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Internet Use Policy

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The Los Angeles Public Library (LAPL or library) makes the internet accessible in accordance with our mission to provide free and easy access to information in our city’s diverse communities. Information found on the internet is provided by millions of people and organizations from around the world. Not all information found on the internet is accurate, up to date, legal or acceptable to all individuals. The library does not control information found on the internet and cannot be held responsible for its content. Patrons who use the internet are responsible for evaluating the validity and appropriateness of the information they access

In accordance with the federal Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) (Public Law 106-554), all library computers are equipped with filtering software. The software is intended to protect against access to sites which may reasonably be construed as obscene, as that term is defined in Section 1460 of Title 18, United States Code; or child pornography, as that term is defined in Section 2256 of Title 18, United States Code; or harmful to minors as defined in Section 1703, Public Law 106-544. The library has implemented filtering software that complies with CIPA while providing patrons the broadest possible access to constitutionally protected speech and information. The library cannot and does not guarantee that the 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 categories@lapl.org for evaluation. Patrons who are 18 years of age or older may disable the filtering software in order to obtain unfiltered internet access for bona fide research or other lawful purposes.

Responsibilities of Patrons on the Internet

All patrons of electronic information resources such as the internet are expected to use these resources in a responsible manner, consistent with the educational and informational purposes for which they are provided, and following the library’s Rules of Conduct.

It is unacceptable to use the Library's computer system and Internet resources for any of the following:

  • For any purposes which violate applicable federal or state laws. Patrons must respect all copyright laws and licensing agreements pertaining to software, files and other resources obtained via the internet.
  • Destruction, damage, or disruption of equipment, software, or data belonging to the library, including removal of privacy screens, shutting off computers, and disconnecting any computer cables.
  • Disruption or interference of network patrons or services. Such interference or disruption includes, but is not limited to: distribution of unsolicited advertising, harassment, libeling, or slandering of others; propagation of computer worms, hacking, or viruses.
  • Sending, receiving, or displaying text or graphics which may reasonably be construed as either obscene or child pornography by community standards.

Violating these responsibilities may result in being restricted from using the library’s online services for the day; the library reserves the right to take appropriate action after repeated violations of the Internet Use Policy.

Internet Safety for Minors

As with other library materials, supervision of a child’s use of the internet is the responsibility of a parent or legal guardian. The library has created guides to useful resources for children and teens that provide information and links to other websites designed for these age groups. Although filtering standards on reservation computers still meet the standards required to comply with CIPA, the use of two hour internet and word processing computers by minors should be monitored by their parent or legal guardian as access to its content and filtering does not follow the same standards as those intended for children’s Kids’ Path computers.

To address the issue of the safety and security of minors when using email, chat rooms and other forms of direct electronic communications, as well as the unauthorized disclosure, use and dissemination of personal identification information regarding minors, the library urges parents, legal guardians and their children to keep in mind the following safety guidelines:

  1. Never give out identifying information such as home address, school name, or telephone number.
  2. Let a parent or legal guardian decide whether personal information such as age, marital status, or financial information should be revealed.
  3. Never arrange a face-to-face meeting with someone via the computer without parents' or guardians' approval.
  4. Never respond to messages that are suggestive, obscene, threatening, or make one 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.

Library Homepage, Landing Pages & Links

The library homepage and landing pages, accessed at lapl.org, are designed and maintained by library staff. The library assumes responsibility only for the information provided on its homepage and landing pages.

The library’s homepage and landing pages also feature links to other internet sites. In choosing second and third party sources to link, staff follows the library’s Materials Selection Guidelines. The library has not participated in the development of these other sites and does not exert any editorial or other control over the sites. Links are not endorsements of these sites and the library assumes no responsibility for these sites.

Internet Access and Use

The library does not provide email accounts; however, patrons may access their email accounts through library computers.

The use of library computers for the transmission, dissemination and/or duplication of information is regulated by federal and state laws. All library patrons must comply with these laws. Library policy forbids the access of illegal material on its computers.

Internet Use by Minors

As with other library materials, supervision of a child’s use of the internet is the responsibility of a parent or legal guardian. The library has created homepages for children (Kids’ Path) and young adults (Teen Web) that provide information and links to other websites designed for these age groups.

Computer Workstations at LAPL

  1. All library facilities offer the public four types of computer workstations:
  • Kids’ Path computers: These have a 30 minute time limit and provide age-appropriate learning resources and activities for children. No library card is needed.
  • Catalog and database access computers. There is no time limit on these and no library card is needed.
  • Fifteen minute internet computers. No library card is needed.
  • Two-hour internet and word processing computers. A LAPL library card is required.
  1. To reserve a two hour internet and word processing computer you must have and use a valid LAPL library card issued in your name.
  • A free library card is available with proper identification at any circulation desk.
    (Children under 18 require a parent/guardian signature to obtain a library card).
  • Patrons may sign up for an Internet computer remotely on the library’s website or in any library building at an available computer.
  • Patrons may sign up for a computer up to nine days before the intended use. Telephone reservations are not accepted.
  • Patrons may use the library’s internet computer workstations for a maximum of two hours per day.
  • Patrons more than ten minutes late will forfeit their time slot.
  • Before patrons leave the computer, they are requested to log off their session.

Guidelines for Use of Computer Workstations

  1. Printouts from the library’s catalog are free. Printouts from other databases are 25 cents per page.
  1. Library staff may limit the number of patrons on the same computer.
  1. Patrons must:
  • Not remove privacy screens;
  • Not save files on hard drives or C drives;
  • Not disconnect any computer cables;
  • Not shut off computers;
  • Not damage computer equipment or software;
  • Not engage in harassing or defamatory activity online; and
  • Not use computers for illegal activity.
  1. Violation of these guidelines may result in the loss of computer access. Unlawful activities will be reported to library security or the Los Angeles Police Department and will be dealt with in an appropriate manner.

Wireless Laptop Access

Wireless access (802.11g/n/ac) is available to patrons with laptops at all library facilities. Laptops must have DHCP enabled. Library staff cannot assist patrons in setting up personal laptops to work with the wireless network. Patrons must agree to Wireless Network Policy before going online.

 

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