The leadership of the Arapahoe Library District believes that a public library has a profound responsibility to enable its patrons to choose freely from a variety of diverse offerings. A core value of the Arapahoe Library District is to ensure equal access to information and favor that access above all else.
Because of that core value, the preferred approach to ensuring internet safety is one of education over the blocking of content. We value patron choice and our patrons' ability to choose what content is suitable for themselves and their families.
We take internet safety seriously. We filter all of our computers and Wi-Fi access equally. We apply a category-based content filter of pornography to our internet access. A list of top sites from the pornography category is stored on our filtering hardware. This means if the requested site is on that list, we block access to it. Our filtering system meets the Children's Internet Protection Act, opens a new window (CIPA https://www.fcc.gov/consumers/guides/childrens-internet-protection-act) and Colorado state law regulations. We also filter the access on our circulating wireless internet devices.
Of course, no filtering system is infallible, and we welcome patrons to consult with staff on finding the most appropriate resources for their information needs. Please take a look at our Privacy Guidelines (https://arapahoelibraries.org/privacy).
The following message is displayed on all computers on the library's network to help users understand the existing filters as well as the limitations of these filters:
The internet contains a wide variety of material and opinions from various points of view. Not all sources provide information that is accurate, complete or current, and some information may be considered offensive or inappropriate for certain age groups. While the Arapahoe Library District is sensitive to the concerns of customers about internet content, no entity, including the library, can control the information available on the internet. It is the goal of the Arapahoe Library District to provide a comfortable and welcoming environment for all ages. Each individual is responsible for his or her own appropriate use of the internet in a public place.
We offer a service called "Book a Librarian," which is a one-on-one appointment with a staff member who can help teach interested patrons of any age how to navigate the internet safely while doing research. We also offer educational programs, focused on new technology and internet safety.
In summary, this is what we offer to patrons in regard to internet safety:
- CIPA-compliant category-based content filtering
- A sign-in message on all the computers on our network informing patrons about the limitations of internet filters
- Appointment-based support for safe research assistance any patrons to spend time with staff members for the purposes of educating them on internet safety
- Programs and resources that teach patrons how to use internet safely