Essential to the mission of the Charleston County Library is ensuring that the people of Charleston have the right and means to free and open access to ideas and information which are fundamental to a democracy. The Library will protect intellectual freedom, promote literacy, encourage lifelong learning, and provide library materials and information services.
The Internet, as an information resource, enables the library to provide information beyond the confines of its own collection. It allows access to ideas, information, and commentary from around the globe. Currently, however, it is an unregulated medium. As such, it offers access to a wealth of material that is personally, professionally, and culturally enriching to individuals of all ages, but it also enables access to some material that may be offensive, disturbing, and/or illegal.
Library staff will identify specific starting points for searches on the library’s home page and the library’s kids’ page, which are appropriate to the Library’s mission and service roles. Still, individual users must accept personal responsibility for determining the suitability and appropriateness of information obtained through the Internet.
Because the Library is not a commercial Internet service provider, e-mail service will not be made available to the public.
The Library upholds and affirms the right of each individual to have access to a wide variety of materials. The Library also affirms the right and responsibility of parents to determine and monitor their children’s use of library materials and resources. In affirmation of these rights, the Library has established rules for Internet use.
Rules for Internet Use in the Library
In an effort to ensure that the use of the Internet is consistent with the mission of the Charleston County Library the following regulations shall apply:
Prospective users will sign an Internet Acceptable Use Agreement. To assure parental guidance in children’s use of the Internet: Children age seven and under require a signed Parental Permission Agreement and adult supervision; Children age eight through seventeen require a signed Parental Permission Agreement; Individuals age eighteen and older are required to sign an Acceptable Use Agreement.
The library reserves the right to require all prospective users to attend an orientation session as a condition for access to the library Internet stations. Orientation will include training in the use of software and hardware, and guidelines for the responsible care of library equipment.
Internet use will be managed in a manner consistent with the library’s Code of Conduct, which has been adopted by the Board of Trustees and is posted in the library. All Library Internet Stations use web filtering technology. Adults may request that the web filter be turned off for bona fide research. All minors will have only web filtered access. Failure to use the Internet stations appropriately and responsibly as defined in the Acceptable Use Agreement will result in revocation of Internet privileges and/or library use privileges. Anyone who instructs or demonstrates to another person how to bypass web-filtering technology will have Internet privileges and/or library use privileges revoked.
Approved by the Board of Trustees of the Charleston County Library June 2012.