Approved: December 10, 2018

Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to balance the provision of internet access to the Library's users while ensuring that internet use conforms with all applicable laws and the Library is maintained as a welcoming and supportive environment free from discrimination and harassment.

Policy Scope

For the purposes of this policy, the Library's internet services are defined as the Library's wired and wireless networks.

Policy Statement

The Library provides public access to the internet to fulfill its mission to preserve and promote universal access to a broad range of human knowledge, experience, information, and ideas. Internet access is provided in keeping with the intellectual freedom statements of the Canadian Federation of Library Associations (CFLA-FCAB) and the Ontario Library Association (OLA).

The internet enables the Library to connect to ideas, information and commentary from around the globe and to offer access to many valuable local, national and international resources.

The internet is an unregulated environment. It contains information and opinions that range in scope from reliable and authoritative to controversial or extremely offensive. Some information found on the internet may not be accurate, complete, or current. Users must assess the validity of the information found. Users should be aware that the internet is not a secure medium and that third parties may be able to obtain information about users' activities. The Library assumes no responsibility for the security and privacy of online transactions.

Children, ages 12 and under, are entitled to access all information and facilities in the Library. As with other library materials, children's access to the internet and other electronic networks is the responsibility of parents or guardians.

In keeping with the Library's long-standing tradition of providing age-appropriate materials for children in safe and welcoming environments, workstations designated for children will be filtered. The Library assumes no responsibility for the accuracy or effectiveness of any installed filter.

With the exception of filters on designated children's workstations, the Library does not manage the content of the information accessed through the internet and assumes responsibility only for the information provided on its own home pages. The Library is not responsible for the site content of links or secondary links from its home pages. The Library assumes no responsibility for any direct or indirect claims, damages or costs, howsoever caused, sought by users or third parties arising from its provision of access to internet services.

The Library's users are subject to federal, provincial and municipal legislation regulating internet use, including the provisions of the Criminal Code regarding obscenity, child pornography, sedition and the incitement of hate. Use of the Library's internet services for a purpose or action that is, or the Library reasonably believes to be, contrary to the law or any of the Library's Rules of Conduct or policies is prohibited.

Certain copying or distribution of material found on the internet may infringe copyright or other intellectual property rights. The Library is not responsible for such infringements.

Users should also bear in mind that they are accessing the internet in a public space and should be considerate of those around them when accessing sites that may reasonably be considered offensive to others. All users of the Library, including users of the Library's internet services, are also expected to follow the Library's Rules of Conduct which are designed to ensure a welcoming and supportive environment, free from discrimination and harassment. Disruptive, threatening, or otherwise intrusive behaviour is not allowed and Library staff are authorized to take action. Violations of this Policy and/or the Rules of Conduct may result in suspension of library privileges and exclusion from the Library, as well as prosecution.

Accountability

The City Librarian and Directors are responsible for ensuring the policy is implemented and enforced.

Enquiries

All enquiries about this policy will be directed to the Director, Branch Operations and Customer Experience.