Internet and/or Library privileges.

• Will NOT use Library computers to violate any law.  Illegal acts, such as hacking and spamming, involving Library computing resources may be subject to prosecution by local, state or federal authorities.

Information from this policy is on the start‑up page of every public Internet computer in the Library.  Access to the full policy is available at the Library’s website, http://www.provolibrary.com/policy-internet, or in print at the Library reference desks.

Guidelines for Enforcement of the Online Public Access 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 observing a potential violation of this policy should notify a library staff member, who will then verify the violation.  Patrons in violation of this policy will be given a verbal warning.

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 when patrons refuse to leave the Library after being asked to do so, or when using Library computers to engage in illegal acts.

The privilege of access to the Library’s Internet services may be suspended for the following reasons:

• Misusing or damaging Library computers.
• Displaying or disseminating visual images containing pornography, obscenity, graphic violence, or other images harmful to minors and inappropriate in a public library setting.
• Using Library computers to violate any local, state, or federal law.
• Persistent, willful violations of the Library’s Internet and Online Access Policy

Loss of Internet privileges will be for a definite period of 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

Procedures to handle complaints about this policy, its enforcement, and about observed patron behavior exist and are available for public review.

This procedure involves all concerns or questions about this policy, its enforcement, or observed patron behavior being directed to any Library Services Manager.  If any concern cannot be resolved by the Manager contacted, a written report will be submitted at the next Management Team meeting, which includes the Library Director and all Library Services Managers.  The patron will be informed in writing of their response within a week of their meeting.

Patrons not satisfied with this disposition may then appeal to the Library Board through the Library Director within thirty (30) days after the issuance of a formal response.  The Library Director will forward the request to the Board along with the Management Team recommendations.  After full consideration of the specific concern, the Library Board will make the final determination of the matter.  The patron shall be notified of this action within thirty (30) days of the Library Board meeting in which the matter was discussed. 

Implementation Requirements:

A notice of the availability of this Policy will be posted in a conspicuous place within the library for all patrons to observe.

The Library Board has established procedures and guidelines to handle complaints about this policy, enforcement of this policy by library staff, and what a patron should do if they observe inappropriate behavior by another library patron.  These procedures will be adhered to by library staff to enforce the requirements of Sections 9-7-213, 9‑7‑215 and 9‑7‑216 UCA.

Board of Trustees
Provo City Library
Approved & effective November 4, 1998
Reviewed January 8, 2003
Reviewed October 13, 2004
Reviewed August 2, 2007
Effective date of last review June 9, 2010
Effective date of last review May 8, 2013
Effective date of last review May 11, 2016