Computer Use Policy .pdf
In fulfilling our mission to serve as a hub of reliable information and entertainment, the Liberty Library recognizes the vital role of technology to our community by connecting people to the world of ideas, information, and imagination to support their work, education, personal growth, and enjoyment. The library provides computers and services to the general public including free access to the Internet, both wired and wireless.
Responsibilities of Users
Patrons use the Internet at their own risk. Use of Internet resources carries with it a responsibility to evaluate the validity and quality of the information accessed.
Users are asked to limit their use to 30-minutes to ensure that all Library users have equal access to the resources. If no one is waiting, then they may continue to use it.
Users are requested to use headphones or earbuds when listening to audio content.
Cell phone conversations must not disturb other people and we request that the conversation be conducted outside the library.
By mutual agreement, two persons may share one access session as long as their behavior or conversation does not disturb other people.
The computers on the main floor are designed for teen and adult use. The iPad computers in the Children’s Room are intended for children ages 10 and under.
The staff/volunteers will develop a familiarity with the technologies and use this knowledge to assist library users to meet their needs. However, users should recognize that the assistance that any one person is able to provide is limited.
The Internet is a global computing network that provides access to a wide range of educational, reference and recreational resources, many of which are not available in print. The Internet does not fall under the control or governance of any single agency, government or organization, and therefore the library makes no guarantees regarding the accuracy, content, nature or quality of information obtained through the Internet. Further, the library does not endorse viewpoints presented on the Internet.
In no event shall the library have any liability for damages of any kind arising from its connection to the Internet. Users of the library’s computers and Internet access, wireless internet access, including, in the case of minors, their parents or guardians, agree to assume full liability (legal, financial or otherwise) for actions.
The Liberty Library webpage is designed to offer easy and convenient access to valuable local, state, and national resources. These links have been selected as a service to help the user navigate the Internet. Selection as a link implies no endorsement by the library as to content of a website, and users must be aware that content of external links may and will change without our knowledge.
Internet access in the library allows access to ideas, information, images and commentary beyond the scope of the library’s collections, selection criteria and collection development policy. Some of the Internet material may be controversial. Court decisions over the years have interpreted the library to be a “limited public forum” and, as such, the library may not discriminate against constitutionally protected content or viewpoints.
The exception to the “limited public forum” doctrine is the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA). Under CIPA it is not acceptable for a minor to receive any material through any website, Email, chat room or other direct electronic communication, if it is deemed harmful to minors. CIPA defines harmful as “any picture, image, graphic image file, or other visual depiction” that, with respect to minors, which:
- taken as a whole, appeals to a prurient interest in nudity, sex, or excretion
- depicts, describes, or represents, in a patently offensive way, an actual simulated sexual act or sexual conduct, actual or simulated normal or perverted sexual acts, or a lewd exhibition of genitals
- taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.
To offer some safeguards for children, the library provides filtered access for individuals using library computers. A filter is third-party software that blocks access to certain websites. Parents and guardians should understand that filters limit, but cannot eliminate, a child’s exposure to potentially harmful or undesirable information. Therefore, it is a parent or guardian’s responsibility to monitor and control the internet usage of minor children. The library will implement filters that endeavor to identify sites that would not comply with the provisions of CIPA, but will not apply filters to generic word lists or lists of sites not relevant to CIPA.
The library’s computers are subject to access by law enforcement authorities, acting through federal or state law. The library will cooperate in the prosecution of violations arising out of use of its computers for illegal purposes and activities.
Guidelines for Use
Therefore, library users may not perform the following actions and library staff shall intercede when these policies are violated.
Persons using library-supplied Public Access Computers (PACs) or wireless internet services may not:
- Use these services in a way that violates local, state or federal law. Illegal acts involving library resources may be subject to prosecution by local, state or federal officials. Electronic gambling via the library’s computers is strictly prohibited by this policy.
- Post, transmit, access, or display obscene and illegal material. This includes sending, receiving, or displaying inappropriate materials, defined as text or graphics.
- Use the services for illegal or criminal purposes.
- Use the services to harass or defame others.
- Violate copyright laws or software licensing agreements.
- Use sounds or visuals which may be disruptive to others.
- Violate another library user’s privacy.
Persons using library-supplied Public Access Computers (PACs), including iPads, may not:
- Attempt to change any pre-established system configurations.
- Install or download any software onto the computer hard drive or BIOS.
- Damage computer equipment or software.
When patrons use a library computer or wireless network, they are agreeing to comply with the Computer Use and the Internet Safety Policies. These policies are posted in conspicuous places near computer terminals and are also available on the Liberty Library webpage.
Communication services such as email, instant messaging, and social networking sites are only available as internet services. The library does not provide accounts or storage for these services.
Patrons may save data to their own preformatted discs or flash drives. If a working copy of a document is left on a library computer, there should be no expectation that that document or file will be available at a future session.
If a library computer user finds a site that is inadvertently and inappropriately blocked by a filter or other technological impediment, the user may report this site to the Library Director. The Library Director will endeavor to review this site and determine whether it is actually being actively filtered, and if so, whether it should be and whether to permit temporary or unlimited access.
Confidentiality and Security
Due to their public location, absolute privacy for patrons using electronic resources in the library is not guaranteed. There exists a possibility of inadvertent viewing by other patrons, either by watching the user’s screen, a user may leave the screen unattended, or a user may remain logged-in to their accounts.
The library endeavors to protect the privacy and confidentiality of library users. Security protection software is installed on the Public Access Computers which restores the computer to its original configuration when rebooted, discarding unwanted user changes. Internet users should be advised, however, that because security is technically difficult to achieve, electronic transactions and files could become public.
Please note that the wireless access provided by the library is non-secured and potentially subject to monitoring by third parties within range of the building and with the technical capability to do so.
Any person who engages in unacceptable behavior that disrupts library service or violates this Policy may be asked to leave the library. The Library Director may suspend computer privileges for a period of up to 1 year. The Library Director shall inform the person of the reason he or she is being denied computer use privileges and give that person a reasonable opportunity to state his or her response to the proposed denial. Any person denied computer use privileges may appeal the denial to the Liberty Library Association. An appeal shall not stay the Library Director’s denial. The board shall provide the person with an opportunity to be heard before deciding the appeal and may affirm, modify, or reverse the Library Director’s denial.