Internet Usage Policy

The Sullivan County Public Library maintains a computer network system in all county libraries for the benefit of patrons. This system allows access to purchased online data bases, local collections, and Internet access to a vast array of information to meet users’ cultural, educational, and recreational needs.

While the ability to access information on the Internet provides a wealth of information, the Internet also enables access to materials that may be inaccurate, offensive, disturbing, and possibly illegal. Effective July 1, 2004, the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) requires that an internet filtering system be placed on all Internet computers in the Sullivan County Public Library system to protect against access to visual depictions that (1) are obscene, (2) contain child pornography, or (3) are harmful to minors (defined as any person under 17 years of age). While the library will make every attempt through its filtering system to prevent access to materials that would not generally be acceptable in a public library, it is technically impossible to guarantee that the filtering system will be error free.

Upon request an adult user may request a staff member to lift the software block for research or any other legal purpose. CIPA does not allow the block to be lifted for minors under any circumstance.

When using the unfiltered Internet, the individual user must accept responsibility for determining what is appropriate. The user must also be aware of and respect the rights of others. The Sullivan County Public Library recognizes and supports federal laws dealing with access to information and is obligated to comply with said laws. Additionally, peer-to-peer file sharing through sites such as BitTorrent is prohibited.

With the freedom and privilege to access computer networks comes the responsibility to use them in an ethical manner that includes but is not limited to the following:

Using resources for educational, informational, and recreational purposes only and not for unauthorized, illegal or unethical purposes.

Respecting the privacy of others by not misrepresenting oneself, attempting to gain access to files, passwords or data of others, of by unauthorized access to any computer system or damaging or altering software of any network or database.

Making only authorized copies of copyrighted or licensed software or data.

Complaints regarding the application of this policy should be brought to the attention of the Library Director who will investigate and take appropriate measures.

The Sullivan County Public Library retains the right to determine what are appropriate uses of its computer equipment in order to enforce this policy. Users may have their privileges revoked if the refuse to abide by instruction or requests made by Library Staff.

Library Staff is available to assist patrons in the use of these resources but may not be familiar with every application or database a patron may wish to use. The Staff may not be able to provide complete technical support at all times.

4/10/13 (Revised 5/13/15)