A new Delaware law that went into effect September 15 is enabling public libraries to get their internet use policies ready for the inevitable influx into their facilities of patrons wielding wireless devices.
HB 340 extends libraries’ acceptable-use policies to any mobile devices that individuals bring onto library premises, and specifies that, while in the library, what patrons access on their personally owned devices is subject to the Delaware Children’s Internet Protection Act. The state’s CIPA law enables children’s parents and guardians to decide whether or not minors should have unfettered online access, and if not, how restricted that access should be.
Because Delaware’s public libraries receive internet access through the state Division of Libraries’ Delaware Library Network, the acceptable use policy was formulated by Rick Geisenberger, chief deputy secretary of state, Delaware State Librarian Annie Norman told American Libraries. The supplemental language, which was added August 13, reads: “Because wireless internet access is unfiltered and may be accessed through computers and devices not owned by the library, parents and guardians are hereby notified and encouraged to place appropriate controls or restrictions on the use of personal mobile devices that their children may use in the library.”
Norman explained that the new statute enables Delaware’s public libraries “to update technologies as they evolve,” including, she hopes, implementation of Delaware’s yet-to-be-approved grant application for the federal Broadband Technology Opportunities Program.