Mission & Policies
Public Internet Access Policy
5.7 Public Internet Access
5.7.1 Purpose of Internet Service
The Mission Statement of the Downers Grove Public Library states that, "The Downers Grove Public Library will provide collections, services, and programs to meet the community's desire for information, literature, and entertainment." The Internet has become an increasingly important tool to provide patrons with access to the vast amount of information available on the World Wide Web, as well as to provide a portal to the on-line databases licensed by the library. In addition, the Internet has become an important means of communication, allowing fast and easy communication around the globe.
While many residents of the Village of Downers Grove have access to the Internet, a number of them do not. In addition, an Internet search is often used in conjunction with searches of other library materials in the course of a patron's search for information during a visit to the library. The purpose of providing public Internet access in the public library is to ensure that all of our patrons have access to this important source of information and communication.
5.7.2 Goal of Internet Service
The goal of Internet Service at the Downers Grove Public Library is to provide patrons with high speed access to the World Wide Web.
5.7.3 Ethics and Standards
The Library Board has adopted the Library Bill of Rights and endorses an individual's right of access to information. The public computers in the children’s department are filtered for adult content and social media.
Use of the library's Internet access is a privilege. All users are expected to use the Internet in a lawful and responsible manner. Users are required to follow the Downers Grove Public Library's Rules of Behavior and Internet Service policy and guidelines. The library's public Internet access may not be used to harass, interfere with, or disrupt other users, library staff, services or equipment. Disruptions include, but are not limited to, distribution of un-solicited advertising, harassment (including sexual harassment,) propagation of computer worms or viruses, or use of the network to make unauthorized entry to any other machines. Violations of the library's policy and guidelines may result in the loss of Internet access privileges and may include legal action where appropriate.
5.7.4 Information Resources
Information and resources on the Internet enhance those already held in the Downers Grove Public Library and often go beyond what is locally available. The library subscribes to selected Internet-based databases and provides links on the library web pages to other selected sites. Database subscriptions and links to other sites are selected using the same selection criteria used to choose library materials in the collection. Whenever possible, the Library licenses remote access to the databases to provide residents with access to these resources from outside the library through their home or work computers, as well as through in-house library computers.
Unlike the library collection, the Internet also provides access to countless sites that are not selected or monitored by library staff. Not all information on the Internet is complete, accurate, or current. Many sites are commercial enterprises or home pages of individual Internet users. The Downers Grove Public Library has no control over the material on the Internet and is not responsible for the accuracy or authenticity of information found there, nor can it protect the public from material they may find inappropriate or offensive. It is up to the user to select and to accept or reject the accuracy of on-line information.
The library cannot ensure access to all Internet resources at any given time. The servers of any particular site may be busy, unavailable due to maintenance schedules, or available only to authorized users for a fee.
5.7.5 Public Internet Access
Internet access is available on many of the computers located in the adult and children's departments. The Internet may be accessed on the public computers on a walk-up basis when they are not being used, but patrons may not reserve time in advance. The amount of computer time available to any user may be limited by demand. Patrons can also access the Internet with their own computers through the library's wireless network. The public computers in the Children’s Department have filters for adult content and social media.
Staff will provide a limited amount of basic guidance to computer users; however, staff cannot provide in-depth instruction to individuals. The library offers a Book a Tech service for one-on-one computer assistance as well as classes for residents who have little or no experience using computers or who are interested in improving their Internet skills.
The library does not provide patrons with individual user accounts for the purpose of sending and receiving electronic mail. However, library computers can be used to access the many free web-mail services available on the Internet.
Users should be aware that public Internet access at the library cannot provide all of the services that are available through personal Internet access. For example, to protect users' privacy and security, "cookies" that store personal information such as bank account numbers and passwords cannot be downloaded onto library computers.
Use of the library's Internet access is free. The library is not liable for costs incurred by users through use of fee-based services. When printing, the first five pages of black and white printing per day are free. Beyond the five free pages there is a cost of ten cents per page for black and white, and twenty-five cents per page for all color printing.
Adopted 7/23/96; revised 1/12/00, 7/9/03; 3/23/05; 11/20/13