Public Internet Access Guideline

1. Purpose

The purpose of this document is to provide members of the public and State Library staff with a clear understanding of the State Library of Western Australia’s policy for providing public internet access, the extent of the service and the conditions that apply to use. 

2. Scope

This policy covers use of internet access facilities provided to the public on State Library of Western Australia computers. 

3. Context

The State Library of Western Australia sees the provision of free public access to the internet as a core service of a State Library and provides public access to internet services to support these strategic objectives:

  • improve Western Australians’ access to global information;
  • to provide access to electronic library resources;
  • to help clients use the most appropriate reference services to meet their specific needs; and
  • to use information technology to deliver flexible services, support partnerships and to manage our resources well

4. Guidelines

4.1 Services Provided

The State Library has a series of networked computers that provide access to:

  • information searching, including use of internet search engines
  • web based email
  • subscription databases and other electronic library resources
  • Open Office software – Word Processing, Spreadsheet, Presentation Software
  • printing facilities for a fee

All clients using these services are required to abide by the Conditions of Use for the State Library’s Public Internet Access Services. – see Appendix below.

4.2 Use of Filtering Software

The State Library of Western Australia uses filtering software on its public internet computers to block sites that may contain offensive material. This decision is made:

  • to ensure the best use of the terminals for clients wishing to research information; and
  • to comply with legislative requirements that restrict access to certain internet content that is likely to cause offence to a reasonable adult and to protect children from exposure to internet content that is unsuitable for children

By providing public access to the internet, the State Library is required to comply with the requirements of both the Classification (Publications, Films, and
Computer Games) Enforcement Act 1996 and the Broadcasting Services Act 1992.

The use of filtering software allows the State Library to comply with the legislation listed above and maintain a duty of care to children, whilst allowing maximum use of the internet for information research.

This decision has not been introduced to censor access to information and those people with a genuine information need that is affected by this decision may be referred to alternative internet access providers nearby.

The State Library acknowledges that the use of filtering software is not a perfect solution, and it cannot accept responsibility for any material on the internet that may be considered offensive by some users.

4.3 Responsibility for Content use

The State Library has no control over the content of material available via the internet and accepts no responsibility for any damages, direct or indirect, arising from the use of its internet access. Each client is required to make their own assessment of the truth, completeness, accuracy or suitability of internet content.

4.4 Privacy

The State Library respects the rights of individuals to privacy. However, access to internet facilities is provided in a public place and through publicly available facilities, and therefore no guarantee of privacy can be made.

All usage of the Library’s networked computers is logged and may be used by the State Library for statistical purposes. However, no attempt will be made to identify individual users or their browsing activities except in the following instances:

  • client breach of the State Library’s conditions of use for public internet services and facilities;
  • client breach of the Library Board (State Library) Regulations; and
  • in the unlikely event of an investigation, where a law enforcement agency may exercise a warrant to inspect the State Library’s logs.

The ordering of goods or services and the sending of personal, confidential, or sensitive information in an email or over the internet is undertaken at the client’s sole risk.

5. Responsibilities

Director: Client Services

6. References

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