Most public and academic and many private libraries now offer Internet access for their patrons and staff. This assignment is to write an Internet use policy for the (fictional) Hobbiton Public Library.

Your policy must include rights and restrictions regarding use by adult patrons, child patrons, and library staff. Be sure to delineate consequences for inappropriate use.

You must consult the Internet use policies of at least three public libraries in order to do this assignment. You must cite the policies you consulted.

An example of a good policy is that of the Multnomah County Library:

http://www.multcolib.org/about/pol-internet.html

As you will see in the above policy there is a lot more to an Internet use policy than just the decisions of your library concerning filtering. For example, your policy should include a statement explaining how providing access to the Internet fits in with your library's mission. There should be a disclaimer about the accuracy of materials found on the Internet. There should be a statement about the library's privacy policy. There should be rules about whether or not users are allowed to download and install programs on the library's computers. And much more.

You will need to describe the types of access provided. For example, you may decide that your library will offer unlimited access on all terminals, for both public and staff. Or you may decide to provide adults-only terminals with unlimited access and children's area terminals with restricted access in the public areas. Or you may opt for a system that requires a patron to enter his or her library card barcode when logging onto a terminal. Be creative but think about the consequences of your decisions.

For this assignment, state your reasoning for your choices. Cite references from both library literature and other sources you research for the assignment. Use the Turabian style for your list of references at the end of your document. Citations within your text should use the author/date/page number method.

Example:
"We understand the complex issues and emotions regarding this topic." (Guagliardo 2001, 1)

Be sure to note where you have used the wording or the ideas of a particular policy you consulted. Where you cite an Internet use policy you consulted give the name of the library and the full URL of the Internet use policy.

A good way to format your policy and comments is to put your comments in boxes following each passage in the policy.

Sample:

The Hobbiton Public Library from its inception has provided access to a wide variety of informational, educational, recreational and cultural resources in a number of formats. Providing access to the Internet continues this mission, allowing our patrons to access electronic resources from information providers around the world.

Many of the Internet use policies I viewed included a passage relating the provision of Internet access to the mission of the library. The statement above draws heavily from that of the Multnomah County Library:
http://www.multcolib.org/about/pol-internet.html


Links to the American Library Association's "Guidelines and Considerations for Developing a Public Library Internet Use Policy" and sample policies can be found at:

http://www.ala.org/ala/aboutala/offices/oif/ifissues/issuesrelatedlinks/internetusepolicies.cfm

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