Internet & Computer Use Policy

Internet & Computer Use Policy

The Bigelow Free Public Library supports the cultural, educational, informational, and recreational needs of the community by providing access to a variety of resources. Electronic databases and networks such as the Internet offer access to ideas, information, and commentary from around the world, enabling libraries to enhance and supplement their traditional print collections.

By simply being a provider of access to the Internet, the Library does not select, control, or monitor any information on the Internet for accuracy, content, or quality. As with other library materials, the responsibility for determining what is useful and valuable lies with each individual user.

In accordance with the federal Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA), however, the Library’s youth accessible computers are equipped with filtering software that is intended to protect against access to sites that may reasonably construed to contain visual depictions (i.e., videos and pictures) that (1) are obscene, as that term is defined in Section 1460 of Title 18, United States Code; (2) contain child pornography, as that term is defined in Section 2256 of Title 18, United States Code; or (3) are “harmful to minors” as defined in CIPA, Public Law 106-554. Such filtering may not be turned off for minors (i.e., persons younger than 17). Minors who access the Library’s youth accessible computers may not try to circumvent the Internet filter to view blocked sites or attempt to hack or jailbreak the Library’s youth accessible computers. The Library’s filtering software complies with CIPA while at the same time providing patrons the broadest possible access to constitutionally protected speech and information.

The Library cannot and does not guarantee that the Library’s filtering software will block all obscenity, child pornography, or materials that are harmful to minors. Nor can the Library guarantee that the filtering software will not restrict access to sites that may have legitimate research or other value. If a website is found to be incorrectly blocked, patrons may send the site address to for evaluation. All electronic resources are provided equally to all patrons, assuming all behavior is appropriate and adheres to all posted policies.

Access to and use of the Internet is a privilege and should be treated as such by all users of the system. Examples of unacceptable, unethical, and illegal behavior include the following:

  • Destruction, damage, or disruption of equipment, software, or data, including removing privacy screens, shutting off computers, and/or disconnecting computer cables;
  • Gaining unlawful access, including hacking and other unlawful activities;
  • Invading the privacy of others, including unauthorized use of other users’ accounts or data;
  • Violating software licensing agreements and copyright laws;
  • Violating federal, state, or local laws, including but not limited to accessing materials that constitute child pornography;
  • Accessing, sending, receiving, or displaying any material, whether in text, graphic, or video form, that may reasonably be construed as either obscene or child pornography;
  • Absconding with library materials, including peripherals and/or hardware;
  • Participating in any online activities that would be considered harmful to minors, including social media contact or unauthorized sharing of personal information

Library staff will intercede when this policy is violated and violators may be asked to leave the Library.

Patrons can log in for two hours, but may extend time if no one else is waiting. All users must agree to the Internet Use Policy prior to accessing the computers.

Internet Safety for Minors Using the Library’s Computers

Supervision of children’s use of the internet on the Library’s computers is the responsibility of a parent or legal guardian.

The Library urges parents, legal guardians and their children to follow these safety guidelines:

1. Never give out identifying information such as home address, school name, social media handle, or telephone number.

2. Let a parent or legal guardian decide whether personal information such as age, marital status, or financial information should be shared or revealed.

3. Never arrange a face-to-face meeting with someone via the computer without a parent’s or legal guardian’s prior approval.

4. Never respond to messages that are suggestive, obscene, threatening, or make one feel uncomfortable.

5. Remember that people online may not be who they say they are.

6. Remember that everything one reads online may not be true.

Approved by the Board of Trustees 2/2024