Acceptable Use Policy at a Public Library

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I currently work at a library system, not a library, but I have worked at multiple public libraries in the past. I chose to research and explore the Joliet Public Library’s (JPL) Computer and Internet Use Policy. I previously worked at the JPL for over ten years. I noticed their website has recently been updated and includes an easy place to find all of the library’s policies, which I think is very important. The Computer and Internet Use Policy at JPL was recently adopted on March 21, 2019. When I was employed there I worked in the Computer Lab and I do remember parents/legal guardians having to sign an internet use policy before their child under the age of eighteen could access the computers. Language from the updated policy states: “Guardians of children under 18 may give consent for their children to use computers and check out Wi-Fi hotspots with unfiltered Internet access.” After reading the entire policy I do not think anything needs to be added or changed.

I think this particular policy would be considered a “responsible use” policy because it focuses on what library patrons and/or those who are responsible for them should do while using the library’s internet. The Youth Services Computer Lab does have filtered internet access but the other computers throughout the building including the Wi-Fi contain access to unfiltered internet. Anytime an individual has access to the internet security of that person’s information can always become an issue. I read an article about phishing scams that gave helpful information about how to prevent becoming a victim of these types of scams. This statement stood out the most to me “Multiple mistakes by individual staff members can be considered grounds for corrective action. Consider revising employee technology use policies and include resources that support cyber security best practices in staff handbooks.” Having open lines of communication for all employees at a public library can help prevent cybersecurity attacks from becoming successful.

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  1. It’s great to hear the website allows for easy access to the policies and that they aren’t buried. Also nice to hear that the youth section has an Internet filter. I wonder if the younger patrons have figured out that the adult computers *aren’t* filtered!

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