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Computer & Internet Use

Alanson Area Public Library
Computer and Internet Use Policy
 

I.          General Statements Regarding Internet.

A.        Internet Access.  The Alanson Area Public Library is an information/reference resource center.  As such, it provides information in a variety of formats, including electronic.  The Internet enhances the Library’s existing collection in size and depth.  It allows access to ideas, information, and commentary from around the globe.  This policy applies to both the Library owned computers and wireless access available at the Library.

B.       Validity of Information.  The Internet offers access to a wealth of information and Internet sites including useful ideas, information and opinions from around the world.  However, not all sources on the Internet provide information that is accurate, complete or legal.  Internet users will need to evaluate for themselves the validity of the information found.

C.     Library does not Endorse Information on Internet.  However, because the Internet is a vast and unregulated information network, it also enables access to information, ideas and commentary beyond the confines of the Library’s mission, selection criteria, and collection development policies.  The provision of access does not mean or imply that the Library endorses or sanctions the content or point of view of any of the information or commentary that may be found on the Internet.

D.   View Internet at Own Risk.  The Internet may contain information that is controversial, sexually explicit or offensive.  Users are cautioned that ideas, points of view and images can be found on the Internet that are controversial, divergent and/or inflammatory.  Because of this and the fact that access points on the Internet can and do change often, rapidly and unpredictably, the Library cannot protect individuals from information and images which they might find offensive, disturbing or inaccurate. Library patrons use the Internet at their own risk.  Parents or guardians of minor children are responsible for their child’s use of the Internet through the Library’s connection as stated more fully below.

E.  No Liability.  The Library assumes no responsibility for any damages, direct or indirect, arising from its connections to the Internet.  Please use caution when transmitting or using private information as the Library cannot assure and accepts no liability for the transmission of your private data.

II.        Nature of the Public Library Setting.

A.    Respect Others.  Because Library users of all ages, backgrounds and sensibilities are using the computers, Library patrons are asked to be sensitive to other’s values and beliefs when accessing potentially controversial information and images.

B.  Use with Caution of Risks.  Users are cautioned that, because security in an electronic environment such as the Internet cannot be guaranteed, all transactions, files and communications are vulnerable to unauthorized access and use.  This applies to use of the Public Use Computer and the wireless access.

C.  Monitoring Use.  Public Use Computers are internet stations that are located so that they can be monitored by staff for assistance and security.

 

III.       Procedure for Use.

A.        Reservation/Time Limits.  The Public Use Computers are available on a first-come-first-served basis.  If all Public Use Computers are in use, patrons may add their name to a reservation list.  Public Use Computers are limited to one hour sessions.  If no one is waiting, the User may continue use the terminal for additional 15 minutes sessions up to the 2 hour per day maximum. 

B.     Authorization For Computer Use.  All Users must agree to and accept this Computer Use and Internet Policy in order to use any Public Use Computer or access the Library’s wireless network.

C.    Staff Assistance.  Library staff provides limited assistance for basic start-up procedures.  Several circulating books on Web searching are available.  However, the Library cannot guarantee that Internet-trained staff will be available to assist users at all times the Library is open.  Because of the many different applications available on the Internet, staff may not be able to provide specialized or technical knowledge about a particular application.

D.   Closing Time.  Internet terminals will shut down 15 minutes prior to closing.

E.         Printing.  Printing is available from most computers at a cost of $.20 per one-sided page for black and white copies and $.30 per one-sided page for color copies.  These print jobs will be directed to the Circulation Desk and all print jobs must be paid for before obtaining the copies. 

F.         Log Off.  For your own protection, always log off when using the Public Use Computers.

 

IV.       Internet Use by Minors -- Patrons Under 18 Years of Age, 2000 PA 212.

A.        Responsibility of Parents and Legal Guardians.  As with other materials in the Library’s collection, it is the Library’s policy that parents or legal guardians are responsible for deciding which Library resources are appropriate for their children.  The Library urges parents and guardians to discuss Internet use with their children and to monitor their use of this educational tool.

B.        Access for Patrons Under 18 years of Age.  Patrons under 18 years of age wishing to access the Library’s Internet must have an internet consent form signed by a parent or guardian.  Parents or guardians are responsible for monitoring the use of the minor’s Internet use.  Michigan law prohibits minors from accessing obscene matter or sexually explicit matter that is harmful to minors.  As a result, Library Staff will also monitor use by minors less than 18 years of age.

 

V.        Acceptable Use.

All users of the Library’s Internet connection and workstations are expected to use this resource in a responsible and courteous manner, and to follow all rules and procedures as established in this policy. 

A.        Lawful Use.  The Library Internet connection and workstations shall be used in a lawful manner.  The Library’s Internet and workstations cannot be used for any fraudulent or unlawful purpose prohibited under any applicable federal, state or local law, including, but not limited to, accessing material that can be classified as obscene or child pornography.  

B.        Intellectual Property.  Users must respect intellectual property rights and obey the copyright laws of the United States and all other intellectual property rights.  Responsibility for any consequences of copyright infringement lies with the user.  The Library expressly disclaims any liability or responsibility resulting from such use.

C.        Use Must Not be Harmful to Minors.  Michigan law prohibits users from allowing minors access to sexually explicit materials harmful to minors.  Internet Users shall not permit any minor to view sexually explicit material or any other material deemed harmful to minors.

D.        Compliance with Code of Behavior.  The same rules apply to the use of the Internet as with the use of any other Library materials.  The Library has adopted a Patron Behavior Policy.  All Internet Users must comply with the Library’s Patron Behavior Policy, which shall be available in the Library

E.         Privacy.  Users must respect the privacy of others by not misrepresenting oneself as another user; by not attempting to modify or gain access to files, passwords or data belonging to others; and by not seeking disallowed access to any computer system via the Internet.

F.         Time Limit.  No patron may use the Library’s Internet access more than once in violation of this Policy.  Failure to leave a computer terminal upon the expiration of the allotted time is a violation of this Policy.

G.        Personal Software Prohibited.  The Users shall refrain from use of personal software, the attachment of equipment to the Library’s computers or networks or the modification of any operating system or network configuration. However, Users are permitted to bring and use a personal USB drive, provided the USB drive is not used in a manner that is inconsistent with this policy.   This prohibition includes attaching cameras, ipods, iphones, or other similar device to the computer or network. The User shall also refrain from downloading/uploading files to/from the Library’s computers.

H.        System Modifications.  Users are not permitted to change or alter the security setup, operating systems, the network configuration or any other configuration of any Library computer workstation without authorization. 

I.          Purpose; Prohibited Uses.  The Library’s Internet resources should be used for educational, informational and recreational purposes only.  The Library’s Internet Access shall not be used for personal profit or commercial activities, including the sale of goods and services or fund raising.  The Library Internet is intended for information gathering only.

J.          Damage.  Computer workstations must be used in a responsible manner and Users must take care with use of the equipment.  The User shall be responsible for repayment of any costs to the Library for damage to the computer terminals or system. 

K.        Terminal Use.  No more than two (2) Users may sit at a terminal. 

L.         Chat Rooms; Instant Messaging.  The use of chat rooms and instant messaging is prohibited

M.        Food; Beverages.  Food and Beverages are prohibited.

 

VI.       Violations of Internet Use Policy.

The Library Director or the Director’s designee may restrict access to Library facilities by (1) terminating or limiting computer, internet access at Library facilities; (2) immediately dismissing the patron from the premises; (3) suspending the patron’s access to Library facilities for a set period of time; or (4) by denying access to specific services and/or programs pursuant to this Policy.  If necessary, the local police may be called to intervene.

 

A.        Incident Reports.  Library Staff shall record in writing in the form of an Incident Report any violation of this Policy that resulted in a verbal warning or a suspension of Library privileges.  By the end of the day on which the incident occurred, an Incident Report shall be written and forwarded to the Library Director for logging and review.  The report should include physical descriptions in addition to the name of the patron.  A copy of the suspension of privileges letter should be attached, if applicable.

B.        Violation of the Policy – Suspension of Privileges.  Unless otherwise provided in this Policy, (See Section C below), the Library shall handle violations as follows:

1.         Initial Violation:  Library patrons observed violating this policy will be asked to cease the violation with a verbal request.  If the patron does not comply with the request, he or she will be asked to leave the building for the day.  If he or she refuses, police may be called.

2.         Subsequent Violations:  The Director or the Director’s authorized designee may further limit or suspend the patron’s Library privileges if infractions continue. Such limitation or suspension shall be in writing specifying the nature of the violation.  Subsequent violations of the same rule shall result in additional suspensions of increasing length. 

C.        Violations that Affect Safety and Security.  Violations involving violations of law (including child pornography and allowing minors to view sexually explicit or other material deemed harmful to minors), violence, threatening behaviors, sexual harassment, vandalism, theft or attempted theft, sexual misconduct or any behavior that threatens the safety and security of staff and/or patrons shall be handled as follows:

1.         Initial Violation:  The police will be called immediately.  If the conduct constitutes a violation of local, state, or federal law, arrest or criminal prosecution may ensue.  Violations of this nature will result in an immediate minimum two-week suspension of Library privileges in order to give the Library sufficient time to investigate the incident.  After the investigation is completed, the Library Director or his/her designee may add additional time to the initial limitation or suspension period.  

2.         Subsequent Violations:  The police will be called immediately.  If the conduct constitutes a violation of local, state, or federal law, arrest or criminal prosecution may ensue.  The Director or the Director’s authorized designee, may further limit or suspendthe patron’s Library privileges in escalating responses, which will be documented in writing.  Subsequent violations of the same rule will result in additional suspensions of increasing length.

D.        Reinstatement.  The patron whose privileges have been limited or suspended shall attend a meeting with the Director or the Director’s designee to review the Library Patron Behavior Policy before their privileges may be reinstated.

E.         Civil or Criminal Prosecution.  Illegal acts involving the Library’s Internet access service may be subject to civil or criminal prosecution.

VII.     Right of Appeal.

Patrons may appeal a decision to limit or suspend privileges by sending a written appeal to the Library Board within 10 working days of the date the privileges were suspended or limited.  The appeal should be sent to the President of the Library Board.  The decision of the Library Board is final.

 

Rev - 1/18/16

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