Internet Policy


Compliance with the Library’s Mission

The Hornell Public Library is a community based agency whose primary purpose is to provide information, education, and recreation to people of all ages through an organized collection of print, non-print materials, and access to digital resources and technology. The use of the Internet is a response to advances in technology and the ever evolving needs of the Hornell community. The policy is guided by the laws: The Federal laws Children’s Internet Protection Act (“CIPA”) and New York Civil Practice Law & Rules Section 4509. This policy is also guided by the principles of Intellectual Freedom, Privacy, Confidentiality and the Library Bill of Rights.

Internet Access to Information

The Internet is a global electronic network, mostly unregulated, on which anyone may place any content or communicate any content. The Hornell Public Library does not endorse and/or assume responsibility for any content or communications found on the Internet. Therefore, all patrons are advised that the Library cannot be responsible for the accuracy or suitability of information. The Internet is presently offered to the community at no charge. The availability of access to the Internet is restricted in the following ways: reference use of the Internet is the first priority; patrons must be in good standing (do not have material outstanding or unpaid
fines); all other use of the Internet is limited to one half hour once a day; only one patron per computer on the Main floor. Two computers, in the children’s area, are available for tutors meeting with clients. Headphones are available to allow use of the computers, without interfering with other patrons. Scanners are available for
patron use. All Internet patrons must sign a user agreement before being allowed to use the Internet. All parents must sign a permission agreement for their children to use the Internet.

Sign ln Procedure
Library cards will be scanned to assure that the patron is in good standing and that a User Agreement is on file.  Guests to the area will be allowed to use the computers after signing in as a guest.

Prohibited Library Activity

Any user of the electronic services provided by the Hornell Public Library and the Southern Tier Library System is prohibited from any illegal activity or unlawful purposes including but not limited to:

  1. Hacking.
  2. Harassing or invading the privacy of others.
  3. Attempting to degrade the network or disrupt its performance
  4. Using the network for commercial performance.
  5. Sending “Spam” or unsolicited advertising of any kind.
  6. Violating copyright law, including downloading copyrighted works without authorization by the copyright owner.
  7. Patrons cannot use their own discs/CD’s in the library’s computers. Patrons must purchase them from the library.

Consequences for Prohibited Use & Unlawful Activities

The Hornell Public Library prohibits the use of the Internet computer equipment by any individual to engage in illegal activity or criminal behavior. Consistent with its library use policy, the Library reserves the right to end an Internet session. The Library reserves the right to ban repeat offender patrons. Those patrons have the right to appeal the decision.


Internet access for the Hornell Public Library is filtered by the Southern Tier Library System. The filtering mechanism will, at a minimum, block access to three categories of visual depictions specified by the federal Children’s Internet Protection Act (“CIPA”) — visual depictions of material deemed child pornography,
obscene, or any material deemed harmful to minors. The filtering mechanism will be disabled for adults age 17 and older upon request and if appropriate, made less restrictive for minors. The Southern Tier Library System has evaluated various filtering mechanisms before choosing the most appropriate method. However, the Southern Tier Library System does not warrant the effectiveness of Internet filtering.


The Hornell Public Library provides printers for use with the Internet. The fee for printing is $.25 for black and white printing and $ .5O for color. The Library does not condone violation of United States copyright laws. Files from Internet sources may not be downloaded.

Parental Responsibility

Hornell Public Library affirms that it is the right and responsibility of parents who are concerned about their children’s use of electronic resources to provide guidance to their own children. Restriction of a child’s access to the Internet is the responsibility of the parent or guardian. Library staff will be available to assist patrons in accessing the Internet and to help identify appropriate sites.

Southern Tier Library System Action to Assist in Safe and Effective Use of the Internet for Minors

1. Develops and maintains special web sites for children.

2. Provides links to information on using the Internet safely.

Southern Tier Guidelines for Safe Use of the Internet for Minors

  1. Never give out identifying information such as home address, school name or telephone number.
  2. Parents or guardians decide whether personal family information should be revealed (age, marital status, financial information).
  3. Never respond to messages that are suggestive, obscene, threatening or upsetting.
  4. Notify parents, guardian, or library staff when such a message is received,
  5. Have parents or guardians report an incident to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-843-5678 if one becomes aware of the transmission of child pornography.
  6. Remember that people online may not be who they say they are.
  7. Remember that everything anyone reads may not be true.
  8. Don’t open e-mail, files or website pages sent to you by people or organizations which you do notknow or trust.

Responsibilities of the Board of Trustees of the Hornell Public Library

The Board of Trustees of the Hornell Public Library will periodically review the policies controlling access to the Internet. The Board of Trustees, while reviewing these policies, shall be mindful of the technological limitations upon the Library staff, costs involved, and the legal implications of their decisions.