East Lothian Library Service

Peoples Network

Acceptable Use Policy


Please be aware that use of any Peoples Network
Equipment signifies acceptance of this policy

 

1. Introduction
 
East Lothian Library Services (ELLS) recognises the value of widening access to Information & Communication Technology and ensuring that the benefits of the information age are open to all.

 

ELLS provides free access to a wide range of resources, including those available from the Internet, in its role as a provider of informational, educational, recreational and cultural enrichment opportunities for its users.

 

The following policy has been produced in order to safeguard the interests of ELLS and the community it serves. Prior to using ELLS’s People’s Network facilities all users will have to agree to abide by the terms and conditions of the People’s Network Acceptable Use Policy.
 
2. The Internet and the User’s Responsibility
 
Some information available over the Internet may be inaccurate, misleading or a matter of personal opinion. In addition some aspects of the Internet can be controversial, harmful and of questionable legality.

 

The Internet is a global electronic network. ELLS has no control over the information provided on the Internet and cannot be held responsible for the content, accuracy, validity, legality or quality of the information accessed. It is the user’s responsibility to verify the authenticity and accuracy of the resources they access and

retrieve. All users accessing the service are responsible for selecting the content they view and ELLS takes no responsibility for any content that the user or their parent or guardian finds offensive, immoral or distressing.
 
3. Access
 
PC and Internet access will be available to all members of the public, providing that they are library members, if they live in East Lothian. If visiting the area users are required to show a form of identification and complete a visitor registration form. Users working, but not living in East Lothian can either join the library

or complete a visitor registration form.

 

A booking system is in place. Members of the public can book a PC up to 7 days in advance, in blocks of one-hour sessions, subject to demand. Only one session can be booked at a time. Sessions may be booked in advance by telephone, by e-mail, or in person. No more than 2 people may use any single PC at any one time, at the discretion of the library staff.

 

The ELLS accepts no responsibility for technical malfunctions that may prevent access to the People’s Network Equipment. Users should also be aware that from time to time access to certain web sites might be slow or not available due to circumstances beyond the control of ELLS.


4. Use by Children and Young People
 
Children and young people under the age of 16 who live in East Lothian are required to be library members if they wish to use the People’s Network PCs. The child or young person must also have the permission of their parent or guardian to use the service and a signed membership form must be submitted before any child or

young person will be permitted to use the facility. Similarly children under the age of 16 who are visiting the area must have a visitor registration and form completed and signed by their parent/guardian.

 

ELLS does not supervise or control the use of any facilities by any child or young person. The parent or guardian in signing the membership form acknowledges that ELLS cannot be held responsible for the websites or content the child or young person views. It is the responsibility of the parent or guardian to ensure

that the child or young person is aware of any risk involved in using the Internet. Parents or guardians should take particular care to advise their children about the potential risks of online contacts made with strangers.

 

Pre-school children can access People’s Network facilities only if they have submitted an appropriate membership form and they are supervised by a competent companion aged 12 and over. The supervising companion must also be registered to use the service.

 

Children aged 5-12 who are registered, can access People’s Network facilities alone only if they can use them with minimal help. Otherwise they must be supervised. Library staff have discretion to require a child under 12 to be accompanied.
 
5. Support
 
Library staff will offer general guidance and support for Internet and other People’s Network use.

 

ELLS will promote web sites that have been reviewed by library staff. The content of web sites is liable to change and although staff try to ensure that the websites promoted are accurate and appropriate, ELLS does not guarantee the accuracy, quality or legality of any website or its contents. ELLS accepts no liability

for the availability or content of any web site or the guidance and support given.
 
6. E-mail
 
E-mail facilities will be available through free web-based mail services such as Hotmail (www.hotmail.com) or Yahoo (www.yahoo.co.uk).
 
Library staff are not in a position to pick up or send e-mail on behalf of members of the public.
 
7. Charges
 
It is the policy of the Library Service that access to the Internet should remain free. However, charges will be imposed for the following at prevailing rates:
 
Storage devices – floppy disks, memory sticks and CD-ROMs may be purchased for downloading and saving work. Information should be saved to one of these mediums as the hard disk is cleared automatically on shutdown. Any information downloaded or saved will thus be lost. 

Printing – separate charges exist for black and white and colour printing. (If a request is made for homework information and a book cannot be supplied a maximum of 5 black and white sheets can be printed free of charge.)
 

8. Security
 
All PC’s run virus-checking software.

 

Users should be aware that Internet access may be monitored, including web sites visited, in order to plan better services and to ensure you keep to this policy. The Library Service is bound by the regulations of the Data Protection Act (1998) and will not release information on the use of specific Internet resources by

members of the public except as required by law, to disclose the commission of an offence or for the purpose of the management of the users use of the library services.

 

ELLS does employ filtering mechanisms to control access to information on the Internet that is illegal or which has the potential to offend, but cannot be held responsible for any content. If you find an unsuitable site which is not blocked or a site that you feel has been inappropriately blocked please inform a member of staff

 

Members of the public should be aware that the Internet is not a secure medium and that third parties may be able to obtain information regarding user’s activities.

 

Online financial transactions are now a common occurrence on the Internet and are usually safely conducted over secure connections. Secure sites usually have a padlock on the taskbar and the address begins with https://. However, ELLS cannot be held responsible for any losses resulting from sending confidential and/or financial information via the Internet.

 

Please note that users scanning documents on the multi-function machine should ensure they have logged on to a computer prior to scanning. This scanner sends the scanned document to a computer specified by the user. Users should therefore ensure they send the scanned document to the correct computer. ELLS accepts no responsibility for users sending the scanned document to the wrong computer.


9. Misuse
 
ELLS reserves the right to refuse further Internet access to any individuals accessing or distributing materials, which are deemed by library staff to be illegal or unacceptable or have the potential to offend or disturb others. In particular abusive forms of marketing, content containing violence or pornography, and materials, which could incite hatred or discrimination, will be deemed inappropriate.

 

Use for any commercial service is prohibited.

 

Users must not interfere with equipment, add to, amend or delete existing software.

 

Users cannot use their own software.

 

All adult users and the parents or guardians of users aged 15 and under will be responsible for the use of information retrieved under the provisions of existing copyright regulations. 

 

10. Penalties
 
Users who are deemed to be misusing or abusing software, hardware or other associated People’s Network equipment will be prohibited from subsequent use of the ELLS’ People’s Network facilities.

 

ELLS reserve the right to refuse further computer access to any persons violating this Acceptable Use Policy by accessing or transmitting content which is deemed illegal or unacceptable, or have the potential to offend or disturb others. Library staff on site will determine whether any computer activity breaches this Acceptable Use Policy. All violations will be reported to the Principal Libraries Officer for possible further action.

 

Misuse may result in sessions being terminated immediately, together with a verbal warning. In some instances a written warning will be given. Persistent misuse will result in either a temporary or permanent ban. ELLS reserves the right to issue an immediate ban if staff feel that the conduct concerned is unusually serious or disturbing.

 

As well as the loss of computer privileges, East Lothian Library Services may be obliged to notify occurrences of illegal activities to the appropriate authorities.

 

Inappropriate use by persons under 16 years of age will result in the parent or guardian who signed the membership form being notified. This notification may include details about the use of specific Internet resources.

 

Staff will not tolerate any behaviour which is aggressive or abusive or which causes disturbance to staff or other users. ELLS reserves the right to require any user who is behaving in an unacceptable manner to leave the premises immediately.


11. Review
 
This policy will be reviewed regularly to ensure that it remains timely and relevant. Please note that the Internet is a vast store of knowledge and information and offers enormous benefits and opportunities when

used sensibly.

Using the Internet should be fun! Please be aware that use of any People’s Network Equipment

signifies acceptance of this policy.
 


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