The Topsham Public Library provides Internet access through our affiliation with the Maine School and Library Network (MSLN).
The Internet is an unregulated medium. Thus, while offering access to a wealth of excellent material, it also offers access to materials that may be offensive, disturbing or illegal.
The Topsham Public Library upholds and affirms the right of every individual to access constitutionally protected material.
Topsham Public Library cannot monitor the information and images that are obtained or viewed over the Internet. It is the right and responsibility of parents and legal guardians to monitor their minor children’s use of the library materials and resources, including Internet access. Parents are advised to take an active interest in their children’s online use. The library assumes no responsibility for any damage, direct or indirect, that arises from use of electronic services.
Topsham Public Library staff members have the right to request that any patron immediately leave a site that contains images that are obscene, illegal or harmful to minors, as defined by federal law due to the fact that the computer monitors are in full public view.
To continue to receive funding for Internet access through the Federal E-rate program as administered by Network Maine for the Maine School and Library Network (MSLN) the library is required to: (a) prevent user access over its computer network to, or transmission of, inappropriate material via Internet, electronic mail, or other forms of direct electronic communications; (b) prevent unauthorized access and other unlawful online activity; (c) prevent unauthorized online disclosure, use, or dissemination of personal identification information of minors; and (d) comply with the Children’s Internet Protection Act [Pub. L. No. 106-554 and 47 USC 254(h)].
Key terms are as defined in the Children’s Internet Protection Act.
Access to Inappropriate Material
To the extent practical, technology protection measures (or “Internet filters”) shall be used to block or filter Internet, or other forms of electronic communications, access to inappropriate information.
Specifically, as required by the Children’s Internet Protection Act, blocking shall be applied to visual depictions of material deemed obscene or child pornography, or to any material deemed harmful to minors.
Subject to staff supervision, technology protection measures may be disabled for adults or, in the case of minors, minimized only for bona fide research or other lawful purposes.
Inappropriate Network Usage
To the extent practical, steps shall be taken to promote the safety and security of users of the Topsham Public Library online computer network when using electronic mail, chat rooms, instant messaging, and other forms of direct electronic communications.
Specifically, as required by the Children’s Internet Protection Act, prevention of inappropriate network usage includes: (a) unauthorized access, including so-called ‘hacking,’ and other unlawful activities; and (b) unauthorized disclosure, use, and dissemination of personal identification information regarding minors.
Education, Supervision and Monitoring
It shall be the responsibility of library staff to educate, supervise and monitor appropriate usage of the online computer network and access to the Internet in accordance with this policy, the Children’s Internet Protection Act, the Neighborhood Children’s Internet Protection Act, and the Protecting Children in the 21st Century Act.
Procedures for the disabling or otherwise modifying any technology protection measures shall be the responsibility of the Director or his/her designated representatives.
This Internet Safety Policy was adopted by the Board of the Topsham Public Library at a public meeting, following normal public notice, on June 15, 2016.