POLICY 3.0: USING THE PUBLIC COMPUTERS
3.1 What access does the library provide?
The library provides access to computer equipment, programs, databases, and the internet (collectively “computer resources”) for informational and educational purposes. All users of the library’s computer resources, both staff members and patrons, are expected to use these resources correctly and only for legal purposes. The use of the computers and accessing the internet is a privilege. Access is conditioned upon the user’s compliance with the computer use policies and the continued availability of the internet.
3.2 What are the purposes or actions that would be inappropriate?
- Violation of any applicable federal, state, or local laws, ordinances, rules or regulations
- Harassment of other persons or parties including repeated, unsolicited, and unwanted communication of an intrusive nature
- Not respecting the privacy of others; for example, users shall not intentionally send information on, obtain copies of, or modify files, other data, or passwords belonging to others, or represent themselves as another user
- Libel or slander of other persons or parties
- Destruction of or damage to equipment, software, or data belonging to the library or other users
- Gaining or attempting to gain unauthorized access to any computing, information, or communications devices or resources
- Creating connections which create routing patterns that are inconsistent with the effective and shared use of the network
- Disruption or unauthorized monitoring of electronic communications
- Unauthorized copying of copyright or other protected material
- Violation of computer system security
- Unauthorized use of computer accounts, access codes, or network identification numbers assigned to others
- Use of computer communications facilities in ways that unnecessarily impede the computing activities of others (such as randomly initiating interactive electronic communications or e-mail exchanges, overuse of interactive network utilities, etc.)
- Violation of software license agreements
- Violation of network usage policies and regulations
- Violations of another person’s or party’s privacy
- Creation, transmission, printing, or otherwise distributing: pornographic, obscene, sexually explicit, racist, sexist or homophobic material
- Any and all other matters which the library, in its sole discretion, subject to constitutional limitations, and in consideration of the best interests of the public determines to be an unacceptable purpose.
3.3 What is not appropriate computer conduct?
1. Users need to be aware that the workstations are in public areas shared by people of all ages. Users are responsible for the selection of sites and should be aware that others may be involuntarily exposed to what is displayed. Library patrons are advised that displaying pages depicting pornography is inappropriate for a public and open environment and is prohibited. Library Staff is authorized to ask computer users to stop using the internet if they are displaying pornography.
2. Anyone found to be abusing library computers in any way will forfeit further library computer use. This includes illegally copying (pirating) copyrighted software from library computers. Use of profanity will result in the same treatment.
3. Users are responsible for any damage occurring to library hardware or software due to inappropriate actions or inactions while using the computers. Fees will be assessed and charged to the patron for required repairs or replacement. The library is no responsible for damage to patron data due to library use.
4. Users may not use the computer for the prohibited purposes listed above.
5. Library employees will investigate complaints and will cooperate with state or federal authorities if necessary.
3.4 What happens if a patron acts inappropriately?
Violation of the policy results in discipline. Discipline depends on the particular circumstances. First offenses may result in temporary or even permanent suspension of computer use. If the person is a minor, the library may inform the parent or guardian. Second offenses will result in a one-week suspension of computer use. Third and consequent offenses will be dealt with through a longer suspension of computer privileges and/or library privileges. In this case, computer and/or library privileges can only be resumed with Library Director and/or Library Board approval.
3.5 Are there any special rules for the internet?
The library provides internet access to the public in order to make available a vast array of information resources and to allow members of the public to become familiar with state-of-the-art information technology. Please note that the library staff cannot control access to information. Users are responsible for the access points they reach. Please also note that material found on the internet may be inaccurate, incomplete, illegal, controversial, inflammatory, offensive, or dangerous. The library does not endorse information found on the web but merely provides access. Users must use their own judgment on whether the information has merit.
3.6 How do patrons get onto a computer?
To use the computer, the patron must have a library card and have no fines. Certain times of day or night may be blocked out for library usage, maintenance, etc.
3.7 Can patrons access e-mail?
The library does not provide electronic mail (e-mail) accounts. If you have an existing e-mail account, you may access your e-mail from the library’s computer providing you do not store any files on the library’s computers.
3.8 Can patrons download files?
NO. No files may be downloaded to the library computers’ hard drives. All files must be downloaded to the user’s floppy disks. Floppy disks are for sales at the main desk courtesy of Friends of the Library. We strongly advise the use of virus detection software before using files downloaded from the Internet. The library assumes no responsibility for damages to a user’s computer, disks, or files.
3.9 What if a child wants to use the computer?
1. Computer users below the age of 18 must use only those public computers designated as Children’s, unless they are with a parent or guardian over 16.
2. Children below the age of 5 should be accompanied by an adult or guardian when using the Children’s computers.
3. Please note that restricting the use of library materials by minors is the responsibility of parents or legal guardians. The Library Staff is unable to act in the place of a parent or guardian in advising minor children or enforcing limitations set by parents or guardians on acceptable use of the Internet.
3.10 Can a parent or guardian prevent use by their child?
Computer use is allowed as long as the patron has a library card. The library will not restrict use. It is up to the parents or legal guardians to monitor a child’s use. However, the computers are filtered.