The Hershey Public Library is a community center focusing on open access to materials, programs, information and services that fulfill the community’s educational and enrichment needs. The Library actively promotes and supports reading, literacy, information technology, and lifelong learning.
Internet Access Policy
Purpose of Policy
The Internet is a resource that enables library patrons to connect to information beyond that contained in the Hershey Public Library’s (the Library’s) collection and relates to the Library’s commitment to lifelong learning. Currently, however, it is an unregulated medium. While it does contain a wealth of materials that are personally, professionally, and culturally enriching to individuals of all ages, it also allows access to some materials that may be offensive, illegal and/or inaccurate. The Hershey Public Library does not monitor and has no control over any materials obtained on the Internet and cannot be held responsible for its content.
Children and the Internet
The Children’s Internet Protection Act (pub. L. 106.554) requires that a library receiving federal funds must “have in place a policy of Internet safety for minors that includes the operation of a technology protection measure with respect to any computers with Internet access…” In compliance with this provision of federal law, the library has installed a filtering mechanism on all library internet connections to protect young users from inappropriate material.
All Internet resources accessible through the Library are provided equally to all library users. Parents or guardians, not the Library or its staff, are responsible for their children’s use of the Internet through the Library’s connection. In compliance with Federal Law, the library provides filtered access to the Internet based on the user’s age. Internet computers located in the Children’s Department are reserved for patrons under age 17. Minors are considered to be library users under the age of 17. No filter or procedure can eliminate material which may be inappropriate for some children or offensive to some people. Parents are urged to monitor Internet use of their children just as they monitor their children’s reading. Parents are responsible for their children’s internet usage at the Library.
To the extent practical, steps shall be taken to promote the safety and security of users of the library’s online computer network when using electronic mail, chat rooms, instant messaging, and other forms of direct electronic communications.
In accordance with the Children’s Internet Protection Act, inappropriate network usage includes the following and shall not be permitted at the Library: (a) unauthorized access, including so-called ‘hacking,’ and other unlawful activities; and (b) unauthorized disclosure, use, and dissemination of personal identification information regarding minors.
Internet technology changes rapidly and employs a wide variety of hardware and software. Therefore, library computers may not support every activity available via the Internet and library staff may not be able to help in every circumstance.
The library disclaims any and all liability and shall not be responsible and/or liable for loss of data or media resulting from the use of the library equipment. All desktop computers are equipped with software that will reboot between users and clear personal data. While the Hershey Public Library does not retain internet usage records or history and works to protect a patron’s privacy, the library is not responsible for ensuring the privacy of any information or data sent or received by patrons while using the library’s PC’s, laptops, tablets, network, or Wi-Fi.
Altering computer hardware or software, network hacking, failure to pay for printing, and any other activities that disrupt the library, or its technology network are prohibited. Any infringement of this policy may result in loss of access to the Internet, library computers, or general library privileges. A member whose privileges have been denied may have that decision reviewed by appealing the denial via written request to the Director of Library Services within 14 days of the denial of library service.
Because the Internet allows access to ideas, information, and commentary from sources around the world, the library cannot control its content. Therefore, individual users must accept responsibility for determining the validity and accuracy of information located on the Internet. The library is not responsible for any use made of information obtained from Internet resources.
Rules of Use
- Be considerate in your use of internet resources. You are in a public place shared by people of all ages, with a variety of interests, needs, and tastes.
- Use of another patron’s library card is prohibited. A user must use his/her own library card only.
- It is the responsibility of parents to determine what materials are appropriate for their own children.
- Copyright and licensing rules must be observed and complied with.
- It is not permitted to download software to any public computer.
- Internet equipment and software must be used as installed and may only be altered by library staff.
- Users may not attempt unauthorized entry into other computers or networks or disrupt or interfere with other computer or network users, services, or equipment.
- The library expressly prohibits any use of library computers for illegal activities, or to access material that contains or refers to explicit sexual materials as defined in 18 Pa. C.S. § 5903, is obscene, contains child pornography, or is harmful to minors.
- Computer time is limited to provide access to as many users as possible. A user must promptly relinquish a computer at the end of a session when the computer is assigned to a patron on the waiting list.
- No more than two people may use an Internet workstation at one time.
- No food or drink is allowed at the computer stations.
- Reported complaints from other library patrons or staff, in violation of these rules, will be considered grounds for loss of Internet privileges.
- Misuse of the library’s computers or Internet access will result in loss of Internet privileges.
- Misuse of, or noncompliance with the library’s Wireless Access Policy will result in loss of Internet privileges.
- Failure to comply with this Internet Access Policy will result in the loss of internet privileges.
By using internet access as provided by the Hershey Public Library, you consent to this policy. As the user, you agree to waive any and all claims against the Library relating to the use of the internet and specifically release and indemnify the Library from any such claims.
Wireless (Wi-Fi) Access Policy
The Hershey Public Library provides wireless access to the online catalog and the Internet for library patrons and visitors. Access to the network is free of charge. There is no log in required to connect with the internet using a wireless device.
Wireless users must abide by the Hershey Public Library’s Internet Access Policy.
Patrons are expected to configure their wireless devices themselves. Library staff cannot assist in configuring wireless devices nor provide technical assistance of any sort. If assistance is needed, patrons should contact the manufacturer of their equipment.
The Hershey Public Library does not provide security features for its free wireless service. Users of the wireless network assume all risks and responsibilities to provide anti-virus protection and appropriate security settings on their laptops or wireless devices.
Most wireless equipment will be compatible with the library’s wireless network. However, the Hershey Public Library makes no guarantees as to the compatibility of the network with all equipment. The Hershey Public Library cannot guarantee the speed or quality of the connection.
Wireless network users should be certain their laptops or other devices are secured and should never be left unattended in the library. The Hershey Public Library is not responsible for stolen property.
Users assume responsibility for all risk of damage to their personal wireless computers and/or other wireless devices while using Hershey Public Library’s facility and/or wireless connection or network. The Hershey Public Library shall not be held responsible for any such damage and the users waive any and all claims relating to the use of the wireless network and specifically release and indemnify the Library from any and all claims relating thereto.
Board Approved: 11/21/2023