In support of the Library’s mission to provide “…diverse, quality programs, services, and resources for everyone,” the North Canton Public Library offers access to online information resources for use by patrons and staff. The Library promotes and supports access to the Internet through the public computers it provides in the Library, through training classes, and through staff assistance.
The Internet provides a wealth of unique and valuable content that meets the varied interests and needs of our community. The Internet also provides unique mechanisms for manipulating and sharing information and thought. The Internet is an essential tool for fulfilling the Library’s mission. However, this medium provides risks and challenges. The currency and accuracy of information obtained over the Internet may be suspect and all users need to use caution. In addition, some information on the Internet, particularly explicitly sexual imagery, is inappropriate for viewing in a public library.
In compliance with the requirements of the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA), which requires public libraries to use a technology protection measure, the Board has authorized the use of content filtering software on all Library owned computers with direct access to the Internet. This policy’s intent is to prohibit the intentional viewing of sexually explicit imagery, including “visual depictions that are (a) obscene; (b) child pornography; or (c) harmful to children” as defined by CIPA.
The Library recognizes that technology protection measures can only filter an approximation of the scope of content outlined by CIPA and this policy. Technology protection measures fail to block some visual depictions that could be deemed obscene, child pornography, or harmful to children. In addition, all technology protection measures will block some materials that are appropriate for use within the Library and beyond the scope of filtering intended by CIPA and this policy.
In recognizing the deficiency of such technologies and in compliance with the United States Supreme Court requirement that filters may be employed in public libraries if there is a mechanism to disable the filter for adults without significant delay, a filter bypass feature is available to adult patrons. Any adult patron, 18 years of age and over, may elect to bypass the filter by entering his/her library card number. With the filter disabled, the adult patron may assess the appropriateness of the blocked material. No record of patrons who disable the filter will be recorded or maintained. Minors may request to have a filter disabled for bona fide research or other lawful uses, but may not use the card number of an adult to directly disable the filter. No library patron, regardless of age, is to disable the filter with the intention of viewing visual depictions prohibited by this policy.
The Library understands that technology protection measures are not perfect. No filtering software product on the market today is 100% effective in blocking every sexually explicit Internet site. The Library cannot guarantee that sexually explicit material will not get past the filter or that there will not be other sites to which another patron or a parent might object.
As with books and other materials available at the Library, guidance of a child’s access to the Internet and the information available is the responsibility of the parent, legal guardian, or caregiver. Parents are encouraged to work with their children to develop acceptable rules for Internet use in the Library and at home.
Approved by the North Canton Public Library Board of Trustees – December 2020