Internet Access

I.          Internet Access
 

The Ypsilanti District Library ("YDL" or "Library") provides a broad range of information resources, including those available through the Internet.  Access to the Internet enables YDL to greatly expand its information services beyond traditional collections and resources.  We make this service available in support of our mission “to promote lifelong learning” and “to provide access to information in a variety of formats.”

The Internet offers access to many valuable local, national, and international sources of information; however, it is an unregulated medium and not all sources on the Internet provide accurate, complete, or current information.  YDL staff neither monitors nor controls information accessed through the Internet and is not responsible for its content, quality, accuracy, or currency.  Internet users will need to evaluate for themselves the validity of information found.

Internet resources accessible through YDL are provided fairly and equitably to all Library users.  This policy applies to the workstations at the Library as well as the wireless access provided at the Library.

The Internet may contain information that is controversial, sexually explicit, or offensive to some patrons.  Library patrons use the Internet at their own risk.  The Library assumes no responsibility for any damages, direct or indirect, arising from its connections to the Internet.

 

II.         Internet Filtering

A.    Internet Filtering – General

1.    Filtered AccessIn order to comply with the requirements of the Children's Internet Protection Act ("CIPA") and Michigan's Public Act 212 of 2000 ("PA 212"), all computer terminals are filtered.  Further, the Library's wireless access is also filtered.  Filtered access means the computer or wireless system has a program installed that is designed to restrict minors[1] from receiving obscene material or sexually explicit material that is harmful to minors as defined by PA 212 and visual depictions that are obscene, child pornography or harmful to minors as defined by CIPA.

2.    More Restrictive Filtering Requests.   Patrons may request a more restrictive filtering level by identifying the desired restrictive filtering level on the Request to Change Filtering Level form provided by the Library.

3.   Request to Block a Website.        Further, the technology is not able to block all sites that patrons may deem obscene or harmful to minors. Individuals who believe an accessible Internet site should be blocked and made unavailable by the filter can request that the site be added to the list of sites filtered by completing a Request for Reconsideration to Block a Website made available at each YDL location or online.  The completed form should be forwarded to the Library Director, who will prepare a written reply to the individual submitting the form.  The decision may result in maintaining the same status or applying a different level of filtering to the site.

B.    Internet Filtering – Patrons 18 Years of Age or Older

1.   Request Less Restrictive Filters.  Patrons 18 years of age or older may request to have the filters changed to a less restrictive filtering level for bona fide research or other lawful purposes by completing the Request to Change Filtering Level form provided by the Library. 

2.   Unblock SitesIndividuals 18 years of age or older who believe an Internet site has been improperly blocked can request that the site be “unblocked” by completing a Request to Override a Blocking Decision form made available at each YDL location or online.  A decision on the site’s status will be made by the Director, who will prepare a written reply to the individual submitting the form.

3.  Library Card.   Patrons 18 years of age or older wishing to access the Library’s workstations or wireless access must have a Library Card or a daily visitor’s pass.

C.   Internet Filtering -- Patrons Under 18 years of Age

1.   Responsibility of Parents and Legal Guardians.  As with other materials in the Library's collection, it is the Library's policy that parents or legal guardians are responsible for deciding which library resources are appropriate for their children.  The Library urges parents and guardians to discuss Internet use with their children and to monitor their use of this educational tool.  In order to assist parents and guardians, YDL will provide a youth-friendly homepage on youth department computers to direct patrons to age appropriate Internet sites, both recreational and academic in nature.  Parents and youth patrons are encouraged to participate in YDL's training offered on Internet use that explains both the benefits and pitfalls inherent in its use.

2.   Library Card.  Patrons under 18 years of age wishing to access the Library's workstations or wireless access must have a Library Card or a daily visitor’s pass.

3.   Request Least Restrictive Filters.   Minors who are 17 years old may only have the filtering level (filters used to filter visual depictions of obscenity, child pornography and material that is deemed harmful to minors) changed on a computer used by that patron if they complete the Request to Change Filtering Level form for (1) bona fide research or other lawful purposes and (2) only if a parent or legal guardian has accompanied them to the Library and is sitting at the computer station or terminal at all times.  Patrons under the age of 17 may not use unfiltered workstations for Internet access pursuant to the requirements of CIPA.

4.   Unblocking Websites.  Patrons under the age of 18 may request in writing on the Request to Override a Blocking Decision form provided by the Library that a particular site be unblocked, but only if the site does not include obscene or sexually explicit material deemed harmful to minors.  

III.        Guidelines for Responsible Use

1.    Internet access is available on a first-come, first-served basis, however YDL staff may set time limits based on public use and demand. 

2.    Users may not violate copyright laws, software licensing agreements, and all other intellectual property rights.  Responsibility for any consequences of copyright infringement lies with the user.  The library expressly disclaims any liability or responsibility resulting from such use.

3.    Users may not use electronic workstations or the Library's Internet access for any illegal or criminal purpose, including activities prohibited under any applicable federal, Michigan, or local laws.

4.    Users may not use personal software or alter any system or network configuration.  The attachment of unauthorized equipment to the library’s computers and networks is strictly prohibited.  Any cause of the degradation of system performance is subject to punishment.

5.    Michigan law prohibits users from allowing minors access to sexually explicit materials harmful to minors. Internet Users shall not permit any minor to view sexually explicit material or any other material deemed harmful to minors.

6.    Users may not violate another user’s privacy by misrepresenting oneself as another user; by attempting to modify or gain access to files, passwords or data belonging to others; and by seeking disallowed access to any computer system via the Internet.

7.    Users may not deliberately propagate computer viruses.

8.    Users may not distribute unsolicited advertising or propaganda.

9.    YDL reserves the right to discipline Internet users who violate the stated user policies and/or guidelines per sanctions listed below.

10.  The same rules apply to the use of the Internet as with the use of any other Library materials.  The Library has adopted a Patron Behavior Policy.  All Internet Users must comply with the Library's Patron Behavior Policy, which shall be posted in the Library.

IV.       Sanctions

Violations of Internet Use Policy.

The Library Director or the Director's designee may restrict access to Library facilities by (1) terminating or limiting computer internet access at library facilities; (2) immediately dismissing the patron from the premises; (3) suspending the patron’s access to library facilities for a set period of time; or (4) by denying access to specific services and/or programs pursuant to this Policy.  If necessary, the local police may be called to intervene.

A.    Incident Reports.  Library Staff shall record in writing in the form of an Incident Report any violation of this Policy that resulted in a verbal warning or a suspension of library privileges.  By the end of the day on which the incident occurred, an Incident Report shall be written and forwarded to the Library Director for logging and review. The report should include physical descriptions in addition to the name of the patron.  A copy of the Notice of Patron Suspension should be attached, if applicable.

B.    Violation of the Policy – Suspension of Privileges.  Unless otherwise provided in this Policy, (See Section C below), the Library shall handle violations as follows:

1.     Initial Violation:  Library patrons observed violating this policy will be  asked to cease the violation with a verbal request.  If the patron does not comply with the request, he or she will be asked to leave the building for the day.  If he or she refuses, police may be called.

2.     Subsequent Violations:  The Director or the Director's authorized designee may further limit or revoke the patron's library privileges if infractions continue.  Such limitation or revocation shall be in writing specifying the nature of the violation.  Subsequent violations of the same rule shall result in additional suspensions of increasing length. 

C.    Violations that Affect Safety and Security.  Per the Patron Behavior Policy, violations involving violations of law (including child pornography), violence, threatening behaviors, sexual harassment, vandalism, theft or attempted theft, sexual misconduct or any behavior that threatens the safety and security of staff and/or patrons shall be handled as follows:

1.     Initial Violation:  The police will be called immediately. If the conduct constitutes a violation of local, state, or federal law, arrest or criminal prosecution may ensue.  Violations of this nature will result in an immediate minimum two-week suspension of library privileges.  The Incident Report shall specify the nature of the violation.

2.     Subsequent Violations:  The police will be called immediately.  If the conduct constitutes a violation of local, state, or federal law, arrest or criminal prosecution may ensue.  The Director or the Director's authorized designee, may further limit or revoke the patron's library privileges in escalating responses, which will be documented in writing.  Subsequent violations of the same rule will result in additional suspensions of increasing length.

D.    Reinstatement.  The patron whose privileges have been limited or revoked shall attend a meeting with the Director or the Director's designee to review the Library Patron Behavior Policy before their privileges may be reinstated.

E.    Civil or Criminal Prosecution.  Illegal acts involving the Library's Internet access service may be subject to civil or criminal prosecution.

V.        Right of Appeal

Patrons may appeal a decision to limit or revoke privileges by sending a written appeal to the Library Director within 10 working days of the date the privileges were revoked or limited.  The appeal should be sent to the President of the Library Board.  The decision of the Library Board is final.




[1]
[1] Under Michigan Law, "adults" are 18 years of age or older.  CIPA defines a adult as 17 years of age or older.  As required by CIPA, 17 year olds may have the filter disabled, but only as specifically described in Section III below.

Approved by the Ypsilanti District Library Board of Trustees September 28, 2000
Revised by the Ypsilanti District Library Board of Trustees May 23, 2002
Revised by the Ypsilanti District Library Board of Trustees July 29, 2004
Revised by the Ypsilanti District Library Board of Trustees August 25, 2005

Revised by the Ypsilanti District Library Board of Trustees September 29, 2011
Revised by the Ypsilanti District Library Board of Trustees April 19, 2012

Go to forms:
Request for Reconsideration to Block a Website»

Request to Override a Blocking Decision»

Request to Change Filtering Level (Adults 18 and Older)»

Request to Change Filtering Level (Minors Under 18)»

Request to Change Filtering Level to Least Restrictive for Minors 17 Years of Age»

 

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