library internet use policies in Canada
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Library name
Filters children's workstations?
Filters adult workstations?
Language on sexually explicit information
Reference to CLA IF Statement
link to policy
Barrie Public Library??None. While the Internet offers a wealth of information it is an unregulated medium and allows access to information which may be inaccurate, out-of-date, inappropriate for children, offensive, disturbing and/or illegal.
Bibliothèque de MontréalYesNoNone. (unofficial translation: Internet activity is subject to the Criminal Code of Canada. It is forbidden to display, to receive, or to send text or images that violate the Criminal Code, including obscene materials, child pornography, and hateful propaganda... Library personnel may exercise appropriate vigilence and may intervene if they find that users consult websites whose content violates the legal framework described in point 2. ... Internet access terminals are located in public places... [users] must also respect other library users by not accessing sites that, while not illegal, might offend others by their content.)

Les activités menées sur Internet sont soumises au Code criminel du Canada. Il est interdit d’afficher, de recevoir ou d’envoyer des textes ou des images contrevenant au Code criminel, tels du matériel obscène, de la pornographie juvénile, de la propagande haineuse; ...Le personnel de la bibliothèque exerce la vigilance appropriée et intervient s’il constate que des usagers consultent des sites dont le contenu contrevient au cadre juridique décrit au point 2; ...Les postes d’accès à Internet sont situés dans des lieux publics. Il est de la responsabilité des usagers de protéger les renseignements personnels donnés sur Internet. Ils doivent également respecter les autres usagers de la bibliothèque en évitant d’accéder à des sites qui, sans être illégaux, pourraient choquer par leurs contenus;
Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du QuébecYesNo(translation: it is forbidden to use the internet and workstations at BAnQ to: ... do any illegal activities of any nature, ... access, download or distribute pornographic materials or inappropriate sexual materials, ... transmit sexually explicit or threatening language.")

- effectuer toute activité de nature illégale; - accéder, télécharger ou distribuer du matériel pornographique ou traitant de la sexualité d'une manière inappropriée; - transmettre des propos exprimés en langage obscène, abusif, sexuellement explicite ou menaçant"
Bibliothèque municipale de Gatineau??(translation: It is forbidden to consult pornographic or hateful websites., ... Library personnel reserves the right to interrupt/stop the session if these rules are not respected. )

Il est interdit de consulter des sites Web à caractère pornographique ou haineux. Le personnel de la bibliothèque se réserve le droit d’interrompre une séance d’utilisation si ces règles ne sont pas respectées.
Bibliothèque Ville de LavalCan't find it! Help!
Brampton Public Librarynot connected to the internetyes and filters wifi"It is prohibited to use the Library’s Internet access or computer equipment to receive or display sexually suggestive materials and text and/or graphics that are illegal, obscene or offensive or vilotate (sic) Canadian Copyright Laws."
Burlington Public Librarynogenerally noThink about the content and images you are viewing. If you would hesitate to show the site you are viewing to a child, your mom, or ‘Uncle Bob,’ it means it is inappropriate in a public setting.
Burnaby Public LibraryyesnoNone.
Calgary Public Library
sounds like you have the option to pick filtered/unfiltered when you login
sounds like you have the option to pick filtered/unfiltered when you login
None. "Your access to the Library’s Network is in public space, and you must not display materials on this Network which, in the opinion of any Library staff, are unlawful, obscene, abusive or otherwise objectionable."
Cambridge Public Librarynono"Staff are authorized to ask patrons to switch Internet sites if the site they are using is disturbing others, or if children in the vicinity might be exposed to sites featuring explicit sexual activity. Refusing to comply will result in the loss of Internet privileges."
Coquitlam Public Libraryyes (card specific)no (card specific)None.
Edmonton Public Librarynono"Library computers or wireless may not be used to...display overt sexual images"
Fort McMurray Public LibrarynonoNone.
Fraser Valley Regional LibraryYesYesNone.
Greater Victoria Public Libraryno?no?"Library computers and/or wireless access may not be used to...display overt sexual images."
Guelph Public Library???no
Halifax Regional LibraryyesnoNone. "The Internet and its resources may contain material of a controversial or mature nature. The Library neither censors access to materials nor protects users from information they find offensive. The Library is a public place used by people of diverse background and ages. There are sites on the Internet inappropriate for viewing in a public setting. Library staff reserve the right to end Internet sessions when such material is displayed."no
Hamilton Public Librarynono"Library computers, equipment, facilities and networks may not be used to...display overt sexual images."
Kitchener Public Libraryfiltered and unfiltered available
filtered and unfiltered available
None. "Users must be aware that Internet workstations are in public areas that are shared by people of all ages and sensibilities. All Library users are expected to respect the privacy of others using the Internet and not interfere with their use."
L’Institut Canadien de Québecnot connected to the internetNone (not applicable)-
Le Réseau des bibliothèques de la Ville de QuébecYes
Yes, but only for phishing/virus sites
(rough translation: It is formally forbidden to use the internet for illicit or commercial ends (sexual sites, violence, propagande, selling and advertising, propagating viruses, plagiarism, and the violation of copyright laws. Library [workstation?] users as well as those using their own devices are subject to laws, including the criminal code, concerning obscenities, child pornography, inciting hatred, and defamation...Given that the internet is vast and non-regulated, the library cannot assume responsibility for the information found therein, with the exception of its own website. Information transmitted over the internet comes from many sources, with varying levels of validity anf credibility. It is advised that this information be used with great care.)

"Il est formellement interdit d’utiliser le réseau Internet à des fins illicites ou commerciales (sites à caractère sexuel, violence,
propagande, vente et publicité, propagation de virus, plagiat et non-respect des droits de reproduction). Les usagers de la Bibliothèque de Québec ainsi que ceux qui utilisent leurs équipements personnels sont soumis aux lois, dont le code criminel, concernant notamment l’obscénité, la pornographie infantile, l’incitation à la haine et la diffamation... Le réseau Internet étant très vaste et non réglementé, la Bibliothèque ne peut assumer la responsabilité de l’information que l’on y trouve, à l’exception de l’information diffusée sur son propre site. L’information puisée dans le réseau Internet provient d’une multitude de sources dont la validité et la crédibilité sont très variables. Il est donc conseillé d’utiliser cette information avec une grande prudence. "
Library and Archives Canada
does not provide computer access
does not provide computer access
None (not applicable)not applicable
London Public LibraryyesnoNone. : "Users are responsible for determining the legality of anysites they access. Users are subject to federal, provincial and municipal legislation regulating Internet use and must not use the Internet for illegal purposes including copyright violation, obscenity, child pornography, sedition and the incitement of hate. For example, the Criminal Code of Canada prohibits possession, public exhibition and the exposure to public view of child pornography and obscenity (which is defined as the undue exploitation of sex, or of sex and any one or more of the following subjects, namely crime, horror, cruelty and violence).The use of the Library's Internet services for these and any other illegal purposes is prohibited."
Markham Public Librariesfiltered and unfiltered available
filtered and unfiltered available
None. "Customers are subject to federal, provincial, and municipal legislation regulating Internet use, including the provisions of the Criminal Code regarding obscenity, child pornography, sedition, and the incitement of hate. Use of the Internet for illegal purposes is prohibited and customers involved in such activities may be subject to prosecution."
Mississauga Library SystemunclearunclearNone.
New Brunswick Public Library Servicesome - it's a complex system
some - it's a complex system
Oakville Public Library?
some stations filtered - unclear if there's a distinction btn adult and child computers
"Users are asked to refrain displaying content (text or images) that might reasonably offend others including overt sexual images, and to respect the privacy of others."
Okanagan Regional Librarylooks like nolooks like noNone. "The Library’s computers are located in public areas shared by Library users of all ages, backgrounds, and sensibilities. Individuals are asked to consider other Library users when accessing the Internet from public workstations. Library staff members are authorized to ask Internet users to stop using the Internet if they are disturbing others."
Oshawa Public LibrarynonoNone. "Internet use will be managed in a manner consistent with the Library’s Guidelines for Use, which is posted in the Library" and "The Library reserves the right to end a computer session"
Ottawa Public Library
both filtered and unfiltered available
None. The library acknowledges its responsibility to "...provide an environment free from sexual harassment and to discourage Internet use that denies others a safe environment" but also reminds users to "...respect the sensibilities of others when accessing sites that may reasonably be considered offensive to others [and] to recognize that the Internet contains a wide variety of resources including resources that some may consider upsetting or offensive."
Regina Public LibrarynonoNone. "The Library provides access to workstations with privacy screens, to ensure that both your legal right to access information under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and your privacy rights, are respected" BUT "The Regina Public Library requires that you use our Internet workstations or the Library's wireless internet in a responsible manner, respecting the rights of others, not invading the privacy of others, and not engaging in any activity that is harassing or defamatory."
Richmond Hill Public Libraryyesno"these services many not be used to...display (or disseminate) overt sexual images, child pornography, hate literature, illicit drug literature or obscene material"
Richmond Public LibraryyesnoNone. "Library's responsibilty: Provides an environment free from sexual harassment and discourages Internet use that denies others a safe environment. Users' responsbility: Recognize that the Internet contains a wide variety of resources, including resources that some may consider controversial or offensive. Respect the sensibilities of others when accessing sites that may reasonably be offensive to others." When you sign on to a computer you agree that improper use includes "viewing sexually explicit materials".
Saskatoon Public Library??"Saskatoon Public Library has a ZERO TOLERANCE policy. You must not use the Internet computers for illegal, actionable or criminal purposes or to seek access into unauthorized areas. You must not access inappropriate Internet sites that contain sexually explicit content or that depict excessively graphic violence toward a specific gender, ethnic or racial group."
St. Catharines Public Library??"Use of the Library’s Internet workstations to receive or display sexually suggestive materials and text and/or graphics that are illegal, obscene, or offensive is prohibited."
Surrey Public LibraryyesyesNone.
Thompson Nicola Regional District Library Systemlikely nolikely noNone. From the "intellectual freedom" policy: "Libraries make Internet information available to everyone, even though some people may find particular sites objectionable."
Thunder Bay Public Libraryyes
yes and no (unfiltered stations available)
Not exactly. "Violation of the acceptable use policy is defined as Internet abuse, and can include...using the Internet to access, display, download, upload, forward or e-mail material with pornographic (as defined by the Criminal Code of Canada - Section 163), criminal, or hate literature content...[and] the library reserves the right to request that patrons discontinue use of the Internet; patrons in violation of the library’s Internet use policies will have their Internet privileges revoked or may be banned from using the library"
Toronto Public LibraryyesnoNone. Toronto favours a more general, non content-specific approach: "Internet workstations are situated in public areas, and users are expected to use the Internet in accordance with this environment. All users of the Toronto Public Library, including users of the Library's Internet services, are also expected to follow the Library's Rules of Conduct which are designed to ensure a welcoming environment. Disruptive, threatening, or otherwise intrusive behaviour is not allowed and Library staff are authorized to take action. Violations of this Policy and/or the Rules of Conduct may result in suspension of library privileges and exclusion from the Library, as well as prosecution.
Vancouver Island Regional LibraryyesnoNone. VIRL says "The Internet is an unregulated, worldwide environment. It contains information and opinions that range in scope from reliable and authoritative to controversial or extremely offensive." and "Customers who use the Library’s Internet workstations for illegal purposes will be subject to prosecution." and (in the conduct policy) "VIRL is open to the public provided they conduct themselves in a reasonable manner. Behaviour, including conduct or language which is noisy, disorderly, abusive, insulting, harassing, or illegal is prohibited. Persons engaging in prohibited behaviours may be escorted off the premises."
Vancouver Public Libraryyesno
Vaughan Public LibraryunclearunclearViewing and transmitting of explicitly sexual materials; materials that invade others' privacy; or materials that serve to harm or cause offense to others is prohibited.
Waterloo Public LibrarynonoNone. From the introduction (policy-wise they follow Toronto in a "shared space" approach): "The Internet provides access to a wealth of information, entertainment and lifelong learning as well as tools for sharing ideas and data in a worldwide forum.  However, not all sources provide accurate, age appropriate, current, or legal information that is philosophically acceptable to everyone, and some content may be sexually explicit, controversial or offensive.  As an unregulated online environment the Internet presents challenges that range from, on the one hand, the practical difficulty of accessing relevant and reliable content out of the overwhelming quantity of information available to, on the other hand, illegal activity that can cause harm."
Whitby Public Libraryyesno?"Disruptive, threatening, or otherwise intrusive behaviour is not allowed. This also includes: violation of Criminal Code, federal, provincial or municipal legislation; display of sexually explicit material; transmission of threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory material; tampering with Library hardware, software, or security systems."
Windsor Public LibrarysomenoNone.
Winnipeg Public Libraryyessome (in larger branches)Not exactly. "To maintain an environment that is appropriate for all library users please do not display offensive materials on the computer screen. The Library reserves the right to ask users to leave sites that are inappropriate for viewing in a public library setting."