Internet Policy

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Revised and Adopted by the Rochester Public Library Board on June 17, 2015

Rochester Public Library’s Internet workstations are intended to provide access to valuable information resources. The library focuses on providing that access and does not offer additional services such as email accounts, website hosting, or technical support.

In order to access the library’s Internet workstations, a patron must use a card that is valid in the Rochester Public Library’s database. This includes SELCO cards, internet only cards and cards issued at other Minnesota libraries which have been registered at Rochester Public Library.

The Internet is a global entity with a highly diverse user population and information content. Currently, the Internet is an unregulated medium. Therefore, library patrons are advised to exercise critical judgment when using Internet information, realizing that accuracy, completeness, and currency vary widely. All information is not on the Internet. The Library’s collection of books, periodicals, DVDs, electronic resources, etc. continues to be a reliable source of accurate, comprehensive, and current information.

Library staff choose and maintain links to web resources from our website that follow generally accepted library selection practices. Beyond this, the library does not accept responsibility for the Internet’s content. The library is not responsible for materials on the Internet which some users may find objectionable. The Library is not responsible for changes in content of the sources to which it is linked, nor for the content of sources accessed through secondary links. The Library is not responsible for any online breakdowns by the Internet provider(s) nor for any virus downloaded by any user. The Rochester Public Library assumes no responsibility for any direct or indirect damage related to the use of the information accessible through the library’s Internet connection.

Parents and guardians are responsible for providing guidance and monitoring their children’s use of all library resources including the Internet. According to state and federal law, when using library Internet workstations, minors are prohibited from accessing materials which are considered to be “harmful to minors”. The law also prohibits minors from disclosing, using, or disseminating personal information about themselves without written authorization of their parent or legal guardian. To assist parents and legal guardians in guiding and supervising their children’s Internet use, the library provides the following tools:

  • Information is available on the Internet www.netsmartz.org.
  • Filtered Internet workstations are present in the children’s and young adult areas. Users of the
    filtered workstations should be aware that no device or software will block every inappropriate
    site, and sites may be blocked that should not be. The library does not accept responsibility for
    these incidents.

All Internet users should avoid disclosing personal information over the Internet to preserve their own personal safety. Library Internet users are prohibited by law from disclosing, using, or disseminating personal information regarding minors without written authorization of the parent or legal guardian of the minors involved.

Use of the Internet workstations is for LEGAL purposes only. Internet users may not use the library’s computers to display obscene materials or child pornography as determined by State and Federal Law.

Other illegal activities which are also prohibited include but are not limited to:

  • software piracy
  • degrading or disrupting equipment or system performance
  • gaining unauthorized access to resources or entities
  • invading the privacy of individuals
  • engaging in any activity that is deliberately offensive or creates an intimidating or hostile
    environment.
  • violation of copyright or licensing agreements

U.S. copyright law (Title 17, U.S. Code) prohibits the unauthorized reproduction or distribution of copyrighted materials, except as permitted by the principles of “fair use.” Users may not copy or distribute electronic materials (including electronic mail, text, images, programs, or data) without the explicit permission of the copyright holder. Any responsibility for any consequences of copyright infringement lies with the user; the library expressly disclaims any liability or responsibility resulting from such use.

WARNING TO THE INTERNET USER: Please be aware that the Rochester Public Library is a public place. Displaying sexually suggestive objects or pictures may be a violation of the City of Rochester Sexual Harassment Policy or a violation of State and Federal Obscenity laws (Minnesota Statutes, Sections 617.241, 617.243, 617.25; Title 18, United States Code, Section 2252).

Violation of the library’s Internet Policy and/or the Library Code of Conduct may result in the suspension of Internet and/or library privileges.

Printable copy of Rochester Public Library Internet and Internet Safety Policy (PDF)

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