Computer & Internet Use

This document constitutes a library-wide policy for the management of computer networks and the resources made available by the library, as well as any computers owned and administered by the Carnegie Public Library. This policy states the ethical principles of the library as well as the privileges and responsibilities of computer users. Patrons of the Carnegie Public Library who use the library’s computers must adhere to the following guidelines or lose the privilege of accessing the Internet with library computers. The library’s Internet resources are available to the public.

 

Confidentiality:

In keeping with our general policies, Carnegie Public Library will protect patrons’ rights to privacy and confidentiality. Communications that reside on the computer network will be kept confidential. However, electronic communication is not secure and networks are sometimes susceptible to outside intervention. As a part of normal system maintenance, network administrators do monitor system activity, but the library does not reveal information about an individual’s use of computer resources unless compelled to do so by a court order. Users of email should be aware that email in its present form cannot be secured and is extremely vulnerable to unauthorized access and modification.

Responsibilities of Users:

No one owns the Internet and it cannot be legally controlled in its content or information. Consequently the Carnegie Public Library is not responsible for the information that is accessed/obtained while using library computers. Therefore, library users access and use the Internet at their own risk. It is strongly recommended that computer users do not share passwords and that passwords are changed often. Ultimate responsibility for the invasion of the user’s privacy or loss of data rests with the user. The library assumes no liability for loss or damage to the user’s data or for any damage or injury arising from the invasion of a user’s privacy.

Legal Responsibilities:

Computing resources may only be used for legal purposes. Examples of illegal use include, but are not limited to: a. Harassment, libeling or slandering of others, b. Destruction of or damage to equipment, software or data belonging to the library or other users, c. Violation of copyright or communication laws, d. Intentional propagation of computer viruses, e. Violation of software license agreements.

Ethical Responsibilities:

Computing resources shall be used in accordance with the library’s ethical standards. Examples of unacceptable use include, but are not limited to: a. Violation of computer system security, b. Unauthorized use of computer accounts, access codes, or network identification numbers assigned to others, c. Use of computer communications facilities in ways that tie-up, interfere with, or impede computer use of others, d. Violation of network usage policies and regulations, e. Violation of another user’s privacy.

 

Cooperative Use:

We ask all of our library users to remain sensitive to the fact that they are working in a public environment shared by people of all ages, with a variety of interests and needs. In order to ensure an efficient, productive computing environment, the library insists on the practice of cooperative computing. This includes: a. Regular deletion of unneeded files, b. Refraining from overuse of connect time, information storage space, printing facilities or processing capacities, c. Refraining from overuse of interactive network utilities, d. Refraining from sounds or visuals that might be disruptive to others (THIS INCLUDES PORNOGRAPHY OF ANY KIND). Please do not save any files to the computer’s hard drive. Files saved to the computer’s hard drive are deleted nightly. Diskettes are available at the circulation desk for $1.00.

Sanctions:

Libraries rely on the cooperation of their users in order to efficiently and effectively provide shared resources and ensure community access to a wide range of information. If individuals break these acceptable use rules in any way, his/her privilege to use networked resources may be suspended for a specified time, with a permanent suspension possible for repeated violations. Illegal acts involving library computer resources may also be subject to prosecution.

Disclaimer:

Because the Internet is a global communication network, there is not control of its users or content. The Internet may contain materials of a controversial nature. The Carnegie Public Library cannot censor access to materials not protect users from offensive information. Parents or guardians of minor children shall assume responsibility for their children’s use of the Internet through the library’s resources. The library staff cannot control the availability of informational links which change rapidly and unpredictably. Not all sources on the Internet provide accurate, complete or current information. The Carnegie Public Library assumes no responsibility for any direct or indirect damages arising from the use of its Internet resources.

Time Restrictions:

Adult patrons may use the computer terminals for no more that two (2) hours per day. Juvenile patrons may use the computers for one house per day. Additional time may be available at the discretion of the library staff. Only two (2) patrons may access a computer at one time. Email and chat are not permitted in the reference department.

Uses not permitted:

1. Accessing, uploading, downloading, viewing or distributing pornographic, obscene, or sexually explicit materials, 2. Transmitting obscene, abusive, or sexually explicit language, 3. Distributing any advertising messages over the library’s local area network or Internet connection, 4. Accessing chat rooms or any real time communication, such as Yahoo Games.

Staff Assistance:

Staff are available to provide limited assistance for basic start up procedures. If users have never used computers or the Internet, books and handouts are available. There are also links from the library’s home page to help new Internet users.

Printing:

Printouts are $.10 per page for text only; $.50 for color pages.

Wireless Access:

The Carnegie Public Library of Steuben County provides public wireless access to the Internet. Patrons must provide their own computer and wireless network cards to connect to the wireless hotspots. Limited technical support is available to users. Users of the wireless hotspots are subject to the terms of this policy, however a library card is not required to access the wireless network.

 

The library cannot guarantee the privacy or safety of data and communications while using either wired or wireless service. Patrons need to be aware that wireless networks are inherently insecure and it is strongly recommended that they secure their computers with firewall software and data encryption. While the library uses filtering software to attempt to prevent direct access to materials that would generally be unacceptable in a public library, it is technically impossible to prevent access to all objectionable resources.

 

No password is required to access the wireless network. The network’s SSID, or name, is CarnegieLibrary. Printing is not available from the wireless network. Library staff can provide general information or handouts for connecting your device to the network, but cannot troubleshoot problems related to your wireless device or assist in making changes to your device’s network settings and/or hardware configuration.

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