Internet Use Policy
Douglas County Libraries offers computer and Internet access to the public, free of charge, at all library locations. Anyone, regardless of age or residency, can use a library computer. Each library is also equipped for wireless Internet access.
Background: It is the intent of Douglas County Libraries to provide free, equitable, and organized public access to Internet resources. This access honors the fundamental library principle of intellectual freedom, an abiding respect for the dignity and privacy of individual inquiry. The Douglas County Libraries's website and catalog is committed not only to providing public access to this communication medium, but also to:
- The development and/or purchase of local information resources (such as the catalog of our holdings, periodical indexes and databases, and other text files and databases of local or regional interest, including information about the library)
- The identification and organization of links to resources the library believes fit its general collection policies, including selected professional concerns such as training in the use of the Internet, censorship, literacy, etc.; and
- Search tools that reach far beyond the efforts of Douglas County Libraries to the manifold offerings of the Internet.
Disclaimer: In total, Douglas County Libraries has no control over information accessed through the Internet. Douglas County Libraries cannot be held responsible for its content. As with other library materials, supervision or restriction of a child's access to the Internet is the responsibility of the parent or legal guardian. It is also the responsibility of the child, whose curiosity is surely tempered by his or her judgment and upbringing. Much of the information on the Internet is timely, useful, and/or entertaining. Some of it is dated, erroneous or offensive. This is also the case with printed materials. Library users should cast a cautious and critical eye on any and all data they discover. The job of the library is access, not endorsement.
Using a Library Computer
- A patron can use a library computer for 30 minutes at a time, using a library card. Computer Guest Passes are available to patrons who are visiting our libraries.
- The 30-minute reservation will be automatically extended for 10-minute increments if no one else is waiting to use the computer.
- When all computers are in use, you can make a reservation for the next available computer.
- Patrons are limited to two (2) library computer use sessions per day.
- Computers are available on a first-come/first-served basis; no advance reservations are offered.
- Library computers may not be used for any illegal activity or to access information that is considered inappropriate for access in a public environment.
- A patron’s activities on a library computer are not recorded nor stored on the computer hard drive.
- Library computers are rebooted at the close of each user session. This erases all of the information about activities on those computers.
- Free wireless Internet access is available at all Library District locations.
- The wireless network is not secure. Please be advised that information may be captured by anyone with a wireless device and appropriate software.
- Printing is available through wireless access.
- Douglas County assumes no responsibility for the safety of user’s equipment, security or data files.
Printing and Downloading From a Library Computer
- You can print pages from the library computers. Black and white copies are $.10 per page, or $.20 double-sided. Color copies are $1 per page where offered.
- Personal computers cannot be connected to the library printers.
- Information can be downloaded or saved from a library computer to a portable drive (USB, Flash, keychain drive, etc.). Douglas County Libraries is not responsible for loss or damage to downloaded data, files or hardware.
- In accordance with State and Federal laws, all library Internet computers are filtered to screen out obscene and sexually explicit websites. Library computers designated for use by youth are more strictly filtered in accordance with the Federal Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) and Colorado's Internet Protection Act.
- No filtering system is infallible. Douglas County Libraries does not assume responsibility for the accuracy of its Internet filters. Parents have the right and responsibility to monitor their children's use of the library computers and the Internet to ensure their safety.
For more information about using library computers, please contact Douglas County Libraries at 303-791-7323 or ask a member of the library staff.
Access by Minors to Internet Resources
The primary mission of the DISTRICT is to provide public information. Nevertheless, it is the intent oDouglas County Libraries to limit access by minors to Internet resources that are obscene or illegal.
Douglas County Libraries does this in a variety of ways:
- Douglas County Libraries has created web pages designed to direct minors to positive, high quality sites, created or reviewed by librarians.
- Douglas County Libraries offers various classes that teach parents and children how to search the World Wide Web safely and effectively.
- Douglas County Libraries provides supervision of public space. Minors, like adults, are expected to behave in a civil and appropriate manner in the library. The display of visual material that is sexual in nature or that might be considered immediately offensive to others constitutes rude behavior in many circumstances. In such circumstances, at the discretion of library staff, patrons will be asked to cease such behavior. If they do not, they may be ejected from the library, and risk the loss of future library privileges.
- Douglas County Libraries also supervises public space by placing of Internet workstations, wherever possible, in direct line of sight of our staff. Further, Douglas County Libraries will investigate all complaints lodged by other patrons.
- Douglas County Libraries will limit access on Internet workstations by supervising their use through observation, and employing an “internet protection measure.” Technology, and various technological tools are changing rapidly. Library staff shall seek to remain current concerning various options, and may experiment with them from time to time to better understand them. It is understood that no technology has proved to be 100% effective in allowing only “good” content and blocking only “bad.”
- As specified by state and federal laws (HB 04-1004 Internet Protection in Public Libraries, C.R.S. 24-90-601-606 and Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA), Pub. L. No. 106-554) Douglas County Libraries will filter all Internet capable computers.
- To address issues of safety and security of minors when using electronic mail, chat rooms and other forms of electronic communication, parents and legal guardians should urge minors to follow basic safety guidelines: never give out personal information (name, address, phone number, etc.), never arrange via a computer to meet someone and never respond to messages that are threatening or suggestive, remembering that people online may not be who they say they are.
Enforcement and Consequences
No one, minor or adult, has the right to use public property to commit crimes. At the same time, no policy can ensure that crimes will never be committed. If library patrons are found to be accessing materials that may be, at the discretion of library staff, obscene or illegal, they will be ejected from the library, and may be barred from future use of library resources.
Links from the library's web site
A library ‘link’ (hypertext reference) from the library’s home pages to other sites does not imply endorsement of the views expressed at those sites. The Library Director, in keeping with the general goals described above, is responsible for the selection of the links. “Local” links provide access to local community information and services primarily or largely directed to Douglas County citizens. In general, the library does not link to individual businesses, although it may include such umbrella organizations as area Chambers of Commerce. The library may also, from time to time, add links to highlight particular issues or subjects library staff believe to be of interest or entertainment value to its patrons. Such links may be changed frequently or infrequently at the sole discretion of the Library Director.
Unacceptable Use of Electronic Resources
Any of the following actions may result in the loss of library privileges and/or criminal prosecution or other legal action. Unacceptable use of Douglas County Libraries electronic resources includes, but is not limited to, the following:
- It is not acceptable to use Douglas County Libraries electronic resources for illegal or criminal use.
- It is not acceptable to violate the legal protections provided by copyright and licenses to program or data.
- It is not acceptable to use Douglas County Libraries resources to seek to infiltrate a computer or computing system and/or damage or alter the software or hardware components of a local or remote computer or computing system.
- It is not acceptable to seek information on, obtain copies of, or modify files, other data, or passwords belonging to other users. Users shall not represent themselves as another user unless explicitly authorized to do so by that user.
- It is not acceptable to falsify one's age to gain access to Internet sites.
- It is not acceptable to use our Internet workstations beyond time limits established by library staff. This time limit may change without notice.
- The library reserves the right to monitor web sessions in order to ensure system security. Library staff may review these sessions anonymously and remotely. All transactions will be considered confidential, except in those cases where illegal activity is observed, in which case Internet connections may be terminated, and information may be made available to the local law enforcement agency in accordance with the provisions of C.R.S. 24-90-119.
- Unauthorized disclosure, use, and dissemination of personal identification information regarding minors is not acceptable.
In general, Douglas County Libraries expects that our patrons will be both law-abiding and civil.
Effective from the adoption of this policy, the library will not offer web hosting services to any new non-library agency or organization.
Revised and Adopted by the Douglas Public Library District Board of Trustees on September 23, 2004.