The Library provides computers for public use and access to the Internet for informational, educational and recreational purposes. The Internet enables the Library to provide information beyond the confines of its own collection. The Library cannot control and is not responsible for the content of information obtained through the Internet, and does not warrant that information accessed through the Internet is accurate, reliable, and legal or complete.

Intellectual Freedom 

The Peterborough Public Library endorses Canadian Library Association statement that “every person in Canada has the fundamental right ... to have access to all expressions of knowledge, creativity and intellectual activity.” The Internet is an information resource that allows the Library to provide information beyond the confines of its own collection, and it allows the Library, as a public access point, to provide an opportunity to any patron to access the Internet. The Library is governed by the Canadian Copyright Act, the Criminal Code of Canada and other legislation governing access to expressions of knowledge and intellectual activity. Users are responsible for the legality of any sites they access.

Use of the Internet by Children

The Library supports the right and responsibility of parents or legal guardians to determine and monitor their children's use of Library materials and resources.

The Library does not act in place of or in the absence of a parent. The Library is not responsible for enforcing any restriction which a parent or guardian may place on a minor's use of the Internet. Parents are encouraged to supervise their child's Internet sessions and to inform the child if there are resources they don't want the child to access. A parent or guardian must accompany children under the age of fourteen who are using the Internet in the Adult department. While using the Internet, children age six and under must be accompanied by a parent or guardian at all times.

The Library does not restrict the access of children to any information, resources and facilities in the Library, unless proscribed by legislation. As with other library materials, children's access to the Internet and other electronic networks is the right and responsibility of parents or guardians. The Library does not assume the responsibility of limiting children to use of filtered workstations.

In support of the right and responsibility of parents to direct the use of the Internet by their own children, the Peterborough Public Library Children's Area provides access to filtered search engines on Internet terminals. Filtered search engines (which are not under the control of the Library) may restrict access to sites that could be deemed objectionable, but may also limit access to sites that have legitimate research value. No filtering system is completely effective or efficient, and does not replace the supervision of a parent or guardian. Access to filtered stations will only be provided in the Children's Area. Parents who want their children to use unfiltered computers for their research will be required to accompany their children on the Public Internet terminals.

Acceptable Use of the Internet

All users must abide by rules of Internet etiquette, “netiquette”, which includes being courteous and using the Internet in a safe and legal manner. Among uses that are considered misuse, unacceptable and constitute a violation of this Policy are the following:

  • Using, transmitting, downloading, or seeking inappropriate, offensive, vulgar, profane, suggestive, obscene, abusive, harassing, belligerent, threatening, defamatory (harming another's reputation by lies), pornographic or misleading language or materials.
  • Uses or activities that violate the law, or encourage others to violate the law. This includes, for example:
    • Offering for sale or use any substance, the possession or use of which is prohibited by law.
    • Intentional communications with or visiting Internet sites featuring or promoting pornography, terrorism, espionage, hatred, theft, drugs or gambling or engaging in any other activity in violation of local, Provincial and Federal laws.
    • Intruding, or trying to intrude, into the folders, files, work, networks, or computers of others, or intercepting communications intended for others (commonly known as “hacking” or “sniffing”).
  • Uses that cause harm to others, damage to or taking of their property. 
    • Downloading or transmitting copyrighted materials without permission from the owner of the copyright materials. Examples include “pirated” software, music, videos, and other copyrighted works. Note that virtually all material available on the Internet and World Wide Web is covered by copyright, whether or not the copyright symbol (©) appears on such material. For example, any computer software, graphic designs, photographs, written documents, or other wording is highly likely to be protected by copyright.
  • Using another's password to gain access to the Internet, or some other user identifier that misleads message recipients.
  • Uploading a virus or other harmful component, corrupted data, or vandalizing any part of the Library or City Network.
  • Installing, modifying, deleting or downloading any software on the computer other than that as expressly licensed or approved by the Library.

The Peterborough Public Library reserves the right to implement and enforce usage procedures as necessary including posting of rules and regulations, and to withdraw access privileges or impose other appropriate sanctions for those who do not comply with the protocols, rules, regulations or service provider agreement.


Approved by the Library Board July 2015.