||As part of fulfilling its mission to "provide learning resources
and information services that support and improve individual, family and community
life", St. Louis Public Library provides Internet access. The Internet offers
electronic links to thousands of websites that contain valuable local, national and
international sources of information. Every library Internet computer user, however, has
the responsibility to evaluate the accuracy, currency, completeness, validity and
appropriateness of information they find.
Choosing and Evaluating Sources
The Internet is a series of electronic communication links leading to a highly diverse
array of information. Library patrons use it at their own risk. In an effort to assist its
users, the Library has created web sites for adults and children to help guide them to
sources that are accurate, complete and current and that provide them with a wealth of
information on the local, national and global level. In addition, the Library provides
training for members of the public to assist them in using the Internet in a safe,
effective and efficient manner
As part of their effort to help patrons find what they need easily, library staff create
links to Internet websites within the institutions selection and reference
guidelines. The Library bears no responsibility for changes in content of selected
websites, for the content of sources accessed through secondary links or for Internet
Filtering (to be implemented by July 1, 2004)
In compliance with the Childrens Internet Protection Act (CIPA) the Library has
installed filtering software on its computers that have Internet access. The filtering
device is designed to protect against access to visual depictions that are obscene,
harmful to minors and child pornography, as required by law.
Users should be aware of the limitations of Internet filtering software. While designed to
restrict access to Internet content that could be deemed inappropriate, these systems are
no substitute for individual judgement and/or parental involvement and oversight. Filters
may block sites which have legitimate research value, as well as allowing some content
through which parents might find objectionable.
In accordance with the law, Library staff may disable the filtering device to enable adult
users, age 18 and above, access for bona fide research or other lawful purposes.
Rules Governing Use
St. Louis Public Library provides cardholders with computers connected to the Internet.
The Library does not provide or maintain e-mail accounts or e-mail software. On their own,
library Internet customers may access web-based e-mail systems. The library does not
endorse any e-mail system. The Library determines the levels and types of Internet
services available, including which browser software versions and plug-ins are available.
The library has established procedures that govern the amount of time an individual user
can devote to a single session, determine scheduling priorities for various types of
computers, and specify the conditions under which a customers computer session may
be terminated by staff.
The library expects Internet users to comply with the terms of the librarys Internet
policies, the policies of the Librarys Internet service provider, and all applicable
federal, state and local laws, including but not limited to criminal, copyright, privacy,
defamation and obscenity laws. The Library will render all reasonable assistance to local,
state or federal officials for the investigation and prosecution of persons using Library
technology in violation of any law.
Users may not:
- Install software or plug ins on Library computers.
- Copy software that is installed on Library computers.
- Use the network to make unauthorized entry into other computational,
informational or communication services or resources.
- Distribute unsolicited advertising.
- Invade the privacy of others.
- Damage computer equipment or software.
- Access, view or disseminate information using Library resources,
including e-mail or Internet access, that is pornographic, obscene, child pornography,
harmful to minors, libelous, pervasively indecent or vulgar, or advertising any product or
service not permitted to minors.
- Engage in any activity that is harassing or defamatory.
- Engage in any activity that disrupts the normal operations of the
- Engage in any activity that causes a disturbance in the Library.
- Use the Internet for unauthorized access or any illegal activity,
including hacking, violation of copyright or other rights of third parties, or in a manner
inconsistent with the Library's tax-exempt status or its proper operation.
Violations of this policy may result in loss of access and/or St. Louis
Public Library privileges. Unlawful activities will be dealt with in an appropriate
St. Louis Public Library does not assume responsibility for any damages, direct or
indirect, arising from use of the Library's computers, network, or Internet connection.
Users agree to INDEMNIFY AND HOLD HARMLESS the Library, its employees, and agents from any
claim, demand, liability, cause of action, suit, judgment, or expense (including
attorney's fees), arising out of any use of the Librarys computer equipment,
network, phone lines, wireless service, or Internet connection.
Internet Use by Minors
The parents of minor children are responsible for their children's use of the Library and
its resources. As part of that responsibility, parents are responsible for their
children's use of the Internet through the library's computers. As part of compliance with
federal and state law, the Library requires a parents written permission for persons
under the age of eighteen to use the institutions Internet computers. Parents or
legal guardians should guide their children in use of the Internet and inform them about
materials they should not use. To help parents with this important responsibility, the
Library has taken certain measures designed to assist in the safe and effective use of
these resources by all minors. In compliance with the Neighborhood Childrens
Internet Protection Act (NCIPA), these measures are:
A. To address "the issue of safe and secure Internet access by
minors to inappropriate material on the Internet, including material that is harmful to
minors", the Library:
1. Develops and maintains special web sites for children and teens;
2. Provides information on how to use Library resources, including the Internet, in a
safe, effective and efficient manner.
3. Encourages staff to guide minors away from materials that may be inappropriate; and,
B. To address "the issue of the safety and security of minors when
using electronic mail, chat rooms and other forms of direct electronic communications, as
well as the unauthorized disclosure, use and dissemination of personal identification
information regarding minors," Library staff urges parents and minors to follow these
1. Parents should explain to their children the dangers of sharing
personal information about themselves or others over the Internet.
2. Ask a parent or guardian for permission before giving out personal information such as
your age, home address, school name, or telephone number.
3. Ask a parent or guardian to decide whether or not you should give out personal
information such as their age, marital status, or financial information.
4. Tell a parent, guardian, or library staff member if anyone tries to arrange a
face-to-face meeting with you over a library Internet computer.
5. Tell a parent, guardian or library staff member if someone writes you an electronic
message on a library computer that is suggestive, obscene, threatening, or which make you
feel uncomfortable in some way.
6. Ask that you and/or your parent(s) report any concerns about Internet use to library
7. Remember that people online may not be who they say they are.
8. Remember that not everything you read on the Internet is true.
C. Children must follow all library rules governing the use of the
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, St. Louis Public
Library will not release information on the use of specific Internet resources by members
of the public except as required by law or as necessary for the proper operation of the