Category Archives: Technology

Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA)

Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) requires two things: 1) an Internet Safety Policy; and 2) the use of filtering software on Internet access.

 

 I.  Internet Safety Policy

You must have an Internet safety policy that covers everything, including new rules passed over the years. You can use the template on our website at http://mlc.lib.ms.us/technology-services/e-rate/ (under Links for Additional Information on E-Rate/Universal Services).

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If you have not already adopted an Internet safety policy, you must hold a public hearing during your next board meeting to discuss said policy.  There is not a requirement that members of the public have to actually show up or even speak. Properly advertise when your open meeting will be, and keep a copy of your proof of notice (photocopy of newspaper/printout of newspaper’s website). If you do not have records of having held such a meeting in the past,  you must hold a meeting following the guidelines set forth below.

The notice for this meeting goes beyond the normal public notice you have to do for your usual board meetings.  If you’re making your public hearing a part of your regularly scheduled board meeting, just an additional line is sufficient, like this:

“The regular meeting of the ______ Library Board of Trustees is scheduled for Tuesday, July 28, 2015, 11:00 a.m., in the 1st floor main meeting room. The meeting will include a public hearing to discuss proposed technology protection measures and the internet safety policy.”

Be sure to actually discuss the Internet safety policy during your advertised board meeting and make sure it is recorded in the minutes appropriately.   The actual formal discussion of the Internet Safety Policy and its adoption should appear on the board’s agenda.  Ensure that a formal motion and vote of acceptance are recorded accurately in your minutes.  Do not forget to approve these minutes at the subsequent board meeting.

Finally, save all of your documentation which includes:

  • your policy
  • the proof of notice
  • your board minutes discussing and approving the policy

Please share this documentation with Vivian Sanderford by emailing her at vivian@mlc.lib.ms.us.

 

II. Filtering Software

The second part of CIPA requires “specific technology that blocks or filters Internet access” to visual depictions of:

  • Child pornography
  • Obscenity
  • Materials harmful to minors (does not include violence or hate speech)

Filtering must be applied to all Internet accessible computers in the library.  If your library receives Internet access from AT&T and the statewide contract, then this service is already provided to your library.

Website Accessibility Guidelines: Complying with ADA (American Disabilities Act)

“The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) prohibits discrimination and ensures equal opportunity for persons with disabilities in employment, State and local government services, public accommodations, commercial facilities, and transportation.” – ADA.gov

Public entities that choose to provide services through web-based applications (e.g., renewing library books) or that provide information through the Internet must ensure that individuals with disabilities have equal access to such services or information.

Below are several website standards to ensure compliance with the American Disabilities Act.

  • Provide alternative text for images on websites. Because screen readers only read text, they cannot interpret photographs, charts, color-coded information, or other graphic elements on a webpage.
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  • Font sizes on the Web should never be less than 12 pixels and should always consist of easily readable fonts.
  • Videos need to incorporate features that make them accessible to everyone. Provide audio descriptions of images (including changes in setting, gestures, and other details) to make videos accessible to people who are blind or have low vision. Provide text captions synchronized with the video images to make videos and audio tracks accessible to people who are deaf or hard of hearing.
  • Avoid using blinking, flashing, or other distracting features; if they must be included, ensure that moving, blinking, or auto-updating objects or pages may be paused or stopped.
  • Include a “skip navigation” link at the top of webpages that allows people who use screen readers to ignore navigation links and skip directly to webpage content; or provide correct headings in order for screen readers to read from topic to topic, rather than the whole page. Most website templates and content management systems automatically come with heading capabilities.
  • Include visual notification and transcripts if sounds automatically play.
  • Many people are color-blind, especially in the areas of blue, green, and red. Do not use color to convey meaning. For example, a website warning in red should properly read, “Warning: The library will be closed due to inclement weather rather than The library will be closed due to inclement weather”.
  • Make certain that you have a good contrast on your website. Contrast is the difference in color or density between the background and foreground. Black on white is an example of good contrast, while purple on dark blue is an example of poor contrast.
  • Bulleted and numbered lists are a good way to present list content and set points apart.
  • Have only a few font types on your website.