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To fulfill its mission of providing public access to information of all types in a wide range of formats the San Antonio Public Library provides public access to the Internet. The Internet is a global network comprised of information, multimedia resources and social networks representing a variety of viewpoints and perspectives.

  1. Access
    1. The Library provides access to Internet resources equally to all library patrons and upholds and affirms the right of each individual to have access to constitutionally protected material in accordance with the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights.
    2. The Library Board of Trustees voted on October 23, 2013, to bring the San Antonio Public Library in compliance with the Children’s Internet Protection Act. The policy statements and procedures in this policy were established to comply with the Children’s Internet Protection Act.
    3. Patrons are prohibited from using the Library’s network for illegal activity, to access illegal or obscene materials or to display material that violates the provisions of section 43.24 of the Texas Penal Code: Sale, Distribution or Display of Harmful Material to Minors.
    4. Library staff members are available to assist patrons of all ages with information literacy: to access information efficiently and effectively, evaluate information critically and competently and use information accurately and creatively.
    5. Library computers and networks may not be used for any purpose that violates federal, state, or local laws. Prohibited use includes, but is not limited to, “hacking” or otherwise attempting unauthorized use of the Library, City or other networks; attempting to interfere with or disrupt other users; attempting to evade security measures; invading the privacy of other users; violating software license agreements; or sending harassing, threatening or libelous messages or material.
    6. Library Administration reserves the right to establish rules governing Internet use and consequences for misuse that are consistent with this Library Board Policy.
    7. Not all information found on the Internet is accurate, complete, up-to-date or otherwise acceptable to all individuals. The Library is not responsible for the content of the Internet, changes in content of the sources to which the Library home pages link or for the content of sources accessed through secondary links.
  2. Security & Privacy
    1. The San Antonio Public Library will not release information on the use of specific Internet resources by members of the public except as required by law or as necessary for the proper operation of the Library.
    2. The Library is not responsible for the privacy practices or security of any web sites accessed by patrons.
    3. The San Antonio Public Library and the City of San Antonio accept no liability for any loss of privacy or data patrons may experience, or any damage or harm arising from such loss.
    4. Patrons are prohibited from making any attempt to gain unauthorized access to restricted files or networks, or to damage or modify library owned computer equipment or software; and patrons will refrain from downloading or saving items to library owned computers.
    5. Patrons may download or save items on their own computer or peripheral storage device.
  3. Internet Filtering
    1. Internet access on all San Antonio Public Library computers and other devices, including laptops, is filtered. The Library’s Wi-Fi network is also filtered.
      1. Library Internet access, including the Wi-Fi network, is filtered for images and videos containing adult content that would generally be considered obscene or pornographic in nature in accordance with section 43.21 of the Texas Penal Code.
      2. No Internet filter is 100% effective, meaning that some sites that should be blocked may not be, while other sites that should not be blocked by filters could be blocked.
      3. Patrons who encounter sites that they believe should be blocked or who are unable to access sites that they believe should not be blocked may request a review of the site in question.
      4. Library staff may review the site in question and make a determination regarding the request as soon as possible.
    2. To address the special concerns raised by access to the Internet by minors, the San Antonio Public Library established the following Children’s Internet Safety policy:
      1. The Library respects parents’ and guardians’ right and responsibility to guide their children by monitoring their own children’s use of Library materials and resources, including the Internet, and for determining what is appropriate for their own children.
      2. The San Antonio Public Library’s goal is for children to have safe online experiences and prevent their exposure to harmful or inappropriate material. Towards this goal, the San Antonio Public Library has taken the following initiatives:
        1. Filtering Internet access for images and videos containing adult content that would generally be considered obscene or pornographic in nature.
        2. Encouraging parents to monitor and supervise their own children’s use of the Library’s computers and networks.
        3. Providing specially designed web pages for children and teens.
        4. Providing child-friendly search engines on the children’s page.
        5. Providing links to sites that help children learn Internet safety.
        6. Providing staff who are trained to help children and parents find appropriate sites.
        7. Enforcement of this policy.
      3. The Library promotes the safety and security of minors who use email, chat rooms, and other forms of direct electronic communication by:
        1. Encouraging parents to monitor and supervise their own children’s use of the Library’s computers and networks.
        2. Encouraging parents to discuss Internet safety with their children.
        3. Enforcing this policy, which prohibits anyone (including minors) from engaging in unlawful activities.
        4. Discouraging minors from engaging in “hacking” and other unlawful access to data and networks.
      4. The Library helps prevent unauthorized disclosure, use and dissemination of minors’ personal identification information by:
        1. Encouraging parents to monitor and supervise their own children’s use of Library computers and networks.
        2. Enforcing its own policies relating to privacy and confidentiality, which detail the types of personal information the Library collects and the conditions under which it releases that information.
        3. Providing information about Internet safety, including cautions against minors disclosing personal information.
  4. Public Internet Access with Library-Owned Equipment
    1. Library Administration reserves the right to set limits or Internet use session(s) a patron may have per day with Library-owned equipment.
    2. Library staff may designate and restrict use of computer equipment.
  5. Public Wireless Internet Access
    1. The San Antonio Public Library provides access to the Internet via a wireless network (Wi-Fi) for patrons to use with their own personal computing equipment and other mobile devices.
      1. Wi-Fi access provided by the library is filtered for images and videos containing adult content that would generally be considered obscene or pornographic in nature. Wi-Fi access is unsecured. Anti-virus, security and privacy protection are the responsibility of the patron.
      2. Patrons using Library provided Wi-Fi must comply with this Library Board Policy and with any additional rules published in conjunction with this policy.
      3. Patrons are responsible for having the proper hardware, software and network settings on their wireless device to connect to the Library provided Wi-Fi.
      4. The Library is not responsible for any theft, damage or misuse of patrons’ computing devices or peripherals and other mobile devices while the devices are in use in the Library.
  6. Compliance
    1. Failure to comply with this Library Board Policy, or misuse of the Library’s networks or computers, including patrons' personal laptops and other mobile devices connected to San Antonio Public Library's Wi-Fi, may result in the loss of computer access privileges, potential loss of library privileges and possible criminal prosecution.
    2. Any attempts to gain unauthorized access to restricted files or networks, to damage or modify Library owned computer equipment or software or to intentionally download or save items to Library owned computers will result in the loss of computer access privileges, potential loss of Library privileges and possible criminal prosecution.

Approved: Library Board of Trustees - June 18, 1997; Revised: December 3, 2003; Revised: January 24, 2007; Revised October 23, 2013