Internet Use Policy
The Boca Raton Public Library provides quality library services and resources necessary to meet the educational, recreational, cultural, business, and other informational needs of its users. It is within this context that the Library offers access to the Internet and its multitude of resources to interested Library Users as an enhancement to Library collections. All capitalized terms not defined in this policy shall have the meanings set forth in the Library Rules of Conduct.
Guidelines for Use
Internet access is available on a first come, first served basis.
- Library cardholders with outstanding fines of less than $10 may enter their barcode number and PIN to receive two (2) hours of Internet access.
- Additional time will be granted to Library cardholders in two (2) hour increments based on availability of computers with Internet access. The cardholder's Boca Raton Public Library card or photo identification must be presented when requesting additional time.
- Individuals who are not Library cardholders, and/or those whose Library cards which are expired or have $10 or more in outstanding fines, may, upon presenting photo identification, purchase up two (2) hours of computer time for a fee of $5.00. Additional time may be purchased in two (2) hour increments based on availability of computers with Internet access.
- A courtesy fifteen (15) minute "express" computer session may be granted once per day with photo identification.
- Children and teens should use computers located in the Youth Services area of the Library. Adults are not allowed to use computers in the Youth Services area of the Library unless the adult is accompanying a child and the adult is the child's Parent/Caregiver.
In accordance with the Children’s Internet Protection Act (“CIPA”), the Library’s public computers with Internet access use a technology protection measure that blocks, to the extent reasonably/technologically possible, websites that contain visual depictions that are pornographic or obscene, contain child pornography, and/or any other material considered inappropriate for or harmful to minors as set forth CIPA (“filtering”). Library Users should be aware that it is impossible for any filter to be 100% effective in blocking all content it is intended to block. The filter may also inadvertently block some websites that do not contain such material.
Request to Unblock a Website
In the event that a Library User believes that a website has been inadvertently blocked by the filter (and that such website does not contain visual depictions that are pornographic, or obscene, contain child pornography, or and/or any other material considered inappropriate for or harmful to minors as set forth CIPA), the Library User may submit a Website Review Request form. Library Staff will review the request and will contact the Library User once a decision about the website has been made. A Library User may request a hearing to appeal a decision denying a request to unblock a website by following the procedures set forth in Section 7 of the Rules of Conduct (applicable to a Notice of Exclusion).
Responsibility of Users
The Library encourages Library Users to be responsible and considerate of others when using computers in a public setting shared by people of all ages. As with other Library resources, Parents/Caregivers, not Library staff, are responsible for monitoring or restricting information selected and/or accessed by their children. Therefore, Parents/Caregivers are encouraged to supervise their child's use of the Internet at the Library. Parents/Caregivers should instruct children to never give out personal information online. Electronic communication systems (including email, chats, instant messaging, and other forms) may not be secure. Parents/Caregivers are responsible for their child’s use of these communication methods and should instruct children on safely using these types of communication, including refraining from disclosing personal information online.
Use of the Library’s computers is provided for educational, informational, and recreational purposes only. No Library User shall use a Library computer for any unlawful activity, and/or for any unauthorized activity, as set forth below:
- Viewing, printing, or distributing obscenity or child pornography, or materials harmful to minors, as defined and prohibited by Chapter 847, Florida Statutes;
- Intentionally disrupting or interfering with other computer or network users, services, or equipment; unauthorized use of a public computer (i.e., use of another person’s login credentials or appropriating another person’s Internet session), including hacking, as defined and prohibited by Chapter 815, Florida Statues;
- Using, disclosing, or disseminating personal identification information of a child without the authorization of a Parent/Caregiver;
- Mishandling, damaging, or attempting to damage computer equipment or software; tampering with computer or network settings;
- Interfering with computer network/system operations, integrity, or security;
- Engaging in any activity that is deliberately offensive or creates an intimidating or hostile environment;
- Stalking, harassing, or sexually harassing, or threatening physical violence as described the Library Rules of Conduct; and
- Using Internet access to transmit or display materials harmful to minors, obscene, threatening or harassing materials, unsolicited email (i.e., SPAM) or online harassment through use of email, messaging, texting, images, or any other electronic means.
Materials obtained on or copied from the Internet may be subject to laws that govern the making of reproductions of copyrighted works. A work protected by copyright may not be copied without permission of the copyright owner unless the proposed use falls within the definition of “Fair Use” (U.S. Code, Title 17). Library Users are responsible for compliance with all international, national, and state laws governing copyrighted materials.
It is the policy of Library to provide an atmosphere that is conducive to the appropriate use of Library services and facilities for all Library Users. Library Users using the Internet are subject to the Library’s Rules of Conduct posted in the Library and on the Library’s website. Violation of the Internet Safety & Use Policy constitutes a (minimum) Level 1 offense pursuant to Section 3(q) of the Library Rules of Conduct. Library Staff shall refer to Section 6 of the Library Rules for enforcement procedures in connection with this Policy. Furthermore, the Library reserves the right to withhold computer privileges from Library Users who do not comply with the Rules or who are excluded from the Library due to violation(s) of the Rules of Conduct.
The Library will assist Parents/Caregivers in providing good Internet safety practices for their families by providing the links below. This includes the Federal Trade Commission’s Privacy, Identity and Online Security website as well as links to other law enforcement websites. Further information can be attained through our “Book a Librarian” service and other scheduled Library programs.
- Federal Trade Commission’s Privacy, Identity and Online Security
- Federal Trade Commission’s Protecting Kids Online
- Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s Secure Florida
- Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office Internet Safety
- Net Smartz Kids Website from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
- The FBI’s Safe Online Surfing Program for Students in 3rd through 8th Grade
- National Crime Prevention Council’s Website on Cyberbullying
Library Users should be aware that the Internet is not a secure medium and that third parties may be able to obtain information regarding Library Users' activities. However, the Boca Raton Public Library will not release information on the use of specific Internet resources by Library Users except in accordance with a criminal investigation by a law enforcement agency, or as approved by the City Clerk.
Many Internet sites contain inaccurate, misleading, illegal, outdated, and/or potentially offensive material. Library Users must accept responsibility for the information they retrieve through their Internet searches. The Boca Raton Public Library does not endorse the viewpoints or vouch for the accuracy of any information obtained through the Internet. The Library assumes no responsibility for any damages, direct or indirect, arising from any Library User’s use of its technology resources, including computers, the Internet, WiFi, or the Digital Library, to access the Internet.
Adoption and Effective Date
This policy was adopted by the City of Boca Raton on July 1, 2022. This policy shall be effective immediately and shall supersede any other Internet Safety and Use Policy.