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The mission of the Jefferson Parish Library is to provide the highest quality library service to our citizens and to supply the tools needed for information, enrichment and enjoyment.

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red arrow internet use policy for jefferson parish libraries


Section 1. Purpose for Providing Internet Use:

The Jefferson Parish Library provides limited access to the Internet as a service to our patrons. The Internet is a resource that enables Library patrons to connect to information beyond that contained in the Library's collection. The Library is not a commercial Internet service provider. It is the Library's policy to provide Internet access to the public within the limits of available space, equipment, time, personnel, and other resources. The Library cannot guarantee access to the Internet at any given time. The Library is not open to the public for all forms of expressive activity. In offering Internet access, it is not the intent of the Library to create a public forum with respect to the receipt and communication of information through the Internet.

The Library may recommend interesting, useful and legal Internet destinations and resources for Library patrons to access and explore. However, the Internet is currently an ungoverned and unregulated source of both verified and unverified information. While the Internet does contain a wealth of useful material, it also provides access to sites containing material that some patrons may find offensive or objectionable as well as access to sites that may be illegal, unlawful, or obscene.

This Internet Policy is intended to affirm and serve to advance the following governmental interests:

(A) The protection of children from exposure to obscene material, child pornography, material harmful to them; and

(B) The aid and support of parents and/or the guardians of children in the discharge of their primary responsibility for their children's well-being; and

(C) The prevention of the creation of a sexually hostile work environment for the library patrons and employees, and the prevention of discriminatory conduct; and

(D) The maintenance of discipline and order, and the limitation of disruptions in the study or work environment of the Library; and

(E) The minimization of providing access to illegal pornography; and

(F) The aid and support of Federal and State criminal and civil laws designed to deter and punish trafficking in obscenity, child pornography, stalking, and harassment by means of computer; and

(G) With respect to minors, the exclusion of material which is "pervasively vulgar" or "educationally unsuitable" for the respective recipient age group.

In providing computer access as an information resource, such as the use of or providing access to or through the Internet, World Wide Web, or an interactive computer service (as defined in 47 U.S.C. § 230 (e) (1) and (2) and § 231 (e) (1) and (3)), the Library realizes that electronic display is more public in nature than other print media. It also recognizes that while it is impossible to monitor totally all the information or images that can be accessed on the Internet, some amount of control can be exercised. The Library will seek to facilitate, provide, and encourage Internet use in its facilities that is in accord with general community standards. The public dissemination of obscene material or child pornography is not necessary nor required under the Library's mission and is inconsistent with public policy and community standards. The Library also seeks to avoid and minimize the opportunity that unrestricted access to the Internet would result in exposure and exhibition of offensive sexual materials that could contribute to hostile work place or other sexual harassment or discipline problems with the Library environment.

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Section 2. Prohibited Access Criteria:

(A) Obscene. The policy of the Jefferson Parish Library prohibits the utilization of any library computer to access to sources of information or images that are obscene, including hard-core pornography depicting sexual conduct where penetration of the genitals is clearly visible and other explicitly sexual pornographic representations of sexual conduct ("Ultimate sexual acts, normal or perverted, actual or simulated, masturbation, excretory functions, and lewd exhibition of the genitals" ) within the scope of federal, state, and parish obscenity laws, including but not limited to La. R.S. 14:106, and Jefferson Parish Code of Ordinances Sec. 20-75 et seq., and the constitutional test for obscenity provided by the United States Supreme Court in the "Miller Test" announced in Miller v. California, 413 U.S. 15, 37 L.Ed.2d.419, 93 S.CT. 2607 (1973), Smith v. United States, 431 U.S. 291, 300-02, 309, 52 L.Ed. 324, 97 S.Ct. 1756 (1977), Pope v. Illinois, 481 U.S. 497, 500-01, 95 L.Ed. 439, 107 S.Ct. 1918 (1987), etc.

(B) Child Pornography. The policy of the Jefferson Parish Library prohibits the utilization of any library computer to access images that are considered Child Pornography, containing a visual representation of a minor under 18 years of age engaging in sexually explicit conduct, as defined in 18 U.S.C. § 2256, La. R.S. 14:81.1 and Jefferson Parish Code of Ordinances Sec. 20-75 et seq.

(1) There is an inference, which may be rebutted, that a participant in sexual activity, depicted as a minor through its title, text, visual representation, or otherwise, is a minor.

(2) As used herein, sexual activity includes sexual acts by minors such as intercourse, oral sex, and includes "lascivious exhibition of the genitals or pubic area." In determining when genital or pubic area exhibitions are "lascivious," guidance shall be drawn by the following factors discussed in United States v. Dost, 636 F. Supp. 828, 832 (S.D. Cal. 1986), affirmed, sub nom, United States v. Wiegund, 812 F.2d 1239, 1244 (9th Cir 1987), cert. Denied, 484 U.S. 856 (1987):

(a) Examples of sexually suggestive or lewd photographs of children would be those in which the child is depicted as half or partially clothed, posed in such a way as to depict or suggest a willingness to engage in sexual activity or a sexually coy attitude.

(b) In determining whether a visual depiction of a minor constitutes a lewd or lascivious exhibition of the genitals or pubic area, the following factors, among any others, may be relevant in the particular case:

(i) whether the focal point of the visual depiction is on the child's genitalia or pubic area;

(ii) whether the setting of the visual depiction is sexually suggestive, i.e., in a place or pose generally associated with sexual activity;

(iii) whether the child is depicted in an unnatural pose, or in inappropriate attire, considering the age of the child;

(iv) the child is fully or partially clothed, or nude;

(v) whether the visual depiction suggests sexual coyness or a willingness to engage in sexual activity;

(vi) the visual depiction is intended or designed to elicit a sexual response in the viewer.

A visual depiction need not involve all of these factors to be a lewd or lascivious exhibition of a minor's genitals or pubic area. A determination may be made based on the overall content of the visual depiction, taking into account the age of the minor and the nature of the work and its context, promotions, or marketing.

(C) Material Harmful to Minors. It is the Policy of the Jefferson Parish Library to limit or restrict access to images that could be believed to be "obscene as to minors" or "Harmful to Minors," as that term is used in 47 U.S.C. § 231 (e) (6), La. R.S. 14:91.11 and Jefferson Parish Code of Ordinances Sec. 20-75 et seq., for the age groups of minors who may be exposed to such materials whenever any computer providing access to the Internet or other interactive computer service is being used by a minor, who does not have on file with the Library written permission from a parent or guardian for use of such unrestricted computer terminal.

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Section 3. Unblocking Procedure - Administrative Review:

(A) Any library patron who finds himself or herself blocked from an Internet site he or she believes contains material that does not meet the Criteria listed in Sections 2 (A), (B), or (C), above, and desires to access said Internet site, may make a request that the Library unblock the specified site. If the Library determines that the site does not fall within the Criteria listed in Sections 2 (A), (B), or (C), the Library shall unblock said Internet site.

(B) When a request is received for a determination that a site does not fall within the Criteria listed in Section 2(A) or 2(B), the Library must make its decision as soon as possible, but not later than the close of the following working day. If a decision is not made by such time, the request shall be granted pending review. The Library shall bear the burden of proof that the websites the patron seeks access to falls within the Criteria listed in Section 2(A) or 2(B) or otherwise falls outside of the protection of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution and Article 1 § 7 of the Louisiana Constitution.

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Section 4. Notice to Parents and Guardians:

Because the Internet includes some information which parents and guardians may deem to be unsuitable for their children, parents and guardians must provide the necessary guidance and oversight of their children. They are the primary ones who may make decisions regarding whether to permit their children to have Internet access at the Library. Parents and guardians must ensure that they take all appropriate parental and guardian actions in respect to the use of the Internet at the Library by their minor children. The Library and its staff cannot act in the place of a parent or guardian.

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Section 5. Disclaimers Regarding Internet Use:

The Library has no control over the information contained on the Internet and is not responsible for its contents.

The Library cannot verify or be held responsible for the accuracy, reliability, quality, timeliness, or legality of information found on the Internet. The Library cannot be held liable for the conduct of Internet users. The Library may not be able to control access to materials or protect patrons from materials they may find offensive. Library users access the Internet at their own discretion and risk, and they are responsible for evaluating the validity and appropriateness of information accessed.

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Section 6. Warnings and Conditions Regarding Internet Use:

Users should be aware that the Internet is not a secure or private medium and that third parties may be able to obtain information regarding user activities. However, the Library will not release information on the use of specific Internet resources by any users except required by law or as legally permitted and necessary for the proper operation of the Library.

As a condition of the Internet use at the Library, each user must agree to comply with all applicable laws, rules, and regulations, including without limitation, all rules and regulations which may be established from time to time by the Library. Further, each user must agree to take no action on the Internet which could cause the Library to incur any expense beyond the general access fees. By initiating use, the user agrees to the fullest extent permitted by law to hold the Library harmless from any liability for any wrongful conduct of the user, including without limitation, any such unauthorized expense, costs, and attorney's fees.

The Library reserves the right to refuse access to the Internet to any person for the violation of this or any other policy of the Library, in accordance with applicable law.

The following rules for the use of all Library Internet Computers are adopted and established as an integral part of this policy:

Rules of Use for the Internet

(1) Each user shall be deemed to agree, by advancing beyond the initial computer screens, to abide by the Jefferson Parish Library Internet Use Policy.

(2) 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." Subject to fair use, users may neither reproduce copyrighted materials (text, images, programs, and/or data) nor distribute such materials by any means (including electronic mail) without the explicit written permission of the copyright holder. Responsibility for any consequences for copyright infringement lies with the user. The Library expressly disclaims any liability or responsibility or responsibility resulting from such use.

(3) Only Library staff may reboot, restart, or log onto the Library's Internet computers.

(4) Users may not make unauthorized entry into other computational, informational, or communication services or resources.

(5) Users may not present themselves or the Library by using computer accounts, access codes, numbers, passwords, signatures, or network identification assigned to others. This includes using someone else's personal library card to utilize the computers.

(6) Users may not invade the privacy of others at any time or in any way.

(7) Users may not send, receive, or display obscene materials, child pornography, and/or other materials prohibited under applicable local, state, and federal laws.

(8) Users may not use the Internet for illegal activities, including the violation of the rights of third parties.

(9) Users may not make any attempt to damage or alter the Library's computer equipment, software, or data and/or the equipment, software, or data of others.

(10) Due to the danger of a computer virus affecting the Library computer system, users may not download any materials to the computer's hard drive or any floppy drive.

(11) Public access computers may be monitored remotely.

Violation of the Library's Internet Use Policy and of any other rules and regulations may result in a loss of access to the Internet (including the World Wide Web) through the Library's Internet connection and/or loss of other Library privileges. Unlawful activities may result in prosecution by local, state, and/or federal authorities.

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Section 7. Severability:

To the extent any provision of this policy or the application thereof to any circumstances is held invalid, the remainder of the policy and the application of such provisions to other persons and circumstances shall not be affected thereby.

If any section, sub-section, sentence, clause, or any part of this Policy is for any reason, held or declared to be unconstitutional, inoperative or void, such holding or invalidity shall not affect the remaining portions of this Policy; and it shall be construed to have been the Library's intent to adopt this Policy without such unconstitutional, inoperative, or invalid part therein; and, the remainder of this Policy, after the exclusion of such part or parts, shall be held and deemed to be valid as if such excluded parts had not been included herein.

Jefferson Parish reserves the right to make any changes in this policy at any time!

Revised 4/14/14

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JEFFERSON PARISH LIBRARY  •  4747 West Napoleon Avenue  •  Metairie, Louisiana 70001-2310
Admin. Phone: (504) 838-1100  •  Admin. Fax: (504) 838-1110  •  Renewal Line: (504) 885-8588
Comments/Help: If you have any questions about the Jefferson Parish Library website or need help with your account, please visit our help page.