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Policy and Guidelines on Use of Internet Access and Computer Terminals

Statement of Purpose

The Hoyt Lakes Public Library will provide Internet access as one means of fulfilling its mission “to provide access to information and materials which promote education, intellectual stimulation and entertainment to the citizens of Hoyt Lakes.”


The Internet, as an information resource, enables the library to provide information beyond the regular collection. The Internet offers a variety of information that is professionally and culturally stimulating; however, information is constantly changing, making it impossible to predict what information is available. Individual users must accept responsibility for determining content of information found on the Internet.

The Hoyt Lakes Public Library subscribes to the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights: “Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all people of the community the library serves. Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation.” Individual users may not use the computers to display graphics that are obscene under Minnesota Statutes Section 617.241. They may not use the computers for illegal purposes. It is also the individual user’s responsibility to demonstrate judgment, respect for others, and appropriate conduct while using Public Library resources and facilities.

The Arrowhead Library System receives federal funding in support of Internet access. Federal law requires libraries receiving such funding to install a technological device to block access to imagery defined by the Act as being harmful to minors. Federal law allows an adult to request that a CIPA-affected site be temporarily unblocked for “bona fide research or other legal purposes.”

The Hoyt Lakes Public Library affirms the right and responsibility of parents to provide guidance for their own children’s use of library materials and resources, including electronic resources. The American Library Association’s Free Access to Libraries for Minors: an Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights: “Librarians and governing bodies should maintain that parents – and only parents – have the right and the responsibility to restrict the access of their children – and only their children – to library resources.” Parents are encouraged to work closely with their children in selecting material that is consistent with personal and family values. Parents are encouraged to share with their children rules for online safety on the SafeKids web site.

Not all sources on the Internet provide accurate, complete, or current information. Users need to be good information consumers, questioning the validity of the information.

Approved by the Library Board June 10, 2008

Rules For Use 

1. No child under the age of 17 will be allowed to use the Internet access computers until a parent or guardian of the child and the child have read a copy of this policy and signed the agreement.

2. Any patron wishing to use the Internet access computers must sign up at the circulation desk. The set time period for each individual use will be 30 minutes, with extensions given at the discretion of the staff. Use of each terminal may be limited to two individuals at one time.

3. First priority will be use for academic research and reports. Second priority will be for general research and email. Third priority will be given to simple searches, gaming, and instant messaging programs.

4. Patrons may ask the staff for assistance and/or instruction for using the Internet. A time that is convenient to both staff and patron may be reserved for such assistance.

5. Downloading is not permitted without staff approval.

6. Any patron who willfully damages or tampers with the hardware or software may be banned from further use, and/or may be charged for repairs.

7. Any patron who willfully accesses illegal sites or exposes staff or other patrons to sites which are obscene or involve visual depictions which are pornographic in nature, may be banned from further access to the Internet.

8. All minors using the Internet should take care not to disclose information, such as names, ages, addresses or other personal information which could be used to harm them.


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