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WELCOME TO THE INTERNET

The Internet, the Web, the information superhighway and cyberspace are all words used to describe one of the most valuable learning tools of this century. The Internet is a world wide network of computers that allows millions of people to communicate and share information. At the touch of a keyboard you can read newspapers from New York, check weather forecasts in Alaska, or watch a volcano come to life. You can "visit" Italy or view an original copy of Lincoln's Gettysburg address. Almost anything you want to know can be found on the Internet.

Because this exciting phenomenon is not regulated by anyone, it does present some risks. The content of some Internet sites may be inaccurate, misleading and/or exploitative. Not all Internet sites are appropriate for children.

Does this mean you shouldn't let your children use the Internet? No, it simply means you should be aware of the risks, teach your children how to make wise and appropriate choices and spend time exploring the Internet together. While the Glendale Public Library staff can help guide you and your children to appropriate Web sites, they cannot take your place. Only you can monitor your children's use of the Internet and other Library tools.

The staff at the Glendale Public Library encourages you to explore and enjoy the Internet with your children.


GETTING STARTED

There are many places to visit in cyberspace:

  • Web sites contain text, graphics, sound and animation, and may be linked to other sites. Many sites are instructional and may be sponsored by educational or non-profit organizations. Others are sponsored by commercial organizations trying to sell products. Some sites are created by individuals to express an idea, pursue a hobby, or publish their point of view.

  • Usenet groups are postings on specific topics where comments and sometimes images follow one another in a bulletin board style.

  • Chat rooms are generally devoted to particular subjects (such as baseball or video games). Participants can talk to each other in "real time" with their remarks appearing as they type them.

  • E-mail makes it possible to send written messages almost instantly to anyone with access to an e-mail account.

GUIDELINES FOR PARENTS

Explore The Internet Together
Spending time on the Internet with your children is the best way to teach responsible Internet use, good conduct and the values that are important to you. The same parenting skills you use in other circumstances may be applied to guiding your children's use of the Internet. The staff of the Glendale Public Library suggests the following guidelines:
  • Set rules for your children's use of the Internet.

  • Keep the lines of communication open so that you can talk to your children about the Internet.

  • Make computer use a family activity. Learn about your children's online friends as you would their other friends.

  • Teach your children that everything they read online may not be true and that people they meet online may not be who they say they are.

  • Ask your children to share their favorite web sites. Discuss what is most appealing about the sites.

  • Explore new Internet sites together and discuss which topics and sites you consider off-limits. Look for sites that can help with your children's homework, hobbies and other interests.

  • Stay in touch with the sites your children are viewing and visiting.

  • Monitor the amount of time your children spend with the computer. Excessive use of online services, especially late at night, may signal a potential problem.

  • National Center for Missing and Exploited Children

ESTABLISH FAMILY RULES
  • Setting family rules, such as those listed below, will help your children use the Internet wisely even if you are not together.

  • Always follow family rules and guidelines when using the Internet.

  • Never give out any personal or identifying information, including, but not limited to, your full name, home address, school name, telephone number, credit card number or password.

  • Never allow a face-to-face or telephone meeting with someone your children have chatted with on the Internet regardless of how "nice" or "friendly" the user may seem.

  • Never answer messages that are suggestive, obscene, threatening or make you or your children uncomfortable. Encourage your children to tell you if they receive such messages.

  • Always report the transmission of child pornography to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children by calling 1-800-843-5678.

TEACH YOUR CHILDREN "NETIQUETTE"
  • It is also important to teach children "netiquette," or how to behave with other Internet users. Rules such as being polite, not typing in all capital letters (it looks like you are shouting), and not joining the discussion in chat rooms until you know what people are talking about are good manners.
CHOOSE SITES WISELY

A web site appropriate for children should meet all or most of the following criteria suggested by the Children and Technology Committee of the Association for Library Service to Children and by the staff of the Glendale Public Library:

  • The site's presentation and content are appropriate to the age of the children for whom it is designed.

  • The purpose and content of the site are clear.

  • The content encourages exploration and thinking.

  • Important information is easy to find.

  • The information is accurate and updated regularly.

  • A source and contact for the site content is clearly identified.

INTERNET AT THE GLENDALE PUBLIC LIBRARY
  • Parents are responsible for their children's use of all Glendale Public Library materials, including the Internet.

  • The Library staff does not take the place of a parent and cannot monitor children's use of the Internet.

  • The Library cannot guarantee privacy in using the Internet.

  • Internet workstations in the adult areas of the Library are to be used by patrons in the ninth grade and above.

  • Internet workstations in the children's areas are to be used only by patrons through eighth grade.

  • Children under nine years old must be accompanied by a parent at all times.

  • Before using the Internet at the Glendale Public Library parents and children must read and agree to the policies and procedures outlined in the Internet at the Library brochure. Ask a librarian for a copy or find it on the Glendale Public Library web page.

  • To help find appropriate materials, workstations in the children's areas are designed to begin Internet access at sites specifically recommended for children. The Library cannot guarantee that children's access will be limited to only these sites.

PLEASE BE AWARE
  • The Glendale Public Library does not control or monitor the information available through the Internet and is not responsible for its content, accuracy or timeliness or the method or manner in which the information, once obtained, is used.

  • The City of Glendale expressly disclaims any liability for injuries and/or damages of any kind whatsoever, including consequential damages, arising out of the use of the Internet, the obtaining of any materials from or over any Internet connection, and the fitness for use or purpose of any materials, programs or information obtained through access to the Internet.

  • The accessing or use of the Internet through any equipment or service offered by the City of Glendale shall constitute acknowledgement of this waiver and disclaimer and shall be deemed acceptance of its terms and conditions. All users shall expressly assume the risk of receiving incorrect, inaccurate, defective, fraudulent or unlawful information while accessing the Internet through any equipment or service offered by the City of Glendale.



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