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Noemi Flores Erin Linsenmeyer Heather Phillips December 5, 2013 Policy Revision Presentation Library: The West Chicago

Public Library District Many people who have many different connections to each other frequent our library. Our computer use policy is fairly comprehensive in assigning a location for all patrons to have their computer needs met. However, in our specificity, we overlooked some people. These people are the teens accompanied by children under twelve. Specific examples of this population are teens who are babysitting and teen parents. Our current policy reads thus: INTERNET AND ELECTRONIC INFORMATION NETWORK PROCEDURES User Responsibilities Responsibility for what minors access on the Internet rests with parents or guardians. Children under 12 years of age may only access the Internet on the workstation(s) in the Librarys Youth Services Department with a parent or guardian present during all Internet use. Adults 18 years of age or older or children 12 to 17 years of age with signed approval from a parent or guardian may access the Internet on the workstations in the Adult Services Department. Adults with children present younger than 12 years of age must use the computers in the Youth Services Department. Adult users, without children, will be directed to use the computers in the Adult Services Department. According to our existing policy, these teens find themselves in an unpleasant state of limbo. Though they comply with the parental permission policy they are still unable to use any of the computers. They are too old to use the childrens computers and they cannot use the adult computers because there are no children allowed in that section. Using the computer is one of the main reasons teens frequent the library. If these teens accompanied by children are excluded from this service we are failing our mission to provide materials, resources and services to help community residents obtain information to meet their educational, professional, cultural, and social needs. Additionally, by disappointing and alienating this teen population we are disappointing and alienating advocates for our organization. After careful consideration of the policies that are in place, we would like to suggest a few changes to encompass those users who the policy excludes. Being as how the policy states very specific ages for users on where they are allowed computer access, re-writing the entire policy is more of a long-term solution. For now, we find that adjusting the interpretation and enactment of this policy will be a shortterm fix that allows all of our patrons equal access.

First, there is the statement that "with Library staff approval, two users may share one computer session on one workstation as long as their behavior or conversation does not disturb other users or Library staff." Children ages 12 to 17 who are responsible for a child who cannot be in the Youth Services department alone, should qualify for this condition of the policy if there are two persons. Both the older user and underage user must sit at the workstation together and follow the rules as if they were any other couple of patrons willing to share a workstation. The other line of policy that could incorporate these users is as follows: "adults with children present younger than 12 years of age must use the computers in the Youth Services department." If a user is between 12-17 years old and is responsible for other children who are under 12 while at the library, should fall into this category. And just as an adult caregiver would need to watch and make sure the children follow the library rules, this responsibility will fall on the 12-17 year old who is acting as guardian/caregiver of the underage child/children. We want to meet our full potential as a library. By ensuring these teens have access to computers we are moving the library forward in accomplishing its mission and we are nurturing the vital, symbiotic relationship between library and patron.