Computer Usage Policy

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Introduction to Computer Usage Policy

This document constitutes a Library-wide policy for the management of public computers and wireless network resources. All persons accessing the public computers or the wireless public network at the Library must abide by this Acceptable Use Policy and all Federal, State and local laws and regulations concerning use of property and computing resources. Use of Library public computers or wireless connection constitutes acceptance of this Acceptable Use Policy.

Services Offered

The Arlington Public Library offers access to information resources in electronic format and the availability of public computers for children and adults as part of the Library’s reference and literacy services and in accordance with the Library’s Mission Statement. The Library’s electronic services are not intended to provide access to every software or hardware application or to every source of information available.

It is the user’s responsibility to exercise judgment and discrimination when evaluating the usefulness and reliability of material found on the Internet. The Arlington Public Library System is not responsible for the content, security or reliability of web sites.

Violations of Use

Library computer resources can only be used for legal and authorized purposes. Library staff are authorized to coordinate usage of the Library public computers, have the right to determine appropriateness of use, and at any time may require a patron to leave the workstation for violation of this policy and in accordance with law. Library staff may deny use of the computer systems or services, and if appropriate, recommend criminal prosecution for individuals who fail to comply with any part of this policy. Failure to comply with staff directives may result in the loss of computer privileges upon formal notice. The Director of Libraries will oversee the patron appeals process in accordance with the written appeals policy available in the Administrative Offices of the Arlington Public Library, Second Floor, 101 East Abram Street, Arlington, Texas.

The library will provide “technology protection measures” on all of its public computers to screen out sites which may reasonably be construed as obscene, as that term is defined in section 1460 of title 18, United States Code; child pornography, as that term is defined in section 2256 of title 18, United States Code; or harmful to minors as defined in section 1703, Pub. L 106-544. The Library utilizes software that blocks sources on the Internet that are obviously inconsistent with the Library’s mission. Procedures for the disabling or otherwise modifying any technology protection measures shall be the responsibility of the Library Director or designated representatives.

§43.22 of the Texas Penal Code prohibits the intentional or knowing display of an obscene photograph, drawing, or visual representation, while being reckless about whether a person is present who will be offended or alarmed by the display.

§43.24 of the Texas Penal Code prohibits the display of harmful material, defined in the law similarly to indecent material under federal law, if the displayer is reckless about whether a minor is present who will be offended or alarmed by the display.

All users shall specifically refrain from the following activities:

  • Using sounds and visuals which might disrupt the ability of other library patrons to use the library and its resources.
  • Sharing computer account numbers, passwords and other types of authorization that are assigned to individual users.
  • Downloading and/or installing executable files from any source.
  • Changing the configuration files of any hardware or software on the Library’s workstations or attempting to disable the Library’s filtering software.
  • Misrepresenting themselves on the Internet with the intention to commit harm, fraud or as a source of an electronic communication.

User Responsibilities

All users of public computers or wireless Internet shall:

  • Sign up for only one computer at a time.
  • Report any loss or theft of their library card immediately.
  • Observe the legal protections provided by copyright and license law, and computer abuse laws.
  • Observe posted time limits and regulations.
  • Close all programs, log off and leave the workstation immediately at the end of their allotted time.
  • Limit computer usage to a maximum of two people per computer station.
  • Assume full responsibility for filing electronic forms.
  • Report equipment problems promptly to Library staff.

Computer Reservations

Computers must be reserved at a sign-up station. Library staff will protect patron privacy by not giving out information about account numbers, and patrons may not use someone else’s library card for computer use.

In order to provide accessible services to our patrons, adults are able to use public computers in Adult service areas only. In some library locations, computers are also designated specifically for teen (ages 13-18) use.

Staff may also take other measures to manage sessions. Users shall abide by queue management procedures implemented by the Library staff.

Time Limits

In order to provide equitable patron access, computer usage is limited to a finite number of sessions per day. All computer sessions, regardless of length, count towards the session number total. Session limits may vary by location and by type of workstation.

Computers will be shut down a designated number of minutes before the Library closes. The Library is not responsible for the loss of any information or data that may occur as a result of shutdown procedures.

Printing and supplies

Printing is available for a per page fee from most computer workstations, and patrons are responsible for full payment for any printing done at the Library.

No envelopes, labels, transparencies or other paper or materials not provided by the Library may be placed in Library printers.

Virus Scanning

All user-provided devices and Internet files will be scanned for viruses immediately after downloading or insertion in any drive or port. This scanning process will delete or disable any file found to contain a virus.

Users should be aware of this and should back up their files accordingly. Patrons use their own equipment or storage media at their own risk.

Saving/Installing Files and Using External Devices

To preserve patron privacy and to ensure system functionality, software or files are not permanently saved to the hard disk of any computer. Personal software may NOT be installed on library computers. Also, the downloading of programs or other executable files is not allowed.

Work may be saved to a floppy disk, burned to a CD, or stored on the patron’s personal USB device.

The Library does not provide support for patron’s equipment that is connected to the Library’s computers and does not assume any liability for those devices’ functionality, contents or serviceability.

Copyrights

Copyrighted works are protected regardless of the medium in which they are created or reproduced; thus, copyright extends to digital works and works transformed into digital format. Any copyright statements or symbols should be retained when printing a digital document.

Confidentiality

In general, the Library will treat information stored on computers as confidential (whether or not that information is protected by the computer operating system). Requests for disclosure of information will be honored only under one of the following conditions:

  • when authorized by the owners of the information;
  • when required by local, state or federal law.

As 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.

Activities on public computers or the Library public wireless network cannot be guaranteed any right to privacy. Patrons should exercise caution on any computer when transmitting personal or sensitive information.

Liability

The Library buildings may be subject to power surges and power outages, which may affect personal equipment and transactions taking place on public computers. The Library assumes no liability for any loss or damage to users’ data or devices, invasion of the user’s privacy, or for any personal damage or injury incurred as a result of using the Library’s computing resources.

The Library is not responsible for the theft of personal computers or other devices, personal property loss or damage.

The Arlington Public Library assumes no responsibility for any damages, direct or indirect, arising from use of its Internet server (home pages), Internet connections (wireless or wired) or from its connections to other Internet services. The Library does not guarantee that individual users are protected from accessing information they personally may deem undesirable or disturbing.

Users acknowledge that security errors and hacking are an inherent risk associated with any wireless Internet service, and agree that they knowingly assume such risk, and further agree to hold the Library harmless from any claim or loss arising out of, or related to, any such instance of hacking or other unauthorized use or access into the user’s computer.

Approved by the Library Advisory Board 5/22/08