Technology Use Policy
Brooklyn Public Library has equipped the Central Library at Grand Army Plaza, the Business Library and each neighborhood library with Internet-enabled computers. These computers provide customers with access to a vast array of electronic resources that supplement the Library's print collection and are also available for educational, informational and recreational purposes.
The Library complies with the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA). This enables the Library to continue to be eligible for certain federal funding. CIPA states that all computers with Internet access must be equipped with technology protection measures, ie. filters, to protect against visual depictions of obscenity, child pornography and material defined as harmful to minors. Adult users 17 and over have the option to be provided unfiltered access. The Library affirms the right of all customers to access constitutionally protected material.
Staff will work with the public to ensure compliance with the Policy, Guidelines and Procedures for computer usage and responsible internet use at all times.
Due to the limited resources available for provision of public access to our computers, the Library reserves the right to limit the amount of time of computer usage to two sessions per building per day. Customers are reminded that the Library's computers are located in public areas that are shared with people of all ages, backgrounds, and beliefs. Individuals are expected to consider this diversity and respect the rights of others when accessing potentially offensive information or images.
To achieve an atmosphere conducive to the best use of its resources the Library has developed the following guidelines for the use of public computers:
- Customers must be courteous and respectful when using computers and conform to the Rules of Conduct from the "Public Behavior in the Library"
- Customers must use their own library card (or guest card) to register for an assigned session.
- Children and teens have priority over adults to computers designated for children and teens.
- All adults using computers designated for adults must use privacy screens. Adults using computers designated for children and teens must adhere to rules regarding computer use by children and teens.
- Customers must perform their own Internet searches, though staff will provide assistance.
- Computers may be used by two people when their behavior is not disruptive.
- Printing requests must be completed 15 minutes before the Library closes.
- Printing requests must be made using 8 ½” x 11” paper provided by the Library.
- The Library is not responsible for loss of information due to viruses or other problems.
- Customers are responsible for closing all applications and logging out when they are done using their computers. Sessions are logged off automatically after their assigned time has expired. This ensures that each customer's privacy is protected.
- Computers and copy machines are automatically turned off 15 minutes before the library closes.
Customers may not:
- Use Library computers for illegal activity.
- Use Library computers to access material that is legally defined as obscenity, child pornography, or harmful to minors.
- Use the network for unauthorized access or "hacking" into any computational, financial informational or communication services or resources.
- Distribute unsolicited advertising.
- Invade the privacy of others by misrepresenting oneself as another user or attempting to modify or gain access to files, passwords or data belonging to others.
- Add, delete, damage, vandalize or modify the installed hardware or software.
- Engage in any activity that is harassing or defamatory.
- Deliberately propagate computer worms or viruses.
- Download copyrighted materials in violation of any copyright protection laws.
Customers should be aware that the Internet is not a secure medium and that third parties may be able to obtain information regarding users' activities. The Library respects the confidentiality of those using its electronic resources, and will release library records only as required by law.
The Library has taken certain measures to assist in the safe and effective use of the Internet, including filtering. The public should bear in mind that no filters are foolproof and may "underblock" (permit access to material that is prohibited by CIPA) and "overblock" (deny access to materials that are constitutionally protected).
Parents and caregivers are responsible for supervising their children's computer access and are encouraged to learn about the Internet and help their children use it wisely. Below are the Library's suggestions when customers encounter the following:
- Direct Electronic Communications. Educate your child about the importance of keeping personal information private. Monitor your child's participation with email accounts, chat rooms and discussion groups.
- Social Networking. Encourage your child to be honest about his/her age when signing up for social networking sites (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, Second Life, and MySpace) or blogs. These sites and services often have minimum age requirements and may not be appropriate for all children.
- Unauthorized Disclosure. Users should be aware that the Internet is not a secure medium and that third parties may be able to obtain information regarding users' activities. However, the Brooklyn Public Library will not release information on the use of specific Internet resources by members of the public except as required by law or necessary for the proper operation of the Library.
The Library has taken certain measures to assist in the safe and effective use of these resources by all minors (youths 16 and under). The Library is proactive by:
- Developing and maintaining age appropriate web sites for children and teens.
- Developing and providing training programs
Policy approved by Board of Trustees: December 16, 2008