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Children and Internet Access Policy

Child's hands typing on a computer
Georgetown County Library Internet Access Policy – Children’s Protection
Last Revised and Adopted 03-31-2012 Internet Filters

In compliance with the Federal Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) and with Section 16-15-305 of the South Carolina Code of Laws, the Georgetown County Library filters all incoming Internet content. The filter has included within its design the elimination or reduction in the ability of the computer to access sites displaying pornographic pictures or text in order to assist in the safe and effective use of these resources by all minors.

Children’s Use

The Georgetown County Library affirms and acknowledges the rights and the responsibilities of parents and guardians to monitor and determine the appropriateness of their children’s access to the Internet and requires parental supervision of children’s Internet use:

Primary user accounts on children’s computers in Georgetown County Libraries block access to the Internet including electronic mail, chat rooms, and other forms of direct electronic communications. A secondary, Internet-enabled user account is available for youngsters 13 and under who are accompanied by a parent/guardian or who are under the direct supervision of a librarian. Students 14 and up may access the Internet without a parent/guardian but may be subject to discretionary staff supervision.

It is considered to be a violation of Library policy to attempt to gain unauthorized access, cause interference or disruption of the Library’s computer system, or any other computer system – Such interference or disruption includes, but is not limited to: distribution of unsolicited advertising; transmission of threatening, obscene, or harassing materials; propagation of computer worms or viruses; or use of the network to make unauthorized entry to other computational, informational, or communicative devices or resources.

To address the issue of access by minors to inappropriate material on the Internet, including material that is harmful to minors, the Library:

  • Provides filtering software on the Children’s Internet computers
  • Encourages staff to guide minors away from materials that may be inappropriate
  • Distributes Internet safety publications for parents and children
  • Provides individual and group instruction on safe and effective Internet use

To address the issue of safety and security of minors, as well as the unauthorized disclosure, use and dissemination of personal identification information when using electronic mail, chat rooms and other forms of direct electronic communications, the Library urges minors, (and caregivers of minors), to keep in mind the following safety guidelines:

  • Never give out identifying information such as home address, school name, or telephone numbers. When you post messages online, use a nickname.
  • Let parents or guardians decide whether personal information such as age, marital status, or financial information should be revealed.
  • Never arrange a face-to-face meeting with someone via the computer without a parent or guardian’s approval.
  • Never respond to messages that are suggestive, obscene, threatening, or make one uncomfortable.
  • Have parents or guardians report an incident to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1.800.843.5678 if one becomes aware of the transmission of child pornography.
  • Remember that people online may not be who they say they are.
  • Remember that everything one reads may not be true. 

To address the issue of unauthorized access, including so-called “hacking,” and other unlawful online activities, minors and all other Library users are hereby advised that use of the Library’s computers for hacking or any other unlawful activity is strictly prohibited. The Library reserves the right to limit the amount of time an individual user can devote to a single session. The public must comply with all applicable federal, state, and local laws, including laws governing the transmission and dissemination of information while accessing the Internet.

Users may not: 

  • Eat or drink while using the computer. 
  • Use the network to make unauthorized entry into other computational, informational, or communicative services or resources.
  • Distribute unsolicited advertising. 
  • Invade the privacy of others. 
  • Make any attempt to damage or corrupt computer equipment or software. 
  • Engage in any activity that is harassing or defamatory. 
  • Download information onto the computer hard drive. 
  • Change system or browser settings. 
  • Use the Internet for any illegal activity, including violation of copyright or other rights of third parties, or in a manner inconsistent with the Library’s proper operation.

Violation of policy may result in loss of access. Unlawful activity will be dealt with in an appropriate manner.