A Guide for Parents and Caregivers
What is the Internet?
The Internet is a global network of information networks accessible with a computer. Entertainment, education, and information are all at your fingertips. You can register to vote, visit the world's greatest libraries, take a college course, play a game, check weather forecasts, and see current sports scores. Virtually anything you want to know can be found somewhere on the Internet.
This exciting resource is world-wide and is not regulated by anyone, which opens the door to some risks. Not all information that appears there may be accurate. Also, just as people in person can be rude, obnoxious, and exploitative, the anonymity of the computer allows them to be even more so, if they choose.
Does this mean you shouldn't let your child use the Internet? Of course not; it simply means that you should be on the alert and aware of some of the risks.
Youth using the Internet at Lincoln City Libraries
Clearly marked computers equipped with filtering technology are available at all library branches along with clearly marked unfiltered computers.
Minors under the age of 17 need an Internet Permission Form on file signed in person by a parent or guardian in order to use the unfiltered Internet. Permission is not required for use of the filtered Internet. More information is available on our Internet Policy page.
Filtering technology is imperfect. Library staff has reviewed filtering software currently available and has chosen what we believe to be the software that will best serve our patrons based upon a number of considerations, including quality and dependability. As always, the staff of Lincoln City Libraries is happy to help you and your family find the best information sources, from books and magazines to electronic databases and the Internet.
What kinds of information can my children find on the Internet?
Many government agencies create Internet sites; children can learn about the White House, call up a list of current Senators, or get up-to-the minute information about national parks.
Lots of homework help can be found through sites about countries, companies, authors, statistics, medical information, and countless other topics.
Click here to link to our Kids' Sites Page - a list of sites popular with children.
Or click these links to visit other sites regarding safety on the Internet:
How can the risks on the Internet be minimized?
The best way to assure that your children are having a positive online experience is to stay in touch with what they are doing.
- Have your children show you how to access the Internet.
- Spend time with them when they are online.
- Explore the wide range of information that is available and discuss with them which topics you consider off-limits.
- Keep the lines of communication open so that you can talk to your children, and they will recognize your interest in what they are doing is genuine.
- Monitor the amount of time your child spends with the computer. Excessive use of online services, especially late at night, may signal a potential problem. The same parenting skills that apply to the "real world" also apply while online.
- Set your rules for the use of the Internet.
What are some safety guidelines I can use?
Parents who are concerned about their children's use of electronic resources should provide guidance for their own children. It is important that you as a parent assume responsibility for your child's online computer use, at home, at school, or in the library. Part of your family rules may be:
- Never give out identifying information such as home address, school name, or telephone number.
- Decide whether you want personal information such as age, marital status, or financial information revealed.
- Never allow your child to arrange a face-to-face meeting with someone via the computer without your approval.
- Never respond to messages that are suggestive, obscene, threatening, or make you or your child uncomfortable.
- If you or your child become aware of the transmission of child pornography, report it to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-843-5678 (1-800-THE-LOST).
- Remember that people online may not be who they say they are.
- Remember everything you read may not be true.
- Remember that personal computers and online services should not be used as electronic babysitters.
- Make computer use a family activity. Get to know your child's online friends as well as their other friends.
Please look at the library's Internet Policy.