Library mission –developed by Board of Trustees working in conjunction with library
staff and members of the community—states that the Amherst Town
Library “strives to provide all community residents—both young
and old—with materials and services for their information, educational
and entertainment needs.”
The strain of support
for intellectual freedom runs through all library policies including the
materials selection policy and the electronic media policy.
networks are designed to give patrons the ability to search for
the information which they need using the most effective tools
- We purchase
databases of information from traditionally trusted sources such
as periodicals and government publishers.
- Reference staff
provides many bookmarks to help patrons move quickly to well tested
sites on the Internet.
- The Amherst
Town Library web site also directs users quickly to carefully selected
sites on many subjects.
- We conduct
workshops to teach patrons to search effectively and to evaluate
- We try to protect
the privacy of patrons by positioning of computer screens so that
they do not face directly into
of the library and
by providing areas where patrons can discretely ask librarians
In a special effort
to protect patrons, we do two things:
- We clear all search history from the browsers after each person
leaves a computer so that the next patron will not inadvertently stumble
across material which may not be appropriate for him or her.
- The Amherst Town
Library Children’s Page offers a safe alternative
to young people by offering a professionally selected subset of the
Internet with good sites for both research and entertainment. The
two networked computers in the children’s room operate in the
kiosk mode so that children can move easily around the sites on the
Children’s Page without going out onto the World Wide Web
as a whole.
As there are serious
questions about how effective Internet filters can be considering the
complexity of human knowledge, we consider our more positive approach
to safe use of the Internet to be a better method of serving our patrons’
The Library Director
will be happy to speak further with any Amherst citizen about ATL Internet
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