HOUSE BILL NO. 419
AS AMENDED BY
HOUSE AMENDMENT NO. 1
AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 29 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO PUBLIC LIBRARIES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE :
Section 1. Amend Part VI of Title 29 of the Delaware Code by enacting as a new “Chapter 66 C.” entitled “DELAWARE CHILDREN’S INTERNET PROTECTION ACT” as follows:
“CHAPTER 66 C. DELAWARE CHILDREN’S INTERNET PROTECTION ACT.
§ 6601. Short Title.
This Act shall be known as the ‘Delaware Children’s Internet Protection Act’.
§ 6602. Purpose.
It is the intent of the Delaware General Assembly to establish a cost-effective and efficient way to protect minors who use computers in Delaware public libraries from viewing obscene or pornographic materials on the Internet.
§ 6603. Definitions.
As used in this Chapter:
(a) ‘Obscene’ has the meaning defined in § 1364 of Title 11 of this Code;
(b) ‘Inappropriate materials’ means visual depictions which are obscene; and
(c) ‘Minor’ means an individual under the age of eighteen (18).
§ 6604. Application.
(a) This Chapter applies to libraries in this State which are open to the public and which receive funding from the State or from a County or Municipality of the State. It does not apply to the libraries of the University of Delaware, Delaware State University and Delaware Technical and Community College or other institutions of higher education. Public school libraries in the State are exempt from the provisions of the Chapter so long as Internet access on their computers is filtered through the State’s computer system.
(b) No waivers from the provisions of this Chapter shall be permitted by the Delaware Division of Libraries.
§ 6605. Adoption of Acceptable Use Policies.
(a) A library subject to the provisions of this Chapter shall establish and enforce a policy with respect to the acceptable use of its computers for Internet access. The acceptable use policy shall prohibit the use of a library’s computers to facilitate an activity which is illegal under local, State or federal law. The acceptable use policy shall prohibit use of a library’s computers to access obscene materials. Anonymous use of a library’s computers by the public shall be prohibited.
(b) With respect to adult users, use of a library’s computers to access the Internet shall be limited solely by a library’s acceptable use policy. However, adult computer users must be registered library cardholders.
(c) A minor who, prior to the effective date of this Act, has been issued a library card which grants the minor unrestricted access to the Internet on the library’s computers, will continue to have the same access after the effective date of the Act, subject to the library’s acceptable use policy. A parent or guardian of a minor who wants to change the level of Internet access available to minor must sign a new form indicating the level of access the minor is to have
(d) With respect to minor users, a library shall develop a system of age appropriate databases which may be accessed by minors on the library’s computers thorough use of a minor’s library card. The acceptable use policy shall require all minors to be registered library cardholders. In order for a card to be issued to a minor, a parent or guardian of the minor must accompany the minor to the library to apply for the card. The parent or guardian must sign a form indicating if the minor is to have access to the Internet on the library’s computers, and, if so, the level of access the minor is to have. The parent may allow the minor to have access to Tier I databases, Tier II databases, or have unrestricted Internet access.
(e) A library shall enforce its acceptable use policy through sanctions, which may include suspension or revocation of library privileges. The public libraries of the State shall communicate with one another in order to determine if a potential user has been sanctioned elsewhere in the State.
(f) A copy of the library’s acceptable use policy and the penalties for violating the policy must be given to all new library patrons with their library cards. A copy must also be posted in the library’s computer area.
(f) Libraries subject to the provisions of this Chapter may cooperate to develop uniform standards for acceptable use policies and sanctions for violations of the policies. The libraries may also cooperate to develop a system to communicate with one another about individuals who have been sanctioned for violation of an acceptable use policy.
§ 6605. Development of Databases.
(a) Libraries subject to the provisions of this Chapter shall develop a system of age appropriate databases which may be accessed by minors on the libraries’ computers. The system shall consist of two Tiers, with Tier I containing a selection of research databases appropriate for students in grades kindergarten through fifth grade and Tier II containing a selection of research databases appropriate for students in grades six (6) through twelve (12).
(b) The Delaware Division of Libraries, in consultation with public libraries subject to this Chapter, is responsible for determining the mix of databases that comprise each Tier.
§ 6606. Liability.
Libraries subject to this Chapter and their staffs shall not be liable for inappropriate or unacceptable use of the Internet by library patrons.”.
Section 2. Effective Date.
This Act shall become effective twelve (12) months after enactment.
Approved August 19, 2004