Purpose, Scope, and Background
Libraries have a responsibility to foster the free flow of ideas and information. In alignment with our mission to support research, education, and access to information, University of Vermont Libraries provide access to computers and network connections for use by UVM students, faculty, and staff, and by people not formally affiliated with the university (e.g., community members not employed by UVM or enrolled as UVM students).
The libraries make available several types of computers including:
- Terminals for UVM affiliates, requiring a UVM netID to gain access to subscription library resources, productivity software, and the unfiltered Internet
- Public-access terminals for all library users to access the library catalog and most subscription library resources; gmail and other email websites; and websites within the .gov and .edu domains
- Terminals with specialized software for all library users to perform specific tasks such as viewing microfilm or using GIS software
This policy governs use of these computers and network and Internet connections, and it applies to all users.
As a limited public forum, University of Vermont Libraries are guided in their operations by principles of intellectual freedom supported in the U.S. Bill of Rights (especially the First and Fourth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution), and by the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights and Freedom to Read statement.
- Computer users must adhere to standards defined in the UVM policy “Computer, Communication, and Network Technology Acceptable Use” and the UVM Libraries policy “Expectations of Library Behavior.”
- Although library computers provide access to the Internet, the UVM Libraries are not responsible for nor do they necessarily endorse Internet content, including content that is controversial or offensive. Users are responsible for the information they access or distribute.
- By using a library computer or network connection, the user agrees to follow all federal, state, and local laws.
- Users are prohibited from accessing illegal material not protected by the First Amendment.*
It is the parents’/guardians’ responsibility—and not the responsibility of library workers—to monitor their own minor children’s use of library computers and the Internet.
As expressed in the “Confidentiality Policy Statement and Procedures,” UVM Libraries “take most seriously [the] responsibility to ensure intellectual freedom and recognize the critical need to protect the privacy and confidentiality of its users. This means that the UVM Libraries will not reveal, except upon receipt of a valid and enforceable judicial order or warrant, information about users--what they read from our collections, what their areas of research might be, or what resources or services they consult, use or access.”
Policy Enforcement and Review
User violations of this policy may result in suspension or termination of access to the library, library computers, UVM’s network, or to services available through that network. Users may appeal these decisions to the dean of libraries.
Violations may also result in university disciplinary action or criminal prosecution.
The policy will be reviewed every three years by the libraries’ Dean’s Council. Users should address questions about the policy to the dean of libraries.
*With the exception of “child pornography,” “pornography” is not a legal term, and UVM Libraries does not adjudicate questions about what constitutes “pornography.”
Effective date: June 2, 2020
Approved by: Dean's Council, June 2, 2020