Internet Use Policy

Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to balance the user's right to freedom of information and access, while ensuring that Internet use conforms to applicable laws and allows the Library to maintain an inclusive and welcoming environment.


Scope

This policy focuses on the Greater Sudbury Public Library's Internet services, which include both wired and wireless networks, and applies to staff and members of the public who use our physical spaces, services and technology.


Context for the Policy

In support of its mandate to provide equitable access to a wide variety of information sources, the Library provides free access to wired and wireless Internet in all of its branches. The Internet offers access to many valuable local, national and international sources of information. However, the Internet is an unregulated worldwide environment and contains information and opinions that range in scope, from reliable and authoritative to controversial and extremely offensive. Information found on the Internet may not be accurate, complete or current. Additionally, when removed and reposted away from its original context, information can be manipulated or rendered purposefully misleading. As such, users must assess both the validity and sources of information found therein and be aware that the Internet is not secure.

The Library assumes no responsibility for the quality, reliability, accuracy, currency, or age appropriateness of any Internet site accessed by library users. The Library assumes responsibility only for the information provided on its own web pages. The Library provides Internet links on its website to assist users in accessing information on the Internet. The Library is not responsible for the site content of links or secondary links from its home pages, and assumes no responsibility for the privacy of online transactions.


Children and the Internet

Children are entitled to access all facilities in the library. As with other library materials, children's access to the Internet and other electronic networks is the responsibility of parents and guardians. The Library cannot and does not act in the place of a parent or guardian and is not responsible for placing and enforcing restrictions upon children and their use of library technology and resources.


Internet Filtering

As outlined in the Canadian Federation of Library Association's (CFLA) Statement on Access to Information and Communication Technology (ICT), the Library supports the belief that access to the Internet and other ICT systems is essential for participation in our modern democratic society.  With the intention of balancing a patron's rights to access the Internet and other ICT's, and with the goal of providing age-appropriate materials for all library users, the Library Board supports the installation of filtering software on some, but not all, physical Internet terminals. Unfiltered stations will neither be located in, nor adjacent to any children's area.

While the Library provides a mix of filtered and unfiltered stations, no filtering product can effectively block all offensive sites. The Library assumes no liability or responsibility in the event that a filter is not totally effective. If the commercial filter is blocking access to a website a user feels should be allowed, they may notify staff and the request will be reviewed, and access allowed if appropriate.

The Library offers access to unfiltered wireless network services. The goal of our wireless network services is to bridge any gaps to accessing information members of the community may be experiencing. The Library does not monitor or store personal information on the wireless network. The Library recommends users take safety measures to ensure their wireless devices are secure from malicious online sources. Users are responsible for ensuring their devices have functional, up-to-date antivirus software and malware protection.  The Library assumes no responsibility for damage caused to personal devices or software that result from security issues, hacking, or viruses.


Patron Behaviour in Public Areas

Internet workstations are situated in public areas, and users are expected to use the Internet in accordance with this environment. Users must recognize that the Internet contains a wide variety of resources, including resources that some may consider upsetting or offensive. Respect for the sensibilities of others should be maintained when accessing sites that may reasonably be offensive to others. Users must not violate the privacy of other library users in shared physical and online spaces.

Library users must not:

  • Install, modify, or delete software found on library computers or technology
  • Are not permitted to tamper with equipment found in the library or checked out for personal use in the community.

All users are expected to follow the Library's Patron Code of Conduct which is designed to ensure an equitable, safe, and welcoming environment. Disruptive, threatening, or intrusive behaviour is not allowed.

To ensure equitable access to the Internet and efficient use of resources, the Library has developed service use guidelines. The Library reserves the right to modify these guidelines when appropriate.

Use of the Internet and Prohibited Activities

Library users are subject to federal, provincial and municipal legislation regulating Internet use, including the provisions of the Criminal Code regarding:

  • Obscenity
  • Child pornography
  • Sedition
  • Incitement of hate

Use of the Internet for illegal purposes, including copyright violation, is prohibited and may result in prosecution. The Library does not endorse or assume responsibility for violations of the Criminal Code or copyright. Violation of this policy and /or the Code of Conduct may result in the suspension of library privileges and exclusion from the Library.


Approval date: April 2008
Revised date: October 22, 2020