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Technology Use Policy for Library Members

POLICY PURPOSE 

To provide open, secure and equitable access to library technology resources based on Hamilton Public Library values or Intellectual Freedom, Inclusiveness, Innovations, Respect and Accountability.  

KEY POINTS SUMMARY 

  • This policy constitutes an agreement between Hamilton Public Library and individuals using the Library’s digital devices and services. Violation of any of these terms may result in the suspension of the individual’s library privileges and/or legal and financial actions against them.  

  • Hamilton Public Library provides open, secure and equitable access to technologies for everyone to promote its mission and in keeping with its core values and statements.  

  • Individuals are required to be respectful and consider other library members when accessing or using any public or personal technology resources within the library.   

  • Library members are responsible for any content they access online and for safe-guarding their information and privacy when using the library’s digital devices and services. 

  • Library members assume full responsibility of their online activities and their use of digital devices and services including any damages that may directly or indirectly result from this use.  

  • Parents/adults are responsible for the children in their care and their use of digital devices and services including damage, loss and restricting access to materials and online.  

DEFINITIONS 

Digital devices: are electronic devices provided by the Hamilton Public Library for use by library members, such as laptops, tablets, computers, printers, projectors, Makerspace equipment, musical instruments, cameras, coding robots, digital games/toys, self-checks, sorters, etc.  

Digital services: are electronic services provided by the Hamilton Public Library for use by library members, such as high-speed Internet, wireless access, software, printing, music-mixing, photography and video, 3D printing, embroidery, computer training, etc. 

Technology resources: is the collection of digital devices and digital services resources provided by Hamilton Public Library to advance digital literacy and achieve its mission, “Freedom to Discover”.   

Library members: are individuals who are with or without an active library card and use the library and its services at a physical library location, a bookmobile, online, or at external outreach locations.  

Digital literacy: refers to the set of skills, knowledge and attitudes required by people to operate and utilize digital devices and information, so they can fully participate and thrive in society today.  

POLICY DETAILS 

The Hamilton Public Library provides access to technology resources to fulfill its mission, “Freedom to Discover” in keeping with its values and core position statements on “Intellectual Freedom” and “Access to Information and Communication Technology”.  

Access: The library provides open, secure and equitable access to technology resources to promote digital literacy and provide equitable, open access to information and online resources to everyone. Wireless access is available to members to access library resources and the Internet using their personal devices. 

Digital devices, services, and worktables are located in public areas and are shared by all library members of all ages, backgrounds, and sensibilities. Individuals are required to consider other library members when accessing or using any public or personal resources within the library.  

Information Quality: The Internet provides access to many resources for different age levels and reflects various points of view. Members should be aware that online information might not be accurate, complete, age-appropriate, or current. Library staff are available to assist members in finding and evaluating the quality of an Internet site. 

Internet Security Controls: The Internet is an unregulated resource that contains material which may be illegal, offensive, or controversial. Hamilton Public Library uses software tools to reduce the risk that library members may encounter malicious or illegal material. As per the Library’s Access and Security Policy, the Library works to balance open access with security, by ensuring access controls are not overly restrictive. However, Hamilton Public Library cannot guarantee that these tools are always effective in blocking malicious activity or that legitimate content may not be unintentionally restricted. The Library assumes no responsibility for any material accessed on the Internet. Concerns about Internet Access can be directed to the Director of Digital Technology.  

Use by Children: Parents/adults are responsible for the child in their care and their use of digital devices and services, including the use of the Makerspace equipment, studios, the Internet and wireless access through personal devices. Parents/adults are responsible for managing the child’s access privileges to materials or online content and for any damage or loss that may result from the child’s use of technology resources.  

Privacy and Security: The Internet is not a secure medium and third parties may be able to access and obtain information about users' activities. Hamilton Public Library is diligent in securing network traffic and guarding members’ privacy, however, library members are responsible for their security online and for protecting their information while using any of the library’s technology resources.  

Library members are advised to use caution in sharing or providing any personal information over the Internet.   

Library members should protect their security and not share sensitive information such as bank account and password, with library staff or other individuals assisting them with technology resources.  

Library members are reminded to lock their computer session if away, and log-out of any device when finished to protect their privacy and security from unauthorized access by other people.  

Prohibited Uses: Members using library digital devices or services, including wireless Internet access and Makerspace technology resources, are not permitted to: 

  • Participate in any illegal activity. Access and transmit materials or create content that violate any Canadian federal or provincial law such as defamatory, discriminatory, or obscene materials.  

  • Display, record or print overt sexual images. 

  • Send, record or print fraudulent, harassing, hateful or obscene messages or activities. 

  • Violate the privacy of anyone including another library member. 

  • Introduce computer viruses, malware or any similar software intended to circumvent security, cause disruption of service or infringe on the privacy of other people or organizations.  

Theft and Damage: Library members are responsible for any damage or loss that may result from their use of technology resources, including Makerspace studios. Library members are required to pay the repair or replacement costs for damaged digital devices or studio spaces. Failure to return digital devices borrowed will result in lost fee charges. Removal of any digital device without authorization is considered theft and may lead to legal prosecution.  

Social Media: Hamilton Public Library’s social media channels are used to engage and update the public on services, events and programs, and respond to inquiries. The Library aims to respond to feedback and questions in a timely manner, however because we cannot participate in all discussions, we use our judgement to determine which messages require a response. Library members may not use offensive, racist, sexist or derogatory language or images when communicating with the Library. The Library reserves the right to report or remove language or images it deems offensive or in contradiction to its policies.  

Acceptance of Terms: This policy constitutes an agreement between Hamilton Public Library and library members using the library’s technology resources.  Individuals violating any of these terms will have their library privileges suspended and will be held legally and financially responsible. 

Disclaimer: Hamilton Public Library assumes no responsibility for Internet content or for damages, directly or indirectly, arising from its website or from its connections to other Internet services. 

Scope 

The policy applies to all library members who may or may not have an active library card and are using technology resources at a physical library location, a bookmobile, online, or at external outreach locations.  

Publish Date

March 2022