Internet Safety Policy
The Jefferson County Library Cooperative (JCLC), a
non-profit organization, is pleased to make available to the citizens of
Jefferson County and staff of member public libraries access to an
interconnected computer network within Jefferson County, and to the
Internet, the world-wide network that provides various means of accessing
significant education, recreational materials and opportunities.
This is the Internet Safety Policy of the JCLC, the
host site that provides Internet access to the nineteen member libraries
of Jefferson County.
The Internet, a worldwide network of computer networks
is an essential medium for obtaining and transmitting information of all
types. Therefore, public access to the Internet is germane to the public
However, the Internet is an unregulated medium. It also
provides access to information that is inaccurate, illegal or that some
may find offensive or disturbing. The JCLC will identify on its web site
specific Internet sites that have potential interest for JCLC users. But
the JCLC cannot control a user's access to other Internet resources.
I. Responsibilities of JCLC Users and Staff
JCLC member library staff will not monitor a user's
except for compliance with library policy and for length of use at a member library site, in order
to ensure equal opportunity of access for everyone. The user, or the
parent of a minor, is responsible for his or her Internet session at all
The JCLC member library, through local Internet
policies, reserves the right to terminate an Internet session that
disrupts JCLC services or that involves user behavior that violates the
member library policies or JCLC's policies.
As with all JCLC resources, the JCLC affirms the right
and responsibility of parents/guardians, NOT JCLC member library staff, to
determine and monitor their minor children's use of the Internet. Parents
are responsible for their minor children’s use of the JCLC’s resources and
member library’s facilities. Parents who believe that their children
cannot responsibly use the JCLC’s Internet access are requested to monitor
their children’s Internet use.
II. Unacceptable Uses of Network and/or Computers
Among the uses that are considered unacceptable and
which constitute a violation of this Policy are the following:
A. Uses that violate the law or encourage others to
violate the law. Transmitting of offensive or harassing messages;
offering for sale or use any substance the possession or use of which is
prohibited by law; viewing, transmitting or downloading pornographic
materials or materials that encourage others to violate the law;
downloading or transmitting confidential, trade secret information, or
copyrighted materials. Even if materials on the networks are not marked
with the copyright symbol, users should assume that all materials are
protected unless there is explicit permission on the materials to use
The term "harmful to minors" is defined by the
Communications Act of 1934 (47 USC Section 254 [h]), as meaning:
Specific to Alabama:
any picture, image, graphic image file, or other
visual depiction that taken as a whole and with respect to minors,
appeals to a prurient interest in nudity, sex, or excretion;
depicts, describes, or represents, in a patently
offensive way with respect to what is suitable for minors, an actual or
simulated sexual act or sexual contact, actual or simulated normal or
perverted sexual acts, or a lewd exhibition of the genitals;
taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic,
political, or scientific value as to minors.
Dissemination or public display of obscene matter
is a misdemeanor in Alabama. Code of Alabama 13A-12-200.3
Dissemination or public display of obscene matter
containing visual reproduction of person under 17 years of age
involved in obscene acts is a Class B felony in Alabama. Code of
Violation of the above ordinances 13A-12-200.3
and 13A-12-191 may subject you to loss of library privileges or
Copies obtained from the Internet may be subject
to copyright law. Violation of the law may subject you to an action
for damages and/or an injunction.
B. Uses that cause harm to others or damage to their
property. Engaging in defamation (harming another's reputation by
lies); uploading a worm, virus, "Trojan horse," "time bomb" or other
harmful form of programming or vandalism; participating in "hacking"
activities or any form of unauthorized access to other computers,
networks, or information systems.
C. Uses that jeopardize the security of the computer
network or other networks on the Internet. Disclosing or sharing
the user’s library card password with others; impersonating another user;
using one’s own software programs on the JCLC member library’s computers;
altering the JCLC’s member library computer settings; damaging or
modifying computer equipment or software.
D. Uses that compromise the safety and security of
minors when using e-mail, chat rooms and other forms of direct electronic
communications: Child less than 16 years of age: Giving others
private information about one’s self or others, including credit card
numbers and social security numbers; arranging a face-to-face meeting with
someone one has "met" on the computer network or Internet without a
III. INTERNET SAFETY
A. General Warning; Individual Responsibility of
Parents and Users. All users and their parents/guardians are
advised that access to the electronic network may include the potential
for access to materials inappropriate for children. Every user must take
responsibility for his or her use of the computer network and Internet and
stay away from these sites. Parents of minors are the best guides to
materials to shun. If a child finds that other users are visiting
offensive or harmful sites, he or she should report such use to library
B. Personal Safety. In using the computer
network and Internet, do not reveal personal information such as your home
address or telephone number. Do not use your real last name or any other
information which might allow a person to locate you without first
obtaining the permission of a parent. Do not arrange a face-to-face
meeting with someone you "meet" on the computer network or Internet
without your parent’s permission (child less than 16 years of age).
Regardless of your age, you should never agree to meet a person you have
only communicated with on the Internet in a secluded place or in a private
C. "Hacking" and Other Illegal Activities.
It is a violation of this Policy to use the public library computer
network or the Internet to gain unauthorized access to other computers or
computer systems, or to attempt to gain such unauthorized access. Any use
which violates state or federal law relating to copyright, trade secrets,
the distribution of obscene or pornographic materials, or which violates
any other applicable law or municipal ordinance, is strictly prohibited.
D. Confidentiality of Library Records;
Code of Alabama 41-8-10. Registration, etc.
records of public libraries to be confidential; right of parents to
Code of Alabama 36-12-40. Inspection and Copying
Personally identifiable information concerning users
may not be disclosed or used in any way on the Internet without the
permission of a parent or guardian (of a minor child), or the permission
of the user himself/herself. Users should never give out private or
confidential information about themselves or others on the Internet,
particularly credit card numbers and Social Security numbers. A member
library director may authorize the release of directory information, as
defined by the Code of Alabama, for internal administrative or planning
purposes. Any disclosure of current patron information to legal
authorities, as required by law with search warrant or subpoena, must be
authorized by the Director of the member library where the search warrant
or subpoena is served.
While the JCLC endeavors to provide access to
information of the highest quality, the JCLC specifically disclaims any
warrant as to the information's accuracy, timeliness, authoritativeness,
usefulness or fitness for a particular purpose.
The JCLC will have no liability for direct, indirect or
consequential damages related to the use of information accessed through
the JCLC's Internet service.
Since software and information downloaded from any
sources, including the Internet, may contain computer viruses, users are
advised to utilize virus-checking software on their home computers. The
JCLC is not responsible for damage to users' disks or computers or for any
loss of data, damage or liability that may occur from use of the JCLC's
member library’s computers.
The JCLC member library will develop such rules,
policies and procedures as are necessary to ensure the fair and reasonable
use of Internet access at each local member library facility.
VI. Response to Violations
The user’s access to the JCLC’s computer network
and Internet is a privilege, not a right. A user violates this Policy by
his or her own action(s).
Adopted by the Board of Directors of the Jefferson
County Library Cooperative June 27, 2002.