Child Computer and Internet Safety Policy
Chapin Memorial Library provides the Children’s Services Department computers to assist children and parents obtain access to productivity software and Internet access for educational and personal needs in both a wired and wireless environment.
As required by the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA), in order to remain eligible for certain federal funding, the Library has implemented software filtering on all of its Internet-accessible computer terminals. The software installed on Internet-accessible computers at the Library protects against access to visual depictions of obscenity, child pornography, and, in the case of persons under the age of 17 years, materials that are “harmful to minors.” Users should be aware, however, that all currently available filtering software results in a degree of both “underblocking” (i.e.,permitting access to certain material that falls within the foregoing categories) and “overblocking” (i.e., denying access to certain constitutionally protected material that does not fall within the foregoing categories). The Library has attempted to select filtering software that best complies with CIPA while providing Library users with the broadest possible access to constitutionally protected speech and information. The Library cannot and does not guarantee that the filtering software will block all obscenity, child pornography, or materials that are harmful to minors. Nor can the Library guarantee that the filtering software will not restrict access to sites that may have legitimate research or other value.
Under the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 (COPPA), 15 U.S.C. 6501–6505 certain commercial websites that collect personal identification information from their users cannot do so for children under age 13 without parental consent, Chapin Memorial Library filters the use of those websites on the computers used in the children’s service area. Young children need to abide by that restriction whenever it is stated at any website.
Parents are advised that no filter replaces parental supervision. Parents are responsible for their child’s use of the Internet. For more information on children and the Internet, ask a Library Staff member for a copy of Child Safety on the information Highway or view this document online at www.onguardonline.gov.
Additionally, Chapin Memorial Library’s Electronic Resource Policy applies to Internet access in all areas and department of the Library. The library reserves the right to amend these policies at any given time. A copy of the written policy is available up request and the policy is posted in the library.
What Parents Should Know
“Blogging,” “friending,” “tagging,” and “Googling” are all part of the new language of cyberspace. These are verbs children use every day to talk about what they do online. It is important that parents understand this new language and provide their children with guidance in navigating the Internet. The Internet is a wonderful tool for children to do research, play games, and communicate with family and friends. Unfortunately, just as people can be rude, obnoxious, and exploitative in person, the anonymity of the Internet can sometimes amplify poor behavior and create an environment that is not always appropriate for children.