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Use of the Internet


Alameda County Library provides public access to the Internet in support of its role as a key provider of services and materials to support the informational, educational, and recreational needs of people in our communities.

The Internet offers access to a wealth of information from around the world which can be personally, professionally or culturally enriching. Library staff attempt to identify on Alameda County Library's home page good starting points for searches and links to Internet resources which are consistent with the Library's mission and organizational values. But, because the Internet is a vast and unregulated network, it also enables access to information, images and commentary beyond the confines of the Library's collection, mission, selection criteria and collection development policies. Because of this access, and because sites change often and unpredictably, the Library cannot protect users from information and images which they might find offensive or disturbing.

Information found on the Internet may not be accurate, current or complete. Library customers are advised to exercise critical judgment in evaluating the validity of any information they find on the Internet. Alameda County Library does not monitor nor does it have any control over the information accessed through its Internet terminals. The Library assumes no responsibility for any damages, direct or indirect, arising from 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, privacy cannot be guaranteed. Users are cautioned that the Library computers on which the public can access the Internet are in public areas which must be shared by library users of all ages, backgrounds and sensibilities. Individuals are asked to consider this and to respect the sensibilities of others when accessing potentially offensive information and images. Alameda County Library offers privacy enhancing computer screens for use on public Internet computers. Use of Library terminals for viewing or disseminating illegal images is not permitted.

Users are cautioned that the Internet is not a secure medium and the privacy of electronic communication cannot be guaranteed. All transactions, files and communication are vulnerable to unauthorized access and use and, therefore, should be considered public.

Children and the Internet

Alameda County Library supports parents and guardians in their efforts to guide their children's intellectual and social development. Parents are encouraged to review the guidelines located at

and discuss appropriate use with their children. As is the case with other resources in the Library, it is the sole right and responsibility of the parent or guardian to provide any monitoring or restriction of their own child's access to the Internet.

Rules Governing Use

Procedures regarding time limits and reservations vary by branch. Users should contact their local library for details regarding use at their branch library. All users of the Internet in 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 abide by the Library's Public Conduct Policy and any Internet-specific rules, regulations and procedures established for its use. To provide an atmosphere that permits proper use of Library resources, Internet users are not allowed to gather in groups of more than two people per terminal. Library users are asked to respect the privacy of Internet users and to refrain from watching over someone's shoulder or otherwise intentionally observing a stranger's use.

Users may not:

  • Use the Library's Internet Terminals for illegal or unethical purposes.
  • Make any attempt to alter or damage computer hardware or software.
  • Use the computer to make unauthorized entry into other networks or systems.
  • Use the Library's Internet terminals to view or disseminate illegal images.
  • Make unauthorized copies of copyrighted or licensed software or data.

Violations may result in loss of Internet privileges. Any illegal activity involving the Library's Internet connections will be subject to prosecution by the appropriate authorities.

Endorsed by the Alameda County Library Advisory Commission, September 10, 1997 and September 16, 1998. Approved by the Alameda County Board of Supervisors on December 7, 1999 produced by Alameda County Library Community Relations 12/99.