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Carbondale, IL 62901


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"Wherever they burn books, they will also, in the end, burn people."

—Heinrich Heine (1797-1856) German writer, romantic poet, social essays


Electronic Information Network

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Libraries make it possible for citizens to have access to the information they need to make informed decisions. As a member of the Illinois Library and Information Network (ILLINET), Carbondale Public Library is committed to networking. This represents good public policy by maximizing use of the resources of all types of libraries. Every library user benefits from expanded access to information beyond the four walls of a single library building.

Carbondale Public Library and other ILLINET libraries use electronic information networks such as the Internet for a variety of purposes:

  • Access to shared automation systems that provide bibliographic access to the collections of local, regional, state, national and international libraries.
  • Access to both the general and specialized shared or licensed databases available to ILLINET member libraries through regional and statewide cooperative programs.
  • Access to the wealth of information resources available via the Internet.


Carbondale Public Library's policy for access to electronic information networks is part of the library's overall policy structure and should be interpreted in conjunction with other existing policies. Copies of all library policies are available upon request from a library staff member.


Most resources available via the Internet and other electronic information networks are "global" resources rather than "local" resources. Carbondale Public Library does not and cannot control the information content available through global resources via the Internet. Internet resources enhance and supplement resources available locally within a library. Library users must be aware that Carbondale Public Library does not exercise control over information obtained via the Internet and must keep in mind the following points when evaluating information obtained via the Internet:

  • Information obtained via the Internet may not be obtained from a reliable source.
  • Information obtained via the Internet may not be current.
  • Links to information on the Internet may not always be valid.
  • Particular information sites on the Internet may sometimes be unavailable and this unavailability often occurs unpredictably.
  • Certain information obtained via the Internet may be considered controversial by some library patrons.

Carbondale Public Library urges library patrons to be informed consumers and carefully evaluate information obtained via the Internet. Library staff may be available to assist patrons in making judgments about the reliability or currency of certain types of Internet information sources, but are unable to provide definitive analysis of particular sources due to the extremely large variety and volume of information available via the Internet.

Carbondale Public Library is not liable for damages, indirect or direct, arising from a library patron's use of Internet information resources.


Library patrons have certain rights with respect to use of electronic information networks such as the Internet. Carbondale Public Library will work with other libraries in the Illinois Library and Information Network to preserve and protect these rights, subject to limitations imposed by licensing and payment agreements with database providers.

  • Library patrons have the right to confidentiality and privacy in the use of electronic information networks to the extent possible given certain constraints such as proximity of other patrons and staff in public access settings.
  • Library patrons have the right to equitable access to electronic information networks.
  • Library patrons have the right to request and to read all library service policies and to discuss questions with appropriate library staff.


Carbondale Public Library's staff may provide assistance to patrons in the use of electronic information networks as time and staff knowledge permit. Printed and online documentation and instructions may be available at or near points of service. Formal instruction in particular aspects of electronic information network use may be available.


Carbondale Public Library requires that library patrons using electronic information networks such as the Internet do so within the guidelines of acceptable use. The following activities are prohibited:

  • Use of electronic information networks for any purpose that results in the harassment of other users.
  • Destruction of, damage to or unauthorized alteration of the library's computer equipment, software, or network security procedures.
  • Use of electronic information networks in any way that violates a federal, state or local law, including all copyright laws.
  • Use of electronic information networks in any way that violates licensing and payment agreements between Carbondale Public Library and network/database providers.
  • Unauthorized duplication of copy-protected software or violation of software license agreements.
  • Violation of system security.
  • Behavior that is disruptive to other users, including but not limited to overuse of computer equipment that serves to deny access to other users.
  • Chat room access.


Carbondale Public Library supports the right of all library users to access information and will not deny access to electronic information networks based solely on age.

Carbondale Public Library recognizes that electronic information networks such as the Internet may contain material inappropriate for minors. Parents/guardians are expected to monitor and supervise their minors' use of the Internet and other electronic resources. Library staff are unable to monitor minors' use of electronic resources and cannot judge the suitability of library material for any individual. Because of the diverse family values within this community, we encourage parents/guardians to assist their minor in choosing library resources they consider appropriate to their own family values, as well as to the maturity and development of their minor. Parents/guardians are encouraged to discuss with minors issues of appropriate use and electronic information network safety.


Carbondale Public Library has installed a filter on all public access terminals. A filtering device gives the library the flexibility to select Internet content using the same criteria applied as collection development guidelines for other materials. A filtering device does not replace the need for parents/guardians to supervise minors' access to the Internet.


Carbondale Public Library has policies and procedures to assist staff and patrons in the use of electronic information resources. These include but are not limited to:

  • Time limits for access to allow use of resources by the maximum number of library patrons.
  • Cost recovery for using the library's computer equipment and/or supplies (i.e. printer paper and ink).
  • Priority usage for accessing the library's online catalog.
  • Specific instructions for downloading including compliance with virus protection measures.
  • Prohibition of:
      • The use of personal software or any data storage device on library computer equipment.
      • The use of one's own personal computer to connect to the library electronic network.


All patrons who use Carbondale Public Library for Internet access and who do not currently have a valid library card from an Illinois public library are encourage to purchase a Carbondale Public Library non-resident card.

Patrons who choose not to purchase a Carbondale Public Library card will be assessed a fee of $2 per session. Each session is limited to one (1) hour. CPL cardholders are also limited to an hour.

Patrons who have valid library cards from other Illinois public libraries will be encouraged to use their home library for Internet access. If they choose to use Carbondale Public Library, they will be charged the $2 per hour guest fee.


Violation of any aspect of these policies or procedures may result in the loss of library privileges.

This policy is a modified version of the document adopted by Illinois State Library Advisory Committee May 23, 1996.

Adopted 2/97     Revised 11/97     Revised 11/99    Revised 12/04

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