The mission of the Hawaii State Public Library System (HSPLS) is to provide Hawaii’s residents, in all walks of life, and at each stage of their lives, with access to education, information, programs, and services, and to teach and nurture the love of reading and the habit of life-long learning.

HSPLS provides access to authoritative online resources via the Internet as part of this mission. The Internet is a worldwide computer network that links users to a massive body of information. The resources that are available via the Internet can expand the libraries’ information services well beyond their physical collections.

The Internet is, however, unstructured and unregulated. Users should be aware that the content on the Internet may not necessarily be verified as accurate, current, appropriate, or legal, and that users are solely and personally responsible for their use of this resource.

HSPLS attempts to balance library security and available resources with customer privacy and access. Library staff can advise customers about the risks, as well as the benefits, of online resources and interactions, and will encourage the safe and wise use of these information alternatives. Library staff can recommend resources that have been found to be reliable and authoritative as well as information about how to evaluate content.

Responsibilities of the Hawaii State Public Library System

HSPLS will comply with provisions of State of Hawaii and federal law as they apply to the use of library computers and access to information through the Internet.

HSPLS seeks to protect the First Amendment rights of its customers and their individual right to privacy. HSPLS maintains customers’ records in accordance with the responsible management of the library system’s collections and services. HSPLS avoids collecting or retaining records that could unnecessarily compromise the privacy of its customers.

HSPLS’s Internet computers, network, and facility space are limited. HSPLS’s objective is to maximize online resources and, to that end, HSPLS has developed Internet guidelines to allow fair access to the many users who want to use these resources.

Library employees are authorized to take prompt and appropriate actions to enforce this Board of Education Policy, the HSPLS Internet Use Guidelines, and/or other provisions of the HSPLS Administrative Rules, as stated or implied herein.

Responsibilities of Library Customers

It is the individual user’s responsibility to demonstrate good judgment, respect for others, and appropriate conduct while using the public library and its resources, including use of Internet resources.

Internet computers are in public areas in HSPLS libraries. By agreeing to the HSPLS Internet Use Guidelines at the beginning of each session, users accept responsibility and acknowledge that some sites may reasonably be deemed offensive to other library customers, and that images on the screen may be viewed by a wide audience. Not all content on the Internet is appropriate for viewing by all library customers. Library users may be asked to discontinue accessing sites or engaging in other Internet behavior that others may find inappropriate.

A work protected by copyright law may not be copied without permission of the copyright owner unless the proposed use falls within the definition of “fair use.” Customers are responsible for compliance with all state, national, and international laws governing copyrighted materials.

Prohibited behavior includes the use of library computers

Users are not permitted to invade the privacy of other people or intrude upon their rights. Harassment of library staff or other individuals is prohibited.

Other prohibited behaviors include, but are not limited to, damaging or disrupting computer resources and networks; changing the settings and configurations of public access computers; use of non-library software on library computers; use of library computers for chat, game playing, and audio and video downloads.

Use by Minors

The nature of the Internet requires users to exercise critical thinking skills to determine if the content is truthful, relevant, and appropriate. Parents and legal guardians may need to provide guidance for their own children including discussion of their family values.

HSPLS does not serve in loco parentis (in place of a parent). Library staff will not provide extensive supervision of children as they explore the Internet. The responsibility for what minors read or view on the Internet rests with their parents or legal guardians, who should instruct their children never to give out personal information (including name, address, password, telephone number, and credit card information) online.

Legal and Policy

The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution does not protect all content. No HSPLS public access computer may be used to view or display obscenity, child pornography, or other illegal content. The legal status of any particular content can be determined only by a court of law with proper jurisdiction.

HSPLS provides filtered access to the Internet in accordance with the federal CIPA (Children’s Internet Protection Act) mandate. Adults, defined as being 17 years and older by federal law, may request that library staff disable the CIPA filter during their Internet session.

Response to Prohibited Behaviors and Content

Misuse of a public access computer will result in the loss of computer privileges, potential loss of library privileges, and possible legal action.


The availability of information does not constitute endorsement of the content by HSPLS. Users who choose to use the Internet as an information resource do so at their own risk. Not all sources provide information that has been verified to be accurate, complete, current, or legal. HSPLS does not monitor, and has no control, over the information accessed through the Internet and is not responsible for its content. The library system has no means, or statutory authority, to assure that only constitutionally protected material is available on the Internet. The authority to determine what is legal, and what is illegal, rests with others.

Although a federally-mandated content filtering program has been implemented on HSPLS Internet computers, no known filtering program is one hundred percent (100%) effective. Words, images, or sounds that may be considered inappropriate or offensive by an individual may not be blocked. Conversely, the same filter may block other constitutionally-protected information that a library user may wish to access.

Because customers are the decision-makers in using the Internet and by making individual choices, they are responsible for complying with all age and other restrictions governing access to specific sites, as required by content providers. Some commercial sites on the Internet require a fee. These fees and compliance with the rules governing these sites are the sole responsibility of the library user, not HSPLS.

In no event shall HSPLS be liable for lost assets or for any direct or indirect special, punitive, or consequential damages, or any liability to any third party, even if the library is advised of the possibility of such damages, arising from use of its connection to the Internet.

Agreement to Comply with Internet Use Policies

The use of a public access computer at any facility owned or operated by HSPLS is considered acceptance of its Internet use policies.

HSPLS shall develop guidelines for Internet use that are consistent with this policy.

Approved: 05/17/07