O.C.G.A. 20-5-5 (2010)
20-5-5. Internet safety policies in public libraries
(a) As used in this Code section, the term:
(1) "Acceptable-use policy" means a policy for Internet usage adopted by the governing board
a public library that meets the requirements of this Code section.
(2) "Child pornography" means any computer depiction or other material depicting a child under
the age of 18 years engaging in sexually explicit conduct or in the simulation of such conduct.
(3) "Harmful to minors" has the meaning given to such term in Code Section 16-12-100.1.
(4) "Internet" means a global network that connects computers via telephone lines, fiber
networks, or both to electronic information.
(5) "Obscene" has the meaning given to such term in Code Section 16-12-80.
(6) "Sexually explicit conduct" has the meaning given to such term in Code Section 16-12-100.
(b) No later than January 1, 2007, the governing body of each public library shall adopt an
acceptable-use policy for its public library system. At a minimum, an acceptable-use policy shall
contain provisions which are reasonably designed to:
(1) Prevent library patrons, including those patrons under 18 years of age, and library employees
from using any computer equipment and communication services owned or leased by the public
library for sending, receiving, viewing, or downloading visual depictions of obscenity, child
pornography, or material that is harmful to minors; and
(2) Establish appropriate measures to be taken against library patrons and employees who
willfully violate the acceptable-use policy.
(c) A public library shall take such steps as it deems appropriate to implement and enforce the
acceptable-use policy, which shall include, but not be limited to:
(1) Use of software programs reasonably designed to block access to visual depictions of
obscenity, child pornography, and material that is harmful to minors; or
(2) Selection of online servers that block access to visual depictions of obscenity, child
pornography, and material that is harmful to minors.
(d) A public library shall not be subject to civil liability for damages to any person as a result of
failure of any approved software program or approved online server to block access to visual
depictions of obscenity, child pornography, and material that is harmful to minors. Nothing in this
Code section shall be deemed to abrogate or lessen any immunity or other protection against
liability accorded to public libraries under an existing law or court decision.
(e) The Attorney General and the board of regents shall consult with and assist any public library
in the development and implementation of an acceptable-use policy pursuant to this Code
(f) (1) No later than January 31, 2007, each public library shall submit a copy of the acceptable-use
policy adopted pursuant to subsection (b) of this Code section to the board of regents. Such
submission shall also include the identification of any software program or online server that is
being utilized to block access to material in accordance with subsection (c) of this Code section.
(2) The board of regents shall review each acceptable-use policy and any subsequent revisions
submitted pursuant to paragraph (3) of this subsection. If the board of regents determines after
review that a policy or revision is not reasonably designed to achieve the requirements of this
Code section, the board of regents shall provide written notice to the public library explaining the
nature of such noncompliance and the public library shall have 30 days from the receipt of written
notice to correct such noncompliance. The board of regents may provide an extension to the 30
day period on a showing of good cause.
(3) No revision of an acceptable-use policy which has been approved by the board of regents
pursuant to paragraph (2) of this subsection shall be implemented until such revision is approved
by the board of regents. If the board of regents fails to disapprove the revision within 60 days
after the submission is received, the public library may proceed with the implementation of the
(4) The board of regents shall be authorized to withhold a portion of state funding to a public
library if the public library:
(A) Fails to timely submit an acceptable-use policy in accordance with paragraph (1) of this
(B) Submits an acceptable-use policy that is not reasonably designed to achieve the
requirements of this Code section; or
(C) Is not enforcing or is substantially disregarding its acceptable-use policy.
(5) If the board of regents disapproves an acceptable-use policy of a public library or any revision
thereof or notifies the public library that it is subject to the withholding of funding pursuant to
paragraph (4) of this subsection, the public library may appeal the decision to the superior court
of the county where the public library is situated.
(g) (1) The board of regents shall be responsible for conducting investigations and making written
determinations as to whether a public library has violated the requirements of this Code section.
(2) If the board of regents determines that a public library is in violation of the requirements of
Code section, it shall direct the public library to acknowledge and correct the violation within 30
days and to develop a corrective plan for preventing future recurrences.
(h) (1) Notwithstanding any other provision of this Code section to the contrary, an administrator
or supervisor of a public library, or designee thereof, may disable the software program or online
server that is being utilized to block access to material for an adult or for a minor who provides
written consent from his or her parent or guardian to enable access to the Internet for bona fide
research or other lawful purpose.
(2) Nothing in paragraph (1) of this subsection shall be construed to permit any person to have
access to material the character of which is illegal under federal or state law.
(i) A public library which is fulfilling the requirements of the federal Children's Internet Protection
Act, P.L. 106-554, is not required to comply with this Code section.