Public Internet Access in Midlothian

Report
Midlothian Council Library Service
Public Access Internet and
Content Filtering
Public Internet Access in Midlothian
Autumn 1999 - Spring 2000
• DS Galaxy Library Management System introduced via
‘trusted’ council network.
Spring 2000
• Security concerns concerning web catalogue prompt move
to ‘semi-trusted’ schools network.
Spring 2001
• Public access Internet service launched in all libraries with
I-Gear filtering administered by education IT staff.
Autumn 2001
• Schools move to new network. I-Gear filtering now
responsibility of library staff.
Filtering Options
• Don’t filter Internet content at all.
• Use a single level of filtering.
• Use different levels of filtering for different age groups.
• Use ‘walled garden’ approach.
Midlothian Filtering Policy
Three ‘cast’ levels:
Adult: 16 years of age and older - relatively unrestricted
Teenage: 11 to 16 years of age - more restricted.
Child: 10 years of age and younger - most restricted
I-Gear: How it works
User casts set up using:
• Themed lists of URLs
• Dynamic Document Review (DDR)
Also:
• Keyword blocking
Monitoring Usage
I-Gear can monitor Internet access by a number of
criteria including:
• Client - the IP number of the terminal used
• The date/time each site is accessed or denied
• ‘Content Violation’ - cases where the URL appears in a list
denied to the user cast or the DDR limit is exceeded
• Cast of user
Problems
• Filtering initially too restrictive
• Inactivity timeout - web mail problems
• Text in image format
• Foreign language sites
• Framed search engine results
• I-Gear re-licencing problems
• Access to secure servers
Library responsibility for filtering
software
Pros:
• We understand the needs of our users
• Setting changes can be made quickly
• Use can be monitored
Cons:
• Takes time to learn software
Acceptable Use Policy
• Warning about illegal/offensive material
• Explanation of library service filtering policy
• Details of booking procedure
• Maximum number allowed at a computer
• Disk virus check procedure
• Legal disclaimer regarding Internet content
Useful References
Filtering:
• Ormes, Sarah: An Introduction to Filtering
www.ukoln.ac.uk/public/earl/issuepapers
• The Library Association: The Use of Filtering Software in
Libraries
www.la-org.uk/directory/prof_issues/filter.html
Acceptable use Policies:
• Ormes, Sarah: Filtering - Is This The Answer?
www.ukoln.ac.uk/public/present/london/policies.htm
• Public Library and Network Policies (incl. AUP ‘kit’)
www.peoplesnetwork.gov.uk/infra/policies.asp

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