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Chapel Hill Public Library
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Chapel Hill Public Library

A department of the Town of Chapel Hill

Internet Use


The Town of Chapel Hill and the Library Board of Trustees are committed to serving the information and lifelong learning needs of all of its citizens. As “a collection of information services available on the interconnected computer networks that span the globe,” the Internet contains information that significantly enhances the resources contained in the Library’s collection.

The Library’s Internet access is intended as an information resource. Patrons are expected to use this resource in an appropriate and lawful manner.


The Internet allows users to connect to networks of resources outside the Library. Internet information may be reliable and current or it may be inaccurate, incomplete, inappropriate or illegal. The Library assumes no responsibility for the quality, accuracy, usefulness, or currency of any Internet resource.

Users should be aware that the Internet may contain material of a controversial nature. Each individual must accept personal responsibility for determining the suitability and appropriateness of information obtained through the Internet.

The Library does not select or edit Internet content.

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Staff will assist patrons with Internet use as time permits. However, the Library cannot guarantee that Internet-trained staff will be available to assist users at all times the Library is open.

To assist patrons in using the Internet, the Library also maintains a collection of current books and periodical articles about the Internet, including recommended web sites.

Youth Access to the Internet

Internet access may expose users to information that may not be suitable for minors. Parents or legal guardians are responsible for developing guidelines for their child’s appropriate use of the Internet. Parents or guardians are also responsible for supervising and monitoring their child’s use of the Internet. Children 9 years and younger must be directly supervised by a parent, legal guardian or teacher while using the Internet in the Library.

The Library will provide parents and guardians with information to assist them in developing a dialog with their child about on-line safety. For more information on children and the Internet visit, Child Safety on the Information Highway.

Staff does not act in the place of a parent or legal guardian to supervise or restrict materials a child or young adult may legally access on the Internet.

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Users are encouraged to take advantage of the Internet and to exercise good judgment and discretion when using it. The Library’s “Internet Use Rules of Conduct” identify behaviors which insure fair and reasonable use of Internet resources.

Users are expected to abide by the rules and procedures of the Library as well as remote systems accessed. Users are also expected to comply with all local, state and federal laws (including but not limited to those concerning fraud, privacy or obscenity) while using the Internet and Library equipment. Copyright and licensing agreements are to be respected.

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Inappropriate Use

When a patron uses Internet stations in violation of Town policy and applicable laws, staff has the authority to end an Internet session or to suspend Internet or other library privileges. A patron whose Internet privileges have been suspended must speak with the Director or Assistant Director about appropriate and responsible use before Internet use can be resumed.

Use of computers in the Library is subject to Chapter 14, Article 60 of the NC General Statutes. These statutes establish as crimes certain acts involving computer fraud, abuse, alteration, tampering, etc. as punishable by fines, imprisonment or both. Patrons demonstrating unacceptable use that is illegal may be criminally prosecuted.

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Users should be aware that the Internet is not a secure medium. The Library cannot guarantee that patrons who use the Internet will have privacy in their communications and other Internet uses.

Ultimate responsibility for resolution of problems related to the invasion of the user’s privacy or loss of data rests with the user. The Library assumes no liability for loss or damage to the user’s data or for any damage or injury arising from invasion of the user’s privacy.

The user should be aware of computer viruses and other destructive computer programs, and take steps to avoid being a victim or unwitting distributor of such programs. Users should report computer viruses and other destructive computer programs to staff as soon as possible.

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Chapel Hill Public Library Policies and Procedures

The Chapel Hill Public Library adheres to the principles expressed in the following documents of the American Library Association:

Internet service is to be utilized according to the Library’s established policies and procedures, including, but not limited to the following:

Copies of documents mentioned above may be obtained through the Library’s Reference Desk. Policies are also available on the Library’s website.

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The Library Director holds responsibility for interpreting, monitoring, and ensuring regular review of this policy by the Library Board.

The Library’s Division Heads hold responsibility for effectively communicating employee responsibilities regarding this policy.

Rules of Conduct

  1. Computers are to be used in a courteous, appropriate and lawful manner.
  2. Computers are to be provided primarily for educational and informational purposes.
  3. Use by children 9 years and younger must be directly supervised by a parent, legal guardian or authorized teacher.
  4. By accepting these Rules of Conduct when starting a session, the user agrees to follow the Library’s Internet Policy each  time access is granted.
  5. Total computer time may be limited, depending on user demand.
  6. When a computer is shared, all users must agree to comply with the Internet Policy.
  7. Individuals are expected to use caution when using electronic mail, chat rooms, and other forms of direct communication to avoid exposure to potentially dangerous situations.
  8. Minors should not disclose personal information, such as name, school, address, and telephone numbers to strangers on the Internet.
  9. Minors should never arrange a face-to-face meeting with someone via the Internet  without their parents’ or guardians’ approval.
  10. All users are encouraged to notify staff of any online communication or Internet site that makes them uncomfortable.
  11. Minors are strongly encouraged not to respond to any online communication or Internet site that makes them uncomfortable and to notify their parent or guardian and library staff as soon as possible.
  12. All users are to respect the privacy of others.
  13. No user may send, receive or display obscene or disruptive messages, files or images.
  14. Users may not misrepresent themselves by access code, password or signature.
  15. Users may not alter or attempt to alter hardware or software.
  16. Individuals may not make copies of copyrighted or licensed software or data unless such use is authorized

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Last updated: 26 January 2012