Internet acceptable use policy

Policy 600-5

The Hawaii State Public Library System (HSPLS) offers free public access to the Internet for educational and informational purposes on specified computers.  This policy applies to all patrons of the HSPLS computers or networks.


The library only assumes responsibility for the information provided on the library home page and has no control over information available through the Internet, other than the content provided on the library’s web site and cannot be held responsible for its content. Users should be aware that the content on the Internet may not necessarily be verified as accurate, current, appropriate, or legal, and that users are solely and personally responsible for their use of this resource. The library is not liable for any direct, indirect or consequential damages related to the information contained therein. The library does not guarantee privacy or confidentiality during the use of Library Internet stations.

In the event of equipment failure, library staff will work with you to reschedule a time and/or offer alternative sources for information.  The library is not responsible for any damages or loss of data arising from the use of equipment, programs or other library materials.

Responsibilities of the Hawaii State Public Library System

HSPLS will comply with provisions of State of Hawaii and federal law as they apply to the use of library computers and access to information through the Internet.

In accordance with the federal Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA), all library public workstations use filtering software to access the Internet. Adults, defined by CIPA as being 17 years and older, may request that library staff disable the filter during their Internet session.

HSPLS seeks to protect the First Amendment rights of its customers and their individual rights to privacy. HSPLS maintains customers’ records in accordance with the responsible management of the library system’s collections and services. HSPLS does not collect or retain records that could unnecessarily compromise the privacy of its customers.

One of HSPLS’s objectives is to maximize online resources and, to that end, HSPLS has developed Internet use guidelines to allow fair access to the many users who want to use these resources.

Library staff has the authority to limit the number of patrons at the same terminal if the usage is disturbing other patrons or creates a hazard for others.

Library employees are authorized to take prompt and appropriate actions to enforce this Board of Education Policy, the HSPLS Internet use guidelines, and/or other provisions of the HSPLS Administrative Rules, as stated or implied herein.

Responsibilities of Library Customers

It is the individual user’s responsibility to demonstrate good judgment, respect for others, and appropriate conduct while using the public library and its resources, including use of Internet resources.

Internet computers are in public areas in HSPLS libraries. By agreeing to the HSPLS Internet use guidelines at the beginning of each session, users accept responsibility and acknowledge that some sites may reasonably be deemed offensive to other library patrons, and that images on the screen are visible to a wide audience. Not all content on the Internet is appropriate for viewing by all. Library patrons may be asked to discontinue accessing sites or engaging in other Internet behavior that others may find inappropriate.

Library patrons must use their own active library card for access. All library patrons are expected to use library resources, including the Internet, in a responsible and courteous manner, consistent with educational and informational purposes for which the resources are provided.

All patrons are expected to abide by the following:

  • The library’s Internet stations may not be used for any purpose that violates U.S., state or local laws. Users must respect all copyright laws and licensing agreements pertaining to software files and other resources obtained via the Internet.
  • Patrons may not view or display obscenity, child pornography, or other illegal content.
  • Library Internet patrons may not attempt to alter or damage computer hardware or software. The Library does not allow for the use of personal software.
  • Library equipment may not be unplugged, moved, removed, or otherwise modified. Patrons may not attempt to reconfigure systems or software or in any way interfere with the system set-up
  • Patrons may not use the network to make unauthorized entry or hack into other computational, informational, or communication services or resources. Patrons may not invade the privacy of others or engage in any activity that is harassing, defamatory or threatening; or receive or display text or graphics which may reasonably be construed as obscene as defined by law.

All library patrons must abide by this policy and the library’s Internet use guidelines. Violations may result in the loss of Internet use and/or library privileges.

Use by Minors

The nature of the Internet requires users to exercise critical thinking skills to determine if the content is truthful, relevant, and appropriate. Parents and legal guardians may need to provide guidance for their own children on the issues.

HSPLS does not serve in loco parentis (in place of a parent). Library staff will not provide supervision of children as they explore the Internet. The responsibility for what minors read or view on the Internet rests with their parents or legal guardians, who should instruct their children on what they feel is appropriate.

Although the library complies with CIPA and provides filtering, no filtering software can control access to all materials that an individual may deem inappropriate. Words, images, or sounds that may be considered inappropriate or offensive by an individual may not be blocked because no filtering software program is 100% effective.

Parents or legal guardians should let their children know if there are materials they do not want them to use and how to use the Internet safely.  Parents or legal guardians are encouraged to supervise their child’s Internet use.

Response to Prohibited Behaviors and Content

Misuse of a public access computer will result in the loss of computer privileges, potential loss of library privileges, and possible legal action.

Agreement to Comply with Internet Use Policies

The use of a public access computer at any facility owned or operated by HSPLS is considered acceptance of the HSPLS Internet Acceptable Use Policy.

HSPLS shall develop guidelines for Internet use that are consistent with this policy.

Approved: June 21, 2016