Accuracy of Information
The Internet offers global access to information. However, not all sources on the Internet provide information that is accurate, complete, current, or legal. Westlake Porter Public Library is not able to monitor or control and cannot be held responsible for the content of materials on the Internet (which change rapidly and unpredictably). However, Westlake Porter Public Library does provide guidance and recommended sites through links on our Web site, through public programs on locating and evaluating Internet sites, and through printed information for concerned parents.
Some resources and destinations definitely contain material that some patrons will find offensive, as well as sites that are inappropriate for children. Westlake Porter Public Library does not filter Internet access at the library, however, because doing so would block access to legitimate sites and needed information. Nor would the library be able to filter according to the individual preferences or sensibilities of the diverse public it serves.
The library makes available current brochures featuring children's websites, and Internet safety tips. WPPL's Youth Services web page features links to websites of special interest to children. Informational programs for parents on this topic are scheduled, as needed. Information about the library's policy is on the registration form for children's borrower's cards.
One computer workstation with "filtered" access to the Internet is made available in the Youth Services area in an effort to provide an alternative for parents who are concerned about their children's use of that resource. Caregivers are cautioned, however, that the filtering system employed may not block access to all materials unsuitable for minors. (To date, no commercially available filtering system has been proven to be 100% effective.) Further, the filter may prevent access to Web sites that provide useful information. The filtering system is not under the direct control of the library, and sites blocked or not blocked represent the judgment and proficiency of a third-party vendor.
For these reasons, unfiltered access is offered on the balance of the library's Internet access computers. This policy does not require children to use "filtered" access; parents and caregivers must determine for their own children how each may use any library resource. Parents and guardians of children under 18, not library staff, are responsible for their children's use of the Internet, including any information selected and/or accessed by them, as with any other usage of equipment and services of the library. The library recommends and encourages parents and children to use the Internet and other library resources together. For the child's safety and best interests, those under the age of nine may not be left unattended anywhere in the library.
Neither the library nor OPLIN provides email accounts. Customers may access their own web-based email accounts from library terminals, however.
Internet users may download information from the Internet to their own portable devices or have it sent to their own email accounts. Users should not expect library staff, however, to do this for them or to know the specifics of how individual, particular Web sites or email Web sites work. Under no circumstances may a user download or save anything to the hard drive of any library PC or to a network drive.
Customers may print from computer workstations or the wireless network provided by the library. Customers are given a daily allowance of $1.00 to use for printing only. The cost is $0.10 per page (black toner only). The cost is $0.15 per page for color. The library uses an automated print management system. Any unused daily allowance does not carry over. Staff cannot refund any unused amounts deposited on the automated print management system.
The library cannot guarantee the privacy or confidentiality of information or files that are entered into or accessed via its public Internet-connected computers. While security is our goal, electronic communications can be intercepted and can become public. The sending of any information, including name, address, and credit card numbers, is at the sole risk of the user.
On October 26, 2001, Congress passed the USA PATRIOT Act. Under the provisions of this act, if a search warrant pertaining to patron records is issued under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) (USA PATRIOT Act amendment), library staff must comply by providing requested information. Furthermore, a search warrant under FISA contains a "gag" order that prohibits a person or institution served with this warrant to disclose that the warrant has been served or that records have been produced pursuant to the warrant.
Private information saved to any storage device, or printed out to paper copies, and left behind after a computer session, or printouts discarded to public waste cans may be seen or confiscated by third parties. The physical security of these media is the responsibility of the individual computer user.