POLICY: INTERNET & COMPUTER USE Approved by Board of Trustees on June 14, 2012
The mission of the Waldoboro Public Library is to provide access to a broad range of informational, cultural, educational, and recreational resources, materials, and services to the Waldoboro community through a variety of media. One such source is the Internet, to which the library provides free access for Library users.
The Internet is a global entity with a highly diverse user population; library patrons use it at their own risk. Internet users should be aware that not all sources on the Internet provide accurate, complete or current information. Provision of Internet service does not imply that the Waldoboro Public Library endorses or approves of any material accessed.
The Waldoboro Public Library, in keeping with guidelines outlined in the Children’s Internet Safety Protection Act (CIPA), provides Internet access on PCs which are filtered. To the extent practical, steps shall be taken to ensure the safety and security of minors using the Library’s computers for email, instant messaging, chat, and other forms of direct electronic communications. Even with filtering, some Internet sites that are inappropriate in a library setting may be displayed. Because the Library is a public place, Library staff have the authority to end an Internet session when such material is displayed. Any subsequent violations of this policy will result in suspension of the user’s computer use privileges for six months. Unfiltered Internet access is available upon request by adults (eighteen years of age and older). In consideration of child safety concerns, parents or legal guardians of minors under the age of eighteen must sign the Parental Authorization Computer Use Form to allow use of the Internet.
Parents or guardians, not the library or its staff, are responsible for the Internet information selected and/or accessed by their children. It is recommended that parents monitor their child’s Internet use in the library, whether using the library’s computers or their own laptops. Because no filtering software is 100% effective, parents are advised that objectionable material could still be accessible. It is recommended that parents monitor their child's Internet use in the library. For information on child online safety, go to http://www.safekids.com.
The library is not responsible for any damages resulting from use of the library's computers or the library's connection to the Internet, nor can it guarantee privacy of any Internet sessions. If, during routine maintenance, it is perceived that a customer's usage has presented a threat to the security of the library's computer system, appropriate action will be taken.
The Waldoboro Public Library reserves the right to suspend a patron's privilege to use the Internet due to illegal or unethical use of the Internet or for any other violation of policy or guidelines, and also to modify this policy and the guidelines at any time.
INTERNET AND COMPUTER USE GUIDELINES
• All users will sign the Computer Use logbook to document their time of access. Signing the logbook signifies a legally binding agreement to abide by the Waldoboro Public Library’s Computer Use Policy.
• Computers are available during normal hours of library operation. There will be a time limit of one-half hour per patron. This limit may be extended if there is no one waiting who has signed the logbook. Time periods for Internet use may be extended when no other patrons are signed up or waiting to use the computer, but they will be bumped at any time beyond the allotted time by the staff for a user who has not been on that day. Within these parameters, public computer use is on a first come, first served basis.
• Parental or legal guardian permission is required for users under 18 years of age. Parents or legal guardians must sign the Library’s Parental/Legal Guardian Authorization of Computer Use Form prior to a minor’s use of the Internet.
• Access by minors to inappropriate material is prohibited by our policy.
Patrons may not use their own software programs or attempt to download programs through the Internet on the library's computers.
• Customers may not download any files onto the hard drives of library computers. Downloads should be made directly onto a flash drive or a floppy disk. Disks are available for purchase at the library for $1.00.
Files downloaded from the Internet may contain a virus. Customers should have virus checking software on their home computer to check downloaded files. The Waldoboro Public Library is not responsible for damage, loss of data, or liability that may occur from use of the library’s computers or its Internet connection.
• A printer is attached to the Library’s Internet PCs. Black and white prints are available at 15¢ per page. Customers providing their own paper will also pay these rates. Regarding the wireless service, printers are not available for use with the customer’s equipment. Documents that need to be printed should be saved to a disc or flash drive and printed from the library’s equipment.
• Headphones are available for use at the library. The Waldoboro Public Library is not responsible for any personal or equipment damage due to use of the earphones.
• At present, Library staff cannot provide in-depth training or trouble-shooting concerning the Internet, wireless access or the customer’s equipment, however will assist as time permits.
• Patrons may not always be able to access the sites they wish for various reasons: the host computer may be out of service or have changed its address, lines to the host computer may be congested, or the library’s connection may be temporarily down.
• Often, the specific information patrons need is available in the Library’s books, periodicals, and databases. Library staff can assist customers in the use of these resources.
• Respect the privacy of other Library users during their computer sessions.
• Illegal or unethical use of the Internet is prohibited. The library cooperates fully with authorities in criminal prosecutions.
• Sending lewd or threatening e-mail messages is prohibited.
Sending unsolicited e-mail messages to large numbers of people is prohibited.
• The unauthorized disclosure, use or dissemination of personal information regarding minors is prohibited.
• Damaging or altering computer hardware or software is prohibited, and damages will be assessed.
• Patrons may not attempt to circumvent or compromise the security of any host, network, or account. This includes, but is not limited to, probing the security of other networks, logging into a server or account that the customer is not expressly authorized to access, or masquerading as another person in order to obtain access to their account.
• Attempts to circumvent the library’s web security software, including the use of anonymous proxy sites, is a violation of the library’s Internet Use Policy, and could result in the suspension of computer use privileges.
• Some internet sites are inappropriate in a public place, and staff has the authority to require that such sites not be displayed in the library. In most cases, the first violation of this policy will result in a warning. Any subsequent violations will, under the Director’s discretion, result in suspension of the customer’s computer use privileges for up to six months.
• The Library makes no guarantees about, and is not responsible for, the security of information transmitted and received during your wireless Internet session. Wireless signals can be intercepted and cables can be tapped. Only connections to secure websites are encrypted.
• Distribution of copyrighted material, such as music and movies, via methods such as peer-to-peer file sharing, is prohibited and carries a risk of prosecution by the copyright holder.
• While using library computers, customers are expected to abide by policies regarding food, drink, and behavior, as outlined in the Waldoboro Public Library Patron Conduct Policy.