The Bridgeport Public Library is dedicated to providing opportunities to pursue lifelong learning, cultural and economic enrichment and enjoyment through free and open access to creative works, knowledge and information from diversity of perspectives and in a variety of formats. In pursuit of that mission, the Library provides free and open access to resources beyond the physical collections housed at the Library.
The Internet offers access to a wealth of information that can be personally, professionally and culturally enriching. Library staff has attempted to identify on the Bridgeport Public Library’s home page specific starting points for searches and links to sources on the Internet which are consistent with the Library’s mission and organizational values. But, because the Internet is a vast and unregulated information network, it also enables access to ideas, information, images and commentary beyond the confines of the Library’s collection, mission, and collection development policies. Because of this access and because sites on the Internet change often, rapidly and unpredictably, the Library cannot protect users from information and images which they might find offensive or disturbing.
Not all the information available via the Internet is accurate, current or complete. Users are encouraged to exercise critical judgment in evaluating the validity of information accessed via the Internet. The Library assumes no responsibility for any damages, direct or indirect, arising from use of its electronic services or its connections to the Internet.
Providing Internet access at public terminals involves adapting what is ordinarily a private instrument, the personal computer, to a public setting. When using a Library computer, complete privacy cannot be guaranteed. Bridgeport Public Library will continue to explore ways through which privacy of information access can be protected. The Library maintains no record of what individuals view. Users are cautioned that the Library computers on which the public can access the Internet are located in public areas which must be shared by library users of all ages, backgrounds and sensibilities. Individuals are asked to respect the sensibilities of others when accessing potentially offensive information and images.
Users are cautioned that because security in an electronic environment such as the Internet cannot be guaranteed, all transactions, files, and communication are vulnerable to unauthorized access and use and, therefore, should be considered public.
The Library provides free public access to the World Wide Web at this time. The Library does not provide space for personal home pages, or file transfer capabilities.
Child Safety on the Internet
Bridgeport Public Library supports parents and guardians in their efforts to guide their children’s access to print, non-print and electronic information. Children who use the Internet unsupervised may be exposed to inappropriate or disturbing information and images. Parents are encouraged to discuss the use of the Internet with their children in relation to family values and boundaries, and to monitor their children’s use of the Internet.
To assist parents and other caregivers, the Library has available online and printed materials about the Internet and its resources. The Library encourages parents to make family rules never to give out identifying information – such as home address, school or telephone number – in a public message such as chat, bulletin boards , or e- mail and never to allow a child to arrange a face-to-face meeting with another computer user without parental permission.
All users of the Internet at the library are expected to use this resource in a responsible and courteous manner, consistent with the purposes for which it is provided, and to follow all Internet related rules, regulations and procedures established for its use including, but not limited to, those of the Library. Responsible use of the Internet at the Library includes:
- Complying with the Library’s posted rules of conduct.
- Using the Library’s computers for authorized items only.
- Using the Library’s Internet resources for cultural, educational and informational purposes.
- Respecting intellectual property rights by making only, authorized copies of copyrighted or licensed software or data residing on the Internet.
- Respecting the privacy of others by not misrepresenting oneself as another user; by not attempting to modify or gain access to files, passwords, or data belonging to others: and by not seeking disallowed access to any computer system via the Internet.
- Refraining from altering or damaging software or data residing on the Internet.
- Refraining from damaging or altering the configuration of the equipment used to access the Internet at the Library.
- Refraining from the deliberate propagation of computer worms or viruses.
- Refraining from illegal or unethical use of the Internet.
- Refraining from all commercial activities such as sales or marketing of products/services.
Compliance with Library Policy and Guidelines
In addition to this specific policy, general guidelines for the use of all public access computers govern the use of the Internet in the Library. Violation of the policies and regulations that govern the use of the Library’s Internet resources may result in suspension or loss of the privilege to use these resources. Any illegal activity involving the Library’s Internet resources will be subject to prosecution by the appropriate authorities.
Approved and adopted by BPL Board of Directors 9/17/97 Reviewed and re-adopted by BPL Board of Directors 9/19/01 Revised and adopted 5/21/03.