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Electronic Access / Internet Policy

I. Mission

"Freedom of expression is an inalienable human right and the foundation for self-government. Freedom of expression encompasses the freedom of speech and the corollary right to receive information. These rights extend to children as well as adults.

Libraries and librarians exist to facilitate these rights by providing access to, identifying, retrieving, organizing, and preserving recorded expression regardless of the formats or technologies in which that expression is recorded." (ALA Draft Version 1.1, Access to Electronic Information, Services, and Networks)

The library's mission is to provide patrons with the best and most current possible resources. It is the library's desire to offer access to the electronic resource environment for the use of all of the citizens of Ouachita Parish.

II. Electronic Resources and Users Responsibility

Use of electronic resources is considered a privilege and is intended primarily for information and research. Equal access to that information is a cornerstone of the library's mission. These online resources contain a wealth of valuable information resources. However, users should be aware that some information may be inaccurate, outdated, or offensive. Your use of these resources carry with it a responsibility to evaluate the quality of the information accessed. Parents, not the library, are responsible for the use of these resources by their children.

III. Prohibited Uses

Workstation use is a privilege. It may not be used for illegal, unauthorized, unethical or commercial purposes.

Manipulation of internal hardware and or software is strictly prohibited, including uploading of any software. Perpetrators of malicious damage to the system will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

Transmitting or downloading any material in violation of state or federal law is not permitted. It is not permitted, to send, receive or display text or graphics which may reasonably be construed as obscene. Patrons may not copy or download any material in violation of copyright law.

Library Staff has the right to determine appropriateness of workstation use and can, at any time, require the patron to leave the workstation. Patrons who refuse to abide by the library's Internet policy will lose the privilege of using the workstation. Since workstations are in the public area, patrons may be asked to leave a workstation if graphical material displayed is offensive.

Prohibited uses will result in the loss of workstation privileges. The first offense will result in loss of use for the remainder of the day. The second offense will result in loss of use for a week. The third offense will result in loss of use of the workstation permanently or at the discretion of the Director. Appeals of such should be made to the Director in accordance with the library's general policy.

IV. Limitations

Age: All patrons should and will have equal access to all forms of information. However, because of the high cost and delicate nature of complex electronic and mechanical equipment, children age 12 and under will be required to be accompanied by a parent or adult guardian when using the workstation. Unaccompanied children must present their library card to the staff to verify age. Only children 12 and under will be allowed to use Children's Room workstations as adequate workstations for adult use are provided.

Workstations located in the Genealogy Department are for the exclusive use of patrons conducting genealogical research. All others will be asked to use the general adult workstations located near the Reference Department.

V. Acceptable Uses (Examples)

  • Research and educational information
  • Unstructured navigation ("surfing") of the Internet to locate sites of interest and to hone usage skills.
  • Printing from full-text databases
  • Downloading (with library administration permission) of public domain software on disks provided by and purchased from the library. Downloading of software and files not in the public domain is a violation of copyright law and is expressly prohibited.

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