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Torrance Public Library Acceptable Use Policy

  Torrance Public Library Acceptable Use Policy

Adopted by the Torrance Public Library Commission on 11/10/03; revised 4/9/07

·              Using the Library's Electronic Information System

The Torrance Public Library endeavors to provide materials and services in a variety of formats to satisfy the educational, informational, recreational, and cultural needs of Torrance's diverse community. Rapid changes in technology and the increasing sophistication of library users have resulted in demand for electronic resources that provide a wealth of information beyond the traditional "walls" of library facilities.

·              Introduction to Electronic Resources

The Torrance Public Library computer system integrates the Internet, the Library catalog, proprietary electronic databases, and other electronic resources. The Library, via the City's Local Area Network, offers access to the Internet, a network of computers that allows individuals of all ages, including children and young adults, to expand their knowledge far beyond the Library's budgetary and space confines. The Internet and its available resources may contain material of a controversial nature.

Library staff has developed a variety of web pages with recommended links in order to facilitate use of the Internet. Users should recognize, however, that the Library is not responsible for changes to the content of linked sites, or for the content of sources accessed through subsequent links. Staff will provide assistance to Internet users to the extent time and patron demands allow.

·              Acceptable Use Policy

The Library does not monitor and has no control over the information accessed through the Internet and cannot be held responsible for its content. The Torrance Public Library upholds and affirms the right of each individual to have access to constitutionally protected materials, from a variety of perspectives, as described in the American Library Association's "Library Bill of Rights" and "Access to Electronic Information, Services, and Networks."

The Library affirms the right and responsibility of parents to determine and monitor their children's use of library materials and resources. Parents and children are encouraged to read "My Rules for Online Safety" available through the Torrance Public Library's Youth Services Page on the Internet. This guide and other helpful suggestions are available in "Child Safety on the Information Highway," reprinted and distributed with permission of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

Users need to be good information consumers, questioning the validity of the information accessed. Library staff cannot control the availability or content of web pages, which often change rapidly and unpredictably. Not all sources on the Internet provide accurate, complete, or current information. Therefore, the Torrance Public Library specifically disclaims any warranty as to the information's accuracy, authoritativeness, timeliness, usefulness, or fitness for a particular purpose. The Torrance Public Library shall have no liability for any direct, indirect, or consequential damages related to the use of information obtained from the Internet or any other electronic resource.

Torrance Public Library upholds the right of confidentiality and privacy for all library users. In order to protect the privacy of the user and the interests of other library patrons, the Library may manage access to the Internet by the use of privacy screens on Internet stations.  Users are urged to respect the sensibilities of others when accessing information that may reasonably be offensive to someone else. However, absolute privacy for patrons using electronic resources in the Library cannot be guaranteed. There exists a possibility of inadvertent viewing by other patrons, either by watching the user's screen, or because a user may leave the screen unattended.

·              Guidelines for Use

Library staff will provide limited assistance for basic start-up procedures to access the Internet, but will not provide training on its use. If patrons are unfamiliar with computers or have specific questions about the Internet, reference materials and circulating books are available for guidance and instruction.

During all hours the Library is open, it provides public access terminals that enable users to search the Internet and electronic database resources on the City's Local Area Network. License agreements, based on numbers of users at a given time, may limit the availability of electronic database resources.

Time limits on public access terminals are imposed to allow equitable access for all users. Due to limited resources, the Library may limit access by format.

To use Internet capable computers, library patrons must log on using their Torrance Public Library card number and their pin number, or a valid guest pass issued by library staff. Use of a card or guest pass not issued to the patron logged on the Internet will result in library staff ending the session of the person using an unauthorized card.  In addition, library staff will terminate the session of patrons that log on with multiple cards or guest passes for multiple sessions each day.

When providing personal information to access library records, i.e. name, address, library card number, patrons are strongly advised to clear such personal information before leaving the library terminal. Click on the "X" button in the top right hand corner of the Internet Explorer window to close the window to insure confidentiality of personal records.

Under no circumstances may patrons use their personal software or equipment on the library's workstations or network. Illegal activities or any other activities intended to interfere with or disrupt network users, services, or equipment are prohibited and will result in loss of library privileges. Failure to observe the Acceptable Use Policy or the Library Standards of Behavior will result in loss of library privileges.

Materials obtained or copied on the Internet or the Library's computer network may be subject to copyright laws. Materials protected by copyright may not be reproduced or distributed without the permission of the copyright owner, with certain limited "fair use" exceptions. Violation of the copyright law may subject network users to a legal action for damages and/or an injunction. Responsibility for compliance with copyright laws and all consequences of copyright infringement lie with the user. The Library disclaims any liability or responsibility related to copyrights resulting from patron Internet use.

The Library reserves the right to change, modify, and add to this use policy as necessary.