Those who use the WIFI connection or the public computers at the Sierra Vista Public Library, might notice something different. Although the library’s policies on computer use and Internet access have not changed, Internet filters have been applied in order to comply with state and federal laws.
The Sierra Vista Public Library provides access to the Internet via public access computers and wireless service. Access to the Internet is provided as an integral part of the library’s research, education and information services, and the library upholds and affirms the right of adults to have access to constitutionally-protected materials. All customers are expected to use the Internet in a manner consistent with these purposes and with respect and consideration of other library users.
Per Arizona Revised Statute 34-502, the Sierra Vista Public Library now provides Internet filters to both its wireless system as well as its public computers to prevent minors from gaining access to visual depictions of child pornography, material that is harmful to minors, obscene material, and to prevent anyone from gaining access to visual depictions of child pornography or obscene images.
The Sierra Vista Public Library provides Internet access to all patrons, regardless of their membership status with the library. Library cards will have one of two designations: Internet access granted and Internet access denied. All card holders and visitors who are 18 or older will be automatically designated as having Internet access granted, either through their library card or via a temporary pass. With written permission of a parent or legal guardian, access will also be granted to patrons or visitors who are 17 or younger. No patron under 18 will be granted access to the library’s public computers without written parental or guardian’s permission.
Although Internet filtering has advanced tremendously from even just 10 years ago, no Internet filter is 100 percent effective in either blocking or allowing certain sites through the filter. If patrons come across a website blocked by the library’s filters while using the Internet at the library, they may request that it be unblocked by filling out a request for reconsideration form that is available online at www.SierraVistaAZ.gov/SVLibrary. The Sierra Vista Public Library staff cannot control the resources on the Internet even through the use of filtering software. A filter may still allow information that is objectionable or potentially offensive to children to be accessed.
The library staff wants users to have a positive experience when using the library so bring any concerns, comments or questions to their attention. For more information, visit the Sierra Vista Public Library website at www.SierraVistaAZ.gov/SVLibrary or call 458.4225.