De Soto Public Library

Internet Use Policy

Policy for using computers and the internet.

Internet Use Policy

 Internet Policy -- To fulfill its mission to "Create a community of readers and empower individuals with free access to information and the universe of ideas." the De Soto Public Library provides access to Internet resources. While the Internet provides many valuable local, national and international sources of information, it is an unregulated medium. Some information found on the Internet may be inaccurate, incomplete, dated, or offensive to some individuals. The Library provides Internet Content Filtering Services as required by Federal and State law. This filtering service is provided with the understanding that no filter is perfect in blocking all Internet sites that are in conflict with federal or state law. A good information consumer must evaluate the validity and appropriateness of information found. If the individual is a minor, a parent or guardian must accept the responsibility for evaluating the validity and the appropriateness of the information.

Choosing and Evaluating Sources

The Internet is a series of communication linkages leading to a highly diverse array of information content. Library patrons use it at their own risk. In choosing linked sources for its web site, the Library follows its materials selection guidelines. Beyond this, the Library is not responsible for the content of the Internet, for changes in content of the sources to which the Library web pages link or for the content of sources accessed through secondary links. In an effort to assist its users, the Library has created web pages for the general population and for the young to help guide them to sources that are accurate, complete and current. In addition, the Library provides training classes for the public to assist individuals in using the Internet in an efficient and effective manner.

Access by Minors

Parents or legal guardians have the right and responsibility to determine which Library materials are appropriate for their minor children. The Library affirms and acknowledges the rights and responsibilities of parents or legal guardians to determine and to monitor their minor children's access to Library materials, including materials provided by the Library through its public Internet access. Parents or legal guardians should guide their minor children in the use of the Library's public Internet access and inform their minor children about materials that they do not wish them to view. In addition, the Library takes the following actions to assist minors in the safe and effective use of its public Internet access and to limit the exposure of minors to certain materials available on the Internet.

Materials "Harmful to Minors" and Materials "Inappropriate for Minors"

  1. In order to use the Library's public Internet access, patrons under the age of 18 must have on file at the De Soto Public Library an Internet Access Permission Form signed by the minor and by the minor's parent or legal guardian.
  2. Minors are prohibited from accessing or being exposed to materials on the Internet that are "harmful to minors," as defined by the Missouri Revised Statutes.
  3. Minors are prohibited from access or being exposed to "inappropriate material on the Internet and World Wide Web" as defined by community standards, as required by the Federal Neighborhood Children's Internet Protection Act (NCIPA).

          "Inappropriate material" includes:

  • Images of human beings that include full or partial nudity of the genital and/or breast areas of the body.
  • Images of human beings in sexually provocative poses that focus the viewer's attention on the genital or breast areas of the body, whether clothed or unclothed.
  • Images of human beings engaging in sexually provocative activities. 
  1. The Library staff develops and maintains special web pages with links to selected sites deemed useful, fun and appropriate for those under the age of 18.

To prevent the intentional or unintentional exposure of minors to the materials defined above, the Library provides Internet Content Filtering Service as required by Federal and State law.

Adults and minors who fail to comply with this policy will have their Internet access terminated in accordance with the Library’s established behavior policy.

No one, adult or minor, may use the Library's public Internet access to view illegal materials such as obscenity, child pornography or any other matter that the courts have ruled is not covered by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. If Library staff have reason to suspect that the Library's public Internet access is being used to view illegal matter, the Library will take the appropriate action to notify law enforcement and to cooperate in the prosecution of offenders.

"Safety and Security of Minors When Using Electronic Mail”

For individuals under the age of 18, as part of the Internet Permission Form, the minor and his/her parent or legal guardian must sign for permission to use electronic mail by the minor.

"Unauthorized Access, Including So-Called 'Hacking" and Other Unlawful Activities Online"

All Library users are hereby advised that use of the Library's computers for hacking or any other unlawful activity is strictly prohibited. (Unlawful activity means any activity that violates Federal, state or local law.) Hacking includes, but is not limited to, corruption of or damage to equipment, software, or data belonging to the Library; changes to the setup or configuration of the software or hardware; and use in a manner that intentionally or negligently disrupts network use and services. Disruption includes, but is not limited to, the intentional or negligent propagation of computer viruses, the violation of personal privacy, and the unauthorized access to protected and private network resources.

"Unauthorized Disclosure, Use and Dissemination of Personal Identification Information Regarding Minors"

The Library urges minors to follow these safety guidelines:

  • Never give out identifying information such as home address, school name, or telephone number.
  • 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 parents' or guardians' approval.
  • Never respond to messages that are suggestive, obscene, threatening, or make you uncomfortable.
  • Have parents or guardians report an incident to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-843-5678 if you become aware of the transmission of child pornography.
  • Remember that people online may not be who they say they are.
  • Remember that everything you read may not be true.

Rules Governing Use

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. Due to the limited resources available for provision of public access to the Internet, the Library may set reasonable time, place and manner limits on use. The Library reserves the right to limit the time that an individual can devote to a single session.

Unacceptable Use Includes but is Not Limited to:

  • Accessing any matter that is not protected by the First Amendment. This includes obscenity, child pornography and, for minors, "materials harmful to minors" as defined in Federal law and Missouri Revised Statutes 573.
  • Accessing any matter "inappropriate for minors" in a way that intentionally or unintentionally exposes these materials to minors as defined by the Neighborhood Children's Internet Protection Act (NCIPA).
  • Use of the network to make unauthorized entry into other computational, informational or communication services or resources.
  • Distribution of unsolicited advertising.
  • Distribution of unsolicited bulk e-mail.
  • Commercial activities, including but not limited to, commercial solicitation of business.
  • Invasion of the privacy of others.
  • Misrepresenting oneself as another user.
  • Any attempt to modify or gain access to files, passwords or data belonging to another.
  • Seeking disallowed access to any computer systems via the Internet.
  • Any attempt to damage computer equipment or software.
  • Any harassment, libeling or slandering of others.
  • Using 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 tax-exempt status or its proper operation.
  • Any other action that violates the "Acceptable Use Policy of MoreNet."

Violations of any part of this policy will result in the suspension or permanent revocation of the individual's use of Library technology. Suspected illegal or criminal activities will result in the Library staff notifying law enforcement.

Public User's Security

Users should be aware that the Internet is not a secure medium and that third parties may be able to obtain information regarding users' activities. However the De Soto Public Library will not release information on the use of specific Internet resources by members of the public except as required by law or as necessary for the proper operation of the Library.


The Library reserves the right to take appropriate action to insure compliance with this policy.

Guidelines on Access to Information

The De Soto Public Library complies with Federal law and the Missouri Revised Statutes. The De Soto Public Library also follows the American Library Association's statements on access to information as contained in

  • The Library Bill of Rights
  • The Freedom to Read Statement
  • Interpretations of the Library Bill of Rights, including Free Access to Libraries for Minors and Access to Electronic Information Services and Resources.

In general the Library's policy is guided by a commitment to free access to information for all users with reasonable limitations consistent with Federal and State law. Library policies attempt to provide appropriate protections for patrons consistent with the Library's longstanding commitment to the principle of free expression as set forth in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

Policy Subject to Revision

The Library's "Internet Policy" may be revised from time to time.


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De Soto Public Library
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