The Arkansas Legislature, in its 2003 session, passed new legislation relevant to a minor’s use of the Internet in public libraries.


The board of directors of each library operated as an entity of the state, or any city, county, or other political subdivision of the state with one (1)

or more public access computers shall develop, adopt, and implement a written policy that:


                        1.  Establishes and maintains a system to prevent a minor from gaining computer access to materials harmful to minors as defined in 5-68-501;


                        2.  Provides for:

                                    (A) Suspending the privilege of a minor to use the public access computers if the minor violates the policy; and

                                    (B)  Revoking such a privilege for a repeat offender, and


                        3.  Requires each user to sign a computer use agreement form outlining proper and improper use of public access computers prior to the user being

                            allowed to access the computer equipment.


                        (a)  For purposes of this section, “public access computer” means a computer that is:


                                    (1) Located in a public school or public library;


                                    (2) Accessible by a minor; and


                                    (3) Connected to any computer communication system such as, but not limited to, what is commonly known as the Internet.


                       (b)  Copies of the standards and rules for enforcement of this section shall be submitted to the Arkansas State Library.


A.C.A. 5-68-501 defines minor as any person under the age of seventeen (17) years.  It also defines what is “harmful to minors.”


While neither endorsing nor condemning these laws, the Garland County Library recognizes its obligation to make every effort to comply. We have initiated

actions whereby those patrons ages sixteen (16) and under may have to be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian or use a filtering system when using

the Internet. Public “access” computer users need to sign a computer use agreement form each time they wish to use a public “access” computer. We have

also adapted our policy to provide the same penalties for all users of the Internet when violating the Library’s policy or Arkansas law.

We hope you understand these actions.