Internet Usage

INTERNET AND PUBLIC COMPUTER STATION USAGE POLICY

Adopted: November 2004; Updated: February 2011 and May 2015

PHILOSOPHY

The Van Horn Public Library is a vital and dynamic community resource that promotes lifelong learning. Throughout its history, the library has made information available in a variety of formats, from print to audiovisual materials. The library provides free and open access to the Internet as an integral part of this mission.

In introducing the Internet as an information source, the library’s goal is to enhance its existing collection in size and depth and as a public access agency, give the opportunity to anyone who wishes to participate in navigating the Internet in the library.

PURPOSE

The purpose of this Internet Usage Policy is to insure the best use of and access to the Internet for the greatest number of our customers. This policy is subject to change as our experience with this service grows and laws are adopted.

LIBRARY ACCESS

In compliance with federal law, CIPA (Children’s Internet Protection Act), this library uses filtering software on all computers. The library upholds and affirms the right of each individual to have access to constitutionally protected material, including usage of the Internet. Internet usage is not restricted by age or residency. The library also affirms the right and responsibility of parents to determine and monitor their own children’s use of library materials and resources .The Internet, since it should be no different than TV and movies, books and magazines, is a marvelous opportunity for parents/guardians to hold discussions with their children about their family’s standards. It is strongly recommended that parents/guardians work with their children when using the Internet.

The library seeks to protect the First Amendment rights of its customers and their individual right to privacy. However, Internet users must be sensitive to the fact that workstations are in public areas, and therefore, images on the screen are subject to view by a wide audience.

The workstations owned and operated by the Van Horn Public Library will be used for educational, informational and recreational purposes only; they may not be used for unauthorized, illegal or unethical purposes. Customers may not send, receive or display text or graphics that may be construed as obscene.

To preserve ones own personal safety, users should avoid disclosing personal information over the Internet. Customers may download information from the Internet to their own personal devices. Users should not expect library staff to do this for them nor to know the specifics of how particular e-mail accounts work.

Because the customer is the selector in using the Internet by making individual choices and decisions, customers shall comply with all age restrictions governing access to specific sites, as limited by the content provider. Some commercial databases on the Internet require a fee. These fees are the responsibility of the customer and not the responsibility of the library.

Materials obtained or copied on the Internet may be subject to the laws that govern making reproductions of copyrighted works. A work protected by copyright may not be copied without permission of the copyright owner unless the proposed use falls within the definition of “Fair Use.” Customers are responsible for compliance with all International, national and state laws governing copyright materials.

Misuse of the electronic resources of the library, or of its Internet access, will result in the loss of computer privileges, potential loss of library privileges and possible prosecution. Such misuse includes, but is not limited to, using the computer for illegal activities; hacking into any system; interfering with system operations, integrity, or security; gaining unauthorized access to another person’s files; sending harassing messages; altering or attempting to alter the library’s computer settings; viewing of pornographic materials; and violating copyright and software licensing agreements.

RULES FOR PUBLIC COMPUTER STATION USE

Individuals who log on to the library’s public computer stations agree to the following:

  • Patrons must have their library card and have less than $5 in fines to use a computer
  • Computer sessions are 30 minutes long.
  • Patrons may use a computer for 1.5 hours each day
  • If at least three computers are available at the end of the allowed 1.5 hours, patrons will receive an additional 30 minutes of computer time upon request. Patrons must request this additional time at least 15 minutes before the scheduled end of their session.
  • The computers will shut down 10 minutes before the library closes
  • Only two people may share a computer station at one time.
  • Guest passes are available for those that do not have a library card or have forgotten their library card. Guest passes may be used a maximum of two times.
  • Users are expected to read and abide by the Van Horn Public Library Internet Use Policy available near the computers and on the website. Parents, guardians and caregivers are responsible for their children’s use of the computers.
  • Internet users must be sensitive to the fact that workstations are in public areas, and therefore, images on the screen are subject to view by a wide audience. The library reserves the right to challenge the material that is viewed in a public area and the user may be asked to exit the internet and/or library.
  • Users will not make any attempt to gain unauthorized access to restricted files or networks, or to damage or modify computer equipment or software. Installation, downloading, or modification of software is also prohibited.
  • Users will make prompt payment at the circulation desk when printing materials on the Library’s printers. Black and white copies cost 15 cents, color copies cost 50 cents.
  • Telephone reservations are not accepted and computers are available on a first-come first-serve basis.
  • Users will respect the privacy of other users, and will refrain from attempting to view or read material being used by others.
  • Customers should notify library staff immediately if they experience any problems with the equipment, software, or accessing a website. Request for the disabling of the filter, should be taken to the staff.