INTERNET USE POLICY
Public access to the Internet is limited to adult users and minors with parental consent only.
Library Internet access will be guided by the principles and user rights as delineated in the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights in Cyberspace.
Electronic information services, and networks provided by the Library will be readily, equally, and equitably accessible to all Library users.
Access to information will not be denied or limited because of its controversial content or because of personal beliefs or fear of confrontation. The Library does not monitor an individual’s use of the internet: nor does the Library use filtering software.
Information retrieved or utilized electronically is considered constitutionally protected unless determined otherwise by a court with appropriate jurisdiction.
Responsibility for and any restriction of, a child’s use of the Internet rests solely with his or her parents or legal guardians.
The Library assumes no responsibility for any damages, direct or indirect, arising from its connections to the Internet. The Library makes no guarantee, either expressed or implied, with respect to the quality or content of the information available on the Internet. The provision of access does not mean or imply that the Library endorses or sanctions the content or point of view of any of the information or commentary which may be found on the Internet.
The Library cannot protect individuals from information and images which may be personally offensive or disturbing and bears no liability for the display of such.
The Library will terminate the session of individuals displaying of information and/or images which cause a disruption.
Parents or guardians are responsible for the Internet information selected and/or accessed by their children. The Library has no authority to act In Loco Parentis; however, the Library will make available on-line and/or printed materials on protecting children such as, “Dealing with Cyber Bullies”, “Safe Blogging”, and “Social Networking”; all recommended by the American Library Association and the New Jersey State Library Association, targeted at youth, teen and parent users respectively, and encourage parents to review this information with their children.
GUIDE TO INTERNET SAFETY
Keeping children safe on the Internet is everyone’s job.
- Parents need to stay in close touch with their kids as they explore the Internet.
- Teachers need to help students use the Internet appropriately and safely.
- Community groups, including libraries, after-school programs, and others should help educate the public about safe surfing.
- Kids and teens need to learn to take responsibility for their own behavior — with guidance from their families and communities.
It’s not at all uncommon for kids to know more about the Internet and computers than their parents or teachers. If that’s the case in your home or classroom, don’t despair. You can use this as an opportunity to turn the tables by having your child teach you a thing or two about the Internet. Ask her where she likes to go on the Internet and what she thinks you might enjoy on the Net. Get your child to talk with you about what’s good and not so good about his Internet experience. Also, no matter how Web-literate your kid is, you should still provide guidance. You can’t automate good parenting.
A little perspective from a parent who’s been there
Just as adults need to help kids stay safe, they also need to learn not to overreact when they find out a child or teenager has been exposed to inappropriate material or strayed from a rule. Whatever you do, don’t blame or punish your child if he tells you about an uncomfortable online encounter. Your best strategy is to work with him, so you both can learn from what happened and figure out how to keep it from happening again.
The challenges posed by the Internet can be positive. Learning to make good choices on the Internet can serve young people well by helping them to think critically about the choices they will face. Today it’s the Internet; tomorrow it may be deciding whether it’s safe to get into the car of someone a teen meets at a party. Later it will be deciding whether a commercial offer really is “too good to be true” or whether it really makes sense to vote for a certain candidate or follow a spiritual guru. Learning how to make good choices is a skill that will last a lifetime.
Guide to Online Privacy
While kids are often more computer savvy than their parents — they can easily sign up for a game or subscribe to a chat room service — they don’t understand the consequences of revealing personal information to strangers. As a rule, children should not reveal personal information about themselves online without a parent’s permission. This includes their name, email address, postal address, phone number, photo, school address, etc.
Teach your children about some of the risks involved if they reveal their name, address, telephone number and/or email address online and print out some of these general rules for your children to follow as they surf online. You can help children protect their privacy and themselves if you teach them to be privacy-wise. Learn more about how to teach your kids to keep their personal information to themselves online by visiting GetNetWise or the more kid friendly Ruff Ruffman: Humble Media Genius from PBS Kids.