The mission of the Harris County Public Library System is to provide information and resources to enrich lives and strengthen communities through innovative services within and beyond our walls. Throughout its history, the Library has made information available in a variety of formats. The Library's computer system provides the opportunity to integrate electronic resources from Internet-linked information networks from around the world -- with the Library's other resources, enhancing the Library's existing collection's size and depth.
The Library exercises discretion in the selection of materials for inclusion in its collection, including materials it makes available on the Internet. To help guide users to the best electronic content, the Library has created web pages designed for the general population, children, and teens. The Library’s staff is also available for assistance in using online resources.
The Internet, as an information source, enables the Library to provide information beyond the confines of its own collection. It allows access to ideas, information, and commentary from around the world. However, some information contained on the Internet may be incorrect, out-of-date, or objectionable to some individuals. The library follows its materials selection guidelines in choosing the links included in library-sponsored websites. Beyond these pages and their primary links, the Library cannot be responsible for Internet content.
Harris County Public Library System does not monitor and cannot control material that may be accessible from other Internet resources. However, the Library’s staff is available to provide guidance and assistance in using all online resources.
The Library affirms the right and responsibility of parents to determine and monitor their children's use of Library materials and resources. The Library recognizes that restriction of a child's access to the Internet is the responsibility of the parent or guardian.
The library's central server, through which access to the Internet is provided, includes filtering software that permits system administrators to block network traffic to certain types of Internet sites. In compliance with the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) legislation, access to sites containing adult entertainment, child pornography, and other obscene material, or which promote illegal activities are blocked on all library computers. However, no filtering system is foolproof. The Library cannot guarantee that access to sites containing adult entertainment, pornography, or which promote illegal activities will be blocked. Neither can the Library guarantee that there will not be occasions when the filtering software may “over block” sites that have legitimate informational or research value.
In compliance with the June, 2003 CIPA ruling (02-361) by the Supreme Court, unfiltered access to the Internet is made available to adults requesting such access on a per session basis. Unfiltered access is not available for anyone under the age of 18