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Eastern Monroe
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Smithfields Branch Pocono Township Library

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Eastern Monroe Public Library

Internet Access Policy and Guidelines

The Eastern Monroe Public Library, hereafter referred to as the Library, is committed to lifelong learning and attempts to provide the best services possible for its patrons. Public computers are available for patron usage as part of the Libraryís wide array of information resources and activities. The Library supports diverse and unique Internet resources within the realm of information normally provided by the Libraryís selection guidelines.

The Internet allows users to connect to the World Wide Web and other resources outside the Library. The Library has no control over these resources which offer unlimited information of every kind, including material which may be deemed obscene under 18 Pennsylvania Code of Statutes ß5903. In compliance with Pennsylvania Act 197 software has been installed on library network computers to block sites that may be considered offensive and may, in addition, be illegal to access (see Section III, below). However, this technology is not foolproof. The responsibility for determining what is offensive or inappropriate lies with the user, or in the case of persons under the age of 18, rests with their parents or legal guardians, not the Library or its staff. Parents or guardians who are concerned about content on the Internet are directed to accompany their children to an Internet session so as to insure that their child does not access any materials that they judge inappropriate. The Libraryís wireless transmission for Internet use by the public may not be subject to content filtering.


I.Guidelines for Users

  1. The Library determines permitted usage time of a userís Internet session.
  2. The Library may require a form of personal identification.
  3. The Library cannot guarantee the confidentiality of a userís Internet session.
  4. The Library provides usage of Internet access to enhance access to information sources.
  5. The Library and its staff are unable to provide support for but not limited to the following:
    1. Uses including email, online commerce, or chat groups.
    2. Devices and applications including but not limited to cameras, media players, and cell phones.
  6. Patrons may use a removable storage device to download or save files from Library computers.
  7. The Library does not permit personal computers plugged into the Libraryís wired network. Wi-Fi service for personal computers may be available. Inquire at the front desk.
  8. The Library does not select and cannot control resources available on theinternet.
  9. The Library cannot guarantee the validity or accuracy of any information found on the Internet.
  10. The Library assumes no liability for computer viruses through usage of the Library computer network.
  11. The Library monitors Internet usage and reserves the right to terminate inappropriate sessions.
  12. The Library reserves the right to charge reasonable fees for printing.

II. Unacceptable Use

Unacceptable uses which constitute a violation of the Library Internet Access Policy and Guidelines are included but not limited to the following:

Uses that violate the law or encourage others to violate the law:
  1. Transmitting of offensive or harassing messages; offering for sale or use any substance the possession or use of which is prohibited by law.
  2. Downloading or transmitting confidential, trade secret information, or copyrighted materials. Even if materials on the networks are not marked with the copyright symbol, users should assume that all materials are protected unless there is explicit permission on the materials to use them.

Uses that cause harm to others or damage to their property:

  1. Engaging in defamation and harming another personís reputation by lies.
  2. Uploading a worm, virus, "Trojan horse," "time bomb" or other harmful form of programming or vandalism.
  3. Participating in "hacking" activities or any form of unauthorized access to other computers, networks, or information systems.

Uses that jeopardize the security of access of the computer network or other networks on the Internet:

  1. Attempting to bypass network or computer security.
  2. Disclosing or sharing the user's password with others.
  3. Impersonating another user.
  4. Using one's own software programs on the Library's computers.
  5. Altering the Library's computers in any way.

Uses that compromise the safety and security of minors (under age 18) when using e-mail, and other forms of electronic communications:

  1. Giving others private information about oneself or others, including credit card numbers and social security numbers.
  2. Arranging a face-to-face meeting with someone one has "met" on the computer network or Internet without a parent's permission.

Uses that Violate Confidentiality of Information:
 Section 428 of the Pennsylvania Library Code> prohibits unauthorized disclosure, use, or dissemination of personal information regarding library users, including minors. Personally identifiable information about users may not be disclosed or used in any way, except to law enforcement authorities as provided by the law.

III. Technology Protection Measures>

Pennsylvania Child Internet Protection Act (Act 197) was signed into law in November 2004

Pennsylvaniaís Child Internet Protection Act (Act 197) was signed into law in November 2004.

Declaration of policy.

The General Assembly finds and declares as follows:
(1) The Commonwealth has a compelling interest and duty to protect children from exposure to obscenity, child pornography and other material that is harmful to minors.
(2) The Commonwealth has a compelling interest in preventing any user from accessing obscene material and child pornography within a public school or public library setting.
(3) There is a need to balance the goal of providing free access to educationally suitable information sources on the Internet against the compelling need and duty to protect children from contact with sexual predators and from access to obscene material, child pornography and material harmful to children.

"Child pornography." As described in 18 Pa.C.S. § 6312 (relating to sexual abuse of children). The Department of Education of the Commonwealth.

"Harmful to minors." As defined in 18 Pa.C.S. § 5903 (relating to obscene and other sexual materials and performances).

"Internet." THE INTERNATIONAL network of computer systems.

"Obscene." As defined for purposes of "obscene materials" in 18 Pa.C.S. § 5903 (relating to obscene and other sexual materials and performances).

The Library has installed filtering/blocking software on library computers used by patrons that have Internet access, and will enforce the operation of same during any use of those computers, to prevent minors from accessing visual depictions that are (1) obscene, (2) child pornography, or (3) harmful to minors.

Filtering is not foolproof. It diminishes the likelihood that searchers will inadvertently retrieve text or images that they may find offensive, but does not eliminate that possibility. Filters often block access to sites that users would consider both inoffensive and useful.

If you do not find what you need, please do not hesitate to ask a Librarian for help. Technology protection measures may be bypassed by a library staff member, as necessary, for bona fide research or other lawful purposes by people aged 18 and older (and minors under the age of 18 with the written consent of a parent or guardian, signed in the presence of a librarian).

Note: There is no requirement that personal computers brought into the public arena of the Library have filtering software, but owners have the responsibility of guarding against exhibiting material of an explicit sexual nature on their computer screens. Violators may be subject to criminal prosecution pursuant to 18 Pa.C.S. § 5903. Accessing child pornography through the Internet on any computer is a federal criminal offense.

IV. Regulation

Violation of this policy may result in loss of Library public access Internet time indefinitely. Patrons who make unlawful use of the Internet are subject to prosecution.


The library staff cannot offer personal instruction on Internet usage. There are books, ††periodicals, and videos regarding Internet usage in the library's current collection.

Revised, EMPL Board March 2010

last updated March 19, 2010