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Internet Access Policy


1. Purpose

The Georgia Highlands College Library provides local Internet access for library customers as a way to enhance public access to ideas and information that are not available in print sources, consistent with its mission of providing easy and open access to information for all segments of the college community.

In order to provide this service in an orderly and equitable manner to all users, while complying with the legal and financial restrictions applicable, the Georgia Highlands College Library adopts the policies stated in this document.

2. Internet Offerings and Limitations

The Library provides connections to the Internet that use browser software designed to access the World Wide Web (WWW). Access to the Library catalog of books is available through the web at http://gil.highlands.edu . Access to the state's virtual library GALILEO is also through the web at http://www.galileo.peachnet.edu.

3. Quality of Information on the Internet

Not all sources on the Internet provide information that is accurate, complete, current or legal. Some sites may provide information that is controversial or offensive. The Georgia Highlands College Library is not able to monitor or control the information accessed through the Internet, and cannot be held responsible for its content. Selection policies, which serve to govern the Library's purchase of written materials, may not apply to material accessed electronically. Users should evaluate Internet sources just as they do printed publications, questioning the validity of the information provided.

4. Internet Access by Children

It is the Library's policy that parents or legal guardians must assume responsibility for deciding what library resources are appropriate for their children. Therefore, parents or guardians, NOT the Library's staff, are responsible for the information selected and/or accessed by their children on the Internet. Parental supervision of children searching the Internet is advised.

5. Staff Assistance

The staff will provide a level of assistance that is consistent with the Library's policy on reference services and its practices in providing instruction regarding use of the Library's computer catalog, other electronic sources, and printed reference sources. Although the staff cannot provide in-depth training concerning Internet computer jargon or microcomputer use, they can assist users in connecting to the Internet and offer suggestions for searching strategies. The staff can also direct patrons to books, videos and magazines that will provide more information about using the Internet.

6. Security of Internet Workstations

Users may not download files or software to or from the Library's computer equipment. Because of copyright laws and potential damage from illicit computer viruses, the Library prohibits the use of personal software, or any other media supplied by the user, on the Library's computer equipment.

7. Copyright

U. S. copyright law (Title 17, U. S. Code) prohibits the unauthorized reproduction or distribution of copyrighted materials, except as permitted by the principles of "fair use." Users may not copy or distribute electronic materials (including electronic mail, text, images, programs or data) without the explicit permission of the copyright holder. All responsibility for any consequences of copyright infringement lies with the user; the Library expressly disclaims any liability or responsibility resulting from such violations.

8. Rules and Regulations Governing Use of the Internet Workstations

The Library shall be responsible for developing and implementing procedures governing use of the Library's Internet workstations. These procedures shall be consistent with the principles outlined in this policy. The Library may issue an acceptable use policy. The Library may establish restrictions such as time limits to encourage equitable access to Internet terminals.

9. User Responsibilities

Inappropriate use will result in a cancellation of this privilege. All users of the Internet are expected to use this resource in a responsible manner, consistent with the educational and informational purposes for which it is provided. It is unacceptable to use the Library's Internet equipment for any of the following:

  • For any purposes which violate applicable local, state, and federal laws.

  • Destruction of or damage to equipment, software, or data belonging to the Library or the College. Users may not add, delete, or modify the equipment in any way.

  • Disruption or interference of network users or services. Such interference includes, but is not limited to, distribution of unsolicited advertising, fraud, harassment, libeling or slandering of others, propagation of computer works or viruses, violations of the privacy of others.

  • To read or "hack" into the library's or college's computer system or other external system, or other people's files, or "crack" passwords, or breach computer or network security measures, or monitor electronic files or communications of other users or third parties.

  • Knowingly transmitting, receiving or storing of any communications of an unlawfully discriminatory or harassing nature, or which are obscene or are of a defamatory or threatening nature, or for "chain letters", or any other purpose which is illegal.

  • Sending e-mail or any other electronic communications, which attempt to hide the identity of the sender, or represent the sender as someone else. Any messages or information sent by a user to one or more individuals via an electronic network are statements identifiable and attributable to Georgia Highlands College, and network services and Worldwide Web sites can and do monitor access and usage and can identify the user even if the user merely reviews or downloads material and does not post any message.

Users found not to be in compliance with the above guidelines while using the Library's facilities or equipment may have their computer privileges revoked.

Illegal acts involving Library computing resources may also be subject to prosecution by local, state or federal authorities.

10. Revision of this Policy

Due to the emerging nature of these services, this policy is subject to change.

Page last updated: March 17, 2010