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Access to the Internet on Library Computers


All branches of the Dayton Metro Library offer public access to the Internet through a project called OPLIN. Through OPLIN we are able to offer free access to a number of premium database and information services including the full text of magazine and newspaper articles, encyclopedias, atlases and other reference materials. Due to licensing restrictions access to some of these premium resources is only available from computers located in the library.

Access to the Internet from machines located in the library is free although there will be a charge for printing. Time limits may also be imposed if demand warrants.

Before using library computers to access the Internet, please read the following documents. Printed copies are available in the help packets we have prepared for you. Parents of children and young adults are particularly encouraged to read documents we have prepared for you.

Internet SAFETY & ACCEPTABLE Use Policy


Internet Safety & Acceptable Use Policy
In support of the Library's Mission, " connect our community to the broadest range of information and thought..." the Dayton Metro Library provides access to on-line information resources for use by patrons and staff. In addition to locally created content and information purchased or leased from commercial providers, the Library promotes and supports access to the Internet by all. The Library supports access through computers it provides in the Library, through training classes and through staff assistance.

The Internet provides a wealth of unique and valuable content that meets the varied interests and needs of our community. The Internet also provides unique mechanisms for manipulating and sharing information and thought. The Internet is an essential tool for completing the Library's mission. However, this medium provides risks and challenges. The currency and accuracy of information obtained over the Internet may be suspect and all users need to use caution. In addition, some information on the Internet, particularly explicitly sexual imagery, is inappropriate for viewing in a public library.

Board Policy on the Use of Filters

Providing access to the Internet presents a dilemma for the Dayton Metro Library. On one hand, the Library has upheld a commitment to the free flow of ideas and support of First Amendment rights of library users by offering the widest range of information resources possible through a documented selection process. On the other hand, the Library's tradition of selection is voided by the openness of the Internet. The Dayton Metro Library Board has adopted a policy of filtering Library computers but with an understanding that the use of filters can only serve as an initial screen to alert users of material that may be inappropriate in a Library setting or for some library users. The Board recognizes that ultimately the appropriateness of online content needs to be determined locally.

The following guidelines are provided to assist all patrons of the Library. The Library provides access to the Internet, word processing, spreadsheet, presentation and other productivity software at no charge to the user from computers available at the Library. Patrons are encouraged to ask for assistance, however, staff trained on the use of the Internet service may not always be available during Library hours of operation.


In compliance with the requirements of the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA), which requires public libraries to use a technology protection measure, the Board has authorized the use of content filtering software on all Library owned computers with direct access to the Internet. This policy's intent is to prohibit the intentional viewing of sexually explicit imagery, including "visual depictions that are (a) obscene; (b) child pornography; or (c) harmful to children" as defined by CIPA.

The Board recognizes that technology protection measures can only filter an approximation of the scope of content outlined by CIPA and this policy. Technology protection measures fail to block some visual depictions that could be deemed obscene, child pornography or harmful to children. In addition, all technology protection measures will block some materials that are appropriate for use within the Library and beyond the scope of filtering intended by CIPA and this policy.

In recognizing the deficiency of such technologies and in compliance with the United States Supreme Court requirement that filters may be employed in public libraries if there is a mechanism to disable the filter for adults without significant delay, a filter bypass feature is available to adult patrons. Any adult patron, 18 years of age and over, may elect to bypass the filter by entering his/her library card number. With the filter disabled the adult patron may assess the appropriateness of the blocked material. No record of patrons who disable the filter will be recorded or maintained. Minors may request to have a filter disabled for bona fide research or other lawful uses, but may not use the card number of an adult to directly disable the filter. No library patron, regardless of age, is to disable the filter with the intention of viewing visual depictions prohibited by this policy.


The Library Board understands that technology protection measures are not perfect. No filtering software product on the market today is 100% effective in blocking every sexually explicit Internet site since new ones are added every day from all over the world. The Board cannot guarantee that sexually explicit material will not get past the filter or that there will not be other sites to which another patron or a parent might object.

Parental Responsibility

As with books and other materials available at the Library, guidance of a child's access to the Internet and the information available is the responsibility of the parent, legal guardian or caregiver. Parents are encouraged to work with their children to develop acceptable rules for Internet use in the Library and at home.

The Board has special concerns about the use of the Internet by children and cautions parents to take special steps to ensure the safety of their children when using the Internet in the Library and elsewhere:

  • Filtering products are particularly unsuited for protecting the safety and security of minors when using electronic mail, chat rooms, and other forms of direct electronic communications.
  • Filtering products are less successful in restricting access to materials harmful to minors.
  • All Internet users must take precautions to prevent the unauthorized disclosure, use, and dissemination of personal identification information, particularly of minors.

Incorporated into this Internet Safety Policy are the Dayton Metro Library's Guidelines for Use of Library Owned Computers that governs Internet access on Library computers, including restrictions regarding the use of email and chat.

Revised Policy Adopted by the Board September 15, 2004




The following guidelines are provided to assist all patrons of the Library. The Library provides access to the Internet, word processing, spreadsheet, presentation and other productivity software at no charge to the user from computers available at the Library. Patrons are encouraged to ask for assistance, however, staff trained on the use of the Internet service may not always be available during Library hours of operation.


Before using the Library's Internet service, patrons must read and agree to abide by the policies and procedures of the Library as set forth in the Dayton Metro Library Internet Safety and Acceptable Use Policy and these guidelines.

Guidelines may vary slightly at each Library location depending on physical constraints, number of workstations available, and the amount of use by the public.


Patrons agree to abide by the following guidelines when using the Library's internet service

  • The Internet computers are available, subject to periodic maintenance, during the Library's normal hours of operation.
  • Use of the Internet computers is on a "first come, first served" basis. Patrons are required to sign up to use a computer for Internet access. Library cards and guest logons are used to reserve computers, to maintain computer sessions and to track printing from computers. No record is kept connecting Library card numbers to web sites visited. The PC Reservation system does not retain individual information about signups past the day the reservation is made.
  • Users may sign up for only one session at a time. Internet sessions may be of limited time if others are waiting. Users must leave the assigned computer at the end of the session. Session extensions may be granted when no one is signed up for that computer and extended time will be included in calculations for an individual's allotted time for the day.
  • Users will respect the privacy of other users, and will refrain from attempting to view or read material being used by others.
  • The Library will not be held liable for damages to personal data and removable media. Despite the Library's attempt to protect users from viruses, please be advised that complete protection is not possible.
  • There is a printing charge. The Library does not charge for printing Library catalog holdings and personal account information.
  • The Library will not create or maintain electronic mail or chat-room accounts for patrons.
  • Popular web-based e-mail and chat-oriented services may be accessed using Library computers, however, the display of sexually explicit imagery is prohibited.
  • Only authorized Library employees are permitted to install software on Library computers. Downloading of files from public access computers may be done on removable media only. USB flash drives may be purchased at the Library for a minimal charge.
  • Use of any computer is for LEGAL purposes only. Use of the workstation for any ILLEGAL purposes including software piracy and copyright violations is NOT permitted.
  • Use of any Library computer for any activity that is deliberately offensive, or creates an intimidating or hostile environment is prohibited.
  • Use of any Library computer for unsolicited advertising, chain letters, spreading of viruses and/or any other practice that interferes with the use by others is prohibited.
  • Any efforts to bypass the security of the Library's computer network, hacking, and/or other misuse of the Library's Internet computers is prohibited.

Library patrons who fail to abide by the Library's Internet Safety and Acceptable Use Policy and the above Guidelines are in violation of the Library's posted Code of Conduct. Failure to comply with these guidelines will result in loss of Internet service and in extreme or repeated cases may result in the loss of other Library privileges.

Revised Policy Adopted by the Board March 15, 2006

Child Safety on the Information Superhighway

Whatever it's called, millions of people are now connecting their personal computers to telephone lines so that they can "go online." Traditionally, online services have been oriented towards adults, but that's changing. An increasing number of schools are going online and, in many homes, children are logging on to commercial services, private bulletin boards, and the Internet. As a parent you need to understand the nature of these systems.

    • Online services are maintained by commercial, self- regulated businesses that may screen or provide editorial/user controls, when possible, of the material contained on their systems.

    • Computer Bulletin Boards, called BBS systems, can be operated by individuals, businesses, or organizations. The material presented is usually theme oriented offering information on hobbies and interests. While there are BBS systems that feature "adult" oriented material, most attempt to limit minors from accessing the information contained in those systems.

    • The Internet, a global "network of networks," is not governed by any entity. This leaves no limits or checks on the kind of information that is maintained by and accessible to Internet users.

The Benefits of the Information Highway

The vast array of services that you currently find online is constantly growing. Reference information such as news, weather, sports, stock quotes, movie reviews, encyclopedias, and airline fares are readily available online. Users can conduct transactions such as trading stocks, making travel reservations, banking, and shopping online. Millions of people communicate through electronic mail (E-mail) with family and friends around the world and others use the public message boards to make new friends who share common interests. As an educational and entertainment tool users can learn about virtually any topic, take a college course, or play an endless number of computer games with other users or against the computer itself. User "computing" is enhanced by accessing online thousands of shareware and free public domain software titles.

Most people who use online services have mainly positive experiences. But, like any endeavor - traveling, cooking, or attending school - there are some risks. The online world, like the rest of society, is made up of a wide array of people. Most are decent and respectful, but some may be rude, obnoxious, insulting or even mean and exploitative.

Children and teenagers get a lot of benefit from being online, but they can also be targets of crime and exploitation in this as in any other environment. Trusting, curious, and anxious to explore this new world and the relationships it brings, children and teenagers need parental supervision and common sense advice on how to be sure that their experiences in "cyberspace" are happy, healthy, and productive.

Putting the Issue in Perspective

Although there have been some highly publicized cases of abuse involving computers, reported cases are relatively infrequent. Of course, like most crimes against children, many cases go unreported, especially if the child is engaged in an activity that he or she does not want to discuss with a parent. The fact that crimes are being committed online, however, is not a reason to avoid using these services. To tell children to stop using these services would be like telling them to forgo attending college because students are sometimes victimized on campus. A better strategy would be for children to learn how to be "street smart" in order to better safeguard themselves in any potentially dangerous situation.

What Are the Risks?

There are a few risks for children who use online services. Teenagers are particularly at risk because they often use the computer unsupervised and because they are more likely than younger children to participate in online discussions regarding companionship, relationships, or sexual activity. Some risks are:

    • Exposure to Inappropriate Material One risk is that a child may be exposed to inappropriate material of a sexual or violent nature.
    • Physical Molestation Another risk is that, while online, a child might provide information or arrange an encounter that could risk his or her safety or the safety of other family members. In a few cases, pedophiles have used online services and bulletin boards to gain a child's confidence and then arrange a face- to-face meeting.

    • Harassment A third risk is that a child might encounter E-mail or bulletin board messages that are harassing, demeaning, or belligerent.

How Parents Can Reduce the Risks

To help restrict your child's access to discussions, forums, or bulletin boards that contain inappropriate material, whether textual or graphic, many of the commercial online services and some private bulletin boards have systems in place for parents to block out parts of the service they feel are inappropriate for their children. If you are concerned, you should contact the service via telephone or E- mail to find out how you can add these restrictions to any accounts that your children can access.

The Internet and some private bulletin boards contain areas designed specifically for adults who wish to post, view, or read sexually explicit material. Most private bulletin board operators who post such material limit access to people who attest that they are adults but, like any other safeguards, be aware that there are always going to be cases where adults fail to enforce them or children find ways around them.

The best way to assure that your children are having positive online experiences is to stay in touch with what they are doing. One way to do this is to spend time with your children while they're online. Have them show you what they do and ask them to teach you how to access the services.

While children and teenagers need a certain amount of privacy, they also need parental involvement and supervision in their daily lives. The same general parenting skills that apply to the "real world" also apply while online.

If you have cause for concern about your children's online activities, talk to them. Also seek out the advice and counsel of other computer users in your area and become familiar with literature on these systems. Open communication with your children, utilization of such computer resources, and getting online yourself will help you obtain the full benefits of these systems and alert you to any potential problem that may occur with their use. Guidelines for Parents

By taking responsibility for your children's online computer use, parents can greatly minimize any potential risks of being online. Make it a family rule to:

    • Never give out identifying information (home address, school name, or telephone number) in a public message such as chat or bulletin boards, and be sure you're dealing with someone that both you and your child know and trust before giving it out via E-mail. Think carefully before revealing any personal information such as age, marital status, or financial information. Consider using a pseudonym or unlisting your child's name if your service allows it.
    • Get to know the services your child uses. If you don't know how to log on, get your child to show you. Find out what types of information it offers and whether there are ways for parents to block out objectionable material.
    • Never allow a child to arrange a face-to-face meeting with another computer user without parental permission. If a meeting is arranged, make the first one in a public spot, and be sure to accompany your child.
    • Never respond to messages or bulletin board items that are suggestive, obscene, belligerent, threatening, or make you feel uncomfortable. Encourage your children to tell you if they encounter such messages. If you or your child receives a message that is harassing, of a sexual nature, or threatening, forward a copy of the message to your service provider and ask for their assistance.

      Should you become aware of the transmission, use, or viewing of child pornography while online, immediately report this to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children by calling 1-800-843-5678. You should also notify your online service.

    • Remember that people online may not be who they seem. Because you can't see or even hear the person it would be easy for someone to misrepresent him- or herself. Thus, someone indicating that "she" is a "12-year-old girl" could in reality be a 40-year-old man.
    • Remember that everything you read online may not be true. Any offer that's "too good to be true" probably is. Be very careful about any offers that involve your coming to a meeting or having someone visit your house.
    • Set reasonable rules and guidelines for computer use by your children (see "My Rules for Online Safety" on last page as sample). Discuss these rules and post them near the computer as a reminder. Remember to monitor their compliance with these rules, especially when it comes to the amount of time your children spend on the computer. A child or teenager's excessive use of online services or bulletin boards, especially late at night, may be a clue that there is a potential problem. Remember that personal computers and online services should not be used as electronic babysitters.

Be sure to make this a family activity. Consider keeping the computer in a family room rather than the child's bedroom. Get to know their "online friends" just as you get to know all of their other friends.

This brochure was written by Lawrence J. Magid, a syndicated columnist for the Los Angeles Times, who is author of Cruising Online: Larry Magid's Guide to the New Digital Highway (Random House, 1994) and The Little PC Book (Peachpit Press, 1993).

Child Safety on the Information Highway was jointly produced by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the Interactive Services Association (8403 Colesville Road, Suite 865, Silver Spring, MD 20910).

This brochure was made possible by the generous sponsorship of: America Online, CompuServe, Delphi Internet, e-World, GEnie, Interchange Online Network, and Prodigy Service.

My Rules for Online Safety

  • I will not give out personal information such as my address, telephone number, parents' work address/telephone number, or the name and location of my school without my parents' permission.
  • I will tell my parents right away if I come across any information that makes me feel uncomfortable.
  • I will never agree to get together with someone I "meet" online without first checking with my parents. If my parents agree to the meeting, I will be sure that it is in a public place and bring my mother or father along.
  • I will never send a person my picture or anything else without first checking with my parents.
  • I will not respond to any messages that are mean or in any way make me feel uncomfortable. It is not my fault if I get a message like that. If I do I will tell my parents right away so that they can contact the online service.
  • I will talk with my parents so that we can set up rules for going online. We will decide upon the time of day that I can be online, the length of time I can be online, and appropriate areas for me to visit. I will not access other areas or break these rules without their permission.

For further information on child safety, please call the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678).



Internet / Ohio Public Library Information Network Use

Library patrons using the equipment and facilities of the Dayton and Montgomery County Public Library to access the Internet and its available resources are cautioned that the networked information available via this service is not generated by the Library. The Dayton and Montgomery County Public Library, through the Ohio Public Library Information Network (OPLIN), provides access to reference databases of general and special periodical materials, reader's advisory services, homework centers to assist students with research assignments, and legislative, historical and archival materials and information. However, through the use of the Internet, a wide variety of information and material on virtually any subject is available.

Information available through this service is not warranted by the Library to be accurate, authoritative, factual or complete. The availability of networked information via this service does not constitute any endorsement or ratification of that information. The Library is not responsible for the content of networked information via this service. The use of this service to engage in any activity which constitutes violation of local, state and/or federal laws is strictly prohibited.

All users of this service agree to hold the Library harmless from any and all claims, losses, damages, obligations or liabilities, directly or indirectly relating to this service and/or the networked information available via this service, caused thereby or arising therefrom. In no event shall the Library have any liability for lost profits or for indirect, special, punitive or consequential damages or any laibility to any third party, even if the Library is so advised of the possibility of such damages.

Adopted by the Board 7/17/96


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