Computer & Internet Policy

Statement of Principle


The Georgetown Township Public Library provides access to computers, networks, and Internet services as a means to enhance patrons' informational, educational, research, and enrichment opportunities consistent with the Library's mission and to ensure that residents have free and open access to ideas and information.

The Georgetown Township Board and the Georgetown Township Library Director will develop such policies, rules, and procedures as are necessary to insure the fair, reasonable, and equitable access to and use of these resources. The information included in this policy is intended to provide general guidelines and examples and does not attempt to state all required or prohibited activities by users.

Library materials are available to learn about computer use. Library staff will provide limited guidance but not instruction.

All users of electronic resources are required to read and agree to this policy and its contents prior to use of Library equipment/services. If a user does not agree with the terms and conditions presented herein, he/she should not use the Library's electronic resources.

Adopted: October 9, 2000

Revised: February 26, 2007

Access


Access Via Library Equipment


Use of the Library's Internet computers requires a current, valid library card from the Georgetown Township Public Library or other Lakeland Library Cooperative Library. Patrons must be in good standing (as defined by Georgetown Township Public Library) to use the Library's Internet computers. Access may be restricted, suspended, or terminated at any time for use not consistent with this policy and/or associated guidelines, rules, procedures, etc.

Visitors from outside the Lakeland Library Cooperative may be granted access to the Library's Internet computers upon presentation of a current, valid state driver's license or state identification card (Visitor access will not be granted for individuals who are eligible to register for a Lakeland Library Cooperative library card, but choose not to do so or fail to provide/acquire required identification to do so).

Unaccompanied access is limited to minors ages 12 to 17 with written parental permission and adults (defined as individuals age 18 and older). Children under the age of 12 may access the Library's computers only when accompanied at all times by an adult.

Internet use privileges are not transferable. Only the library cardholder may access Internet service through Georgetown Township Public Library computers using his/her own library card.  The Library reserves the right to request identification and terminate any session where the cardholder is not the individual signed in.  Patrons using another person's library card (with or without permission) will have their electronic access privileges suspended and/or terminated.

Library staff will not look up or provide library card numbers for computer or Internet access purposes. Patrons must bring their library cards with them to access Internet service through the Library. (Replacement library cards will be issued in accordance with Georgetown Township Public Library's Circulation Policy.)

Some Library computers may be reserved for use only by minors. Adults are restricted from using such computers, and minors are required to use such computers.

To use an Internet workstation, patrons must sign-in via the log on page displayed on the computer to obtain 1 30-minute session. If no one is waiting at the end of that 30-minute session and at least 1 additional Internet computer workstation remains available within the designated grouping (adult versus minor) for walk-in use, a patron may register for 1 additional 30-minute session (if the "additional" Internet workstation remains vacant for a minimum of 10 minutes, the patron may register for his/her second 30-minute session). A maximum time period of 1 hour per day per person is permitted. The Library does not guarantee a specific amount of time for computer use. All sign up must be completed in person. No reservations will be taken. If all available Internet workstations are in use, Library staff may, at a supervisor's discretion, initiate a "manual" waiting list at the Circulation Desk for the next available Internet workstation. A patron registering on a manual waiting list must remain in the building in the vicinity of the Internet workstations.

Use of electronic resources may be limited at peak times, and Library staff may reserve resources for classes, training, special programs, maintenance, etc. Some resources/equipment may be designated for specific purposes, and as such, time limits on these resources may vary and are set by the Library Director. Computers, printers, etc. are shut down 10 minutes prior to closing each day.

Only 1 person may use a workstation except where parents or legal guardians are required to be present or are assisting a child. The Library Director, or designee, may approve or disapprove requests for multiple users.

Printing charges are assessed at the rate established in the Library's fee schedule. Patrons are responsible for determining the number of pages in a file before printing and selecting/sending the desired pages to the printer. Patrons will be charged for all pages printed regardless of whether they take possession of them. Personal paper products are not permitted in Library equipment.

Library computers are not intended to allow users to save documents/personal files or download data or software. Attempts to do so will result in the suspension or termination of electronic resource access privileges.

Adopted:
  • October 9, 2000
Revised:
  • February 26, 2007
Revised:
  • August 22, 2011

Access Via The Library's Wireless Network


In addition to traditional access to the Internet, Georgetown Township Public Library provides high-speed wireless fidelity (WiFi) access to the Internet that is open to patrons with a wireless-enabled device. Access may be restricted, suspended, or terminated at any time for use not consistent with this policy and/or associated guidelines, rules, procedures, etc.

Patrons use the wireless network at their own risk. Neither Georgetown Township Public Library nor its staff is responsible for the quality, validity, reliability, accuracy, etc. of the content accessed. Users are responsible for knowing how to configure their own wireless-enabled devices. Library staff members are permitted to provide general information for connecting devices to the wireless network, but are prohibited from providing technical assistance with wireless-enabled devices, including troubleshooting problems or assisting in making changes to any device's network settings or hardware configurations, due to liability and warranty issues. The Library assumes no responsibility for device configurations, security, or changes to data files resulting from connection to the wireless network for ensuring the safety or security of the devices themselves.

In using this source of Internet access, the user agrees and hereby releases, indemnifies, and holds harmless, the Georgetown Township Public Library and its employees from any damage to his/her own equipment that may result from the use of this wireless access.

Printing access is not available via the wireless local area network.

The Library reserves the right to limit the use of the wireless network (e.g., time, bandwidth, filter, etc.) by patrons.

Use of the Library's wireless network is restricted to adults (defined as individuals age 18 and over).

Use of the Library's wireless network requires a current, valid library card from the Georgetown Township Public Library or other Lakeland Library Cooperative library. Patrons must be in good standing (as defined by Georgetown Township Public Library) to use the Library's Internet computers. Access may be restricted, suspended, or terminated at any time for use not consistent with this policy and/or associated guidelines, rules, procedures, etc.

Library staff will not look up or provide library card numbers for computer or Internet access purposes. Patrons must bring their library cards with them to access Internet service through the Library. (Replacement library cards will be issued in accordance with Georgetown Township Public Library's Circulation Policy.)

Visitors from outside the Lakeland Library Cooperative may be granted access to the Library's wireless network upon presentation of a current, valid state driver's license or state identification card (Visitor access will not be granted for individuals who are eligible to register for a Lakeland Library Cooperative library card, but choose not to do so or fail to provide/acquire required identification to do so).

The Library will not knowingly provide wireless network access to minors and will not be responsible for any minor that brings a wireless capable device into the Library and accesses the network using a library card provided by another user. Sharing access with other users or allowing minors to access an Internet connection through the Library's wireless network may not only result in the suspension or the termination of computer, wireless network, and/or Library privileges but may also result in expulsion from the Library as well as legal action.

The Georgetown Township Public Library does not assume responsibility for any damages, direct or indirect, arising from the use of the Library's Internet connection, wireless network, or the connections with other systems which users may make through the Library provided Internet connection.

Information passing through the Library's wireless network is not secured and could be monitored, captured, and altered by others. It is the user's sole responsibility to protect his/her information from all risks associated with using the Internet, including any damage, loss, or theft that may occur as a result of the use of the Library's wireless network.

All wireless network users must adhere to the Georgetown Township Public Library's Acceptable Use of Electronic Resources Policy.

Any attempt to circumvent Library procedures or policies or any attempt to gain unauthorized access to or manipulation, damage, etc. of Library equipment, networks, etc. will result in permanent disconnection from the Library's wireless network and use of its electronic resources.

Adopted:
  • August 22, 2011

Minors


As with other types of library materials, parents or legal guardians of minor children must assume responsibility for their children's access to electronic resources, restricting and monitoring a minor's access to information and use of equipment. (Minor is defined as an individual under the age of 18.)

Prior to being granted access to the Internet, anyone under the age of 18 years of age along with the parent or legal guardian who co-signed for the minor's Library card must sign (in the presence of a Library staff member) the Library's "Child/Parent Computer/Internet Access Permission Form."

This policy recognizes that the Internet is an unregulated medium and minors are particularly vulnerable in the area of Internet usage and are less able to make critical decisions in an informed and mature manner with respect to accessing information via the Internet. The Library cannot assure that a minor will not purposefully or inadvertently access inappropriate materials, nor can it protect against the unauthorized disclosure, use, and dissemination of personal identification information regarding a minor if the minor provides it while using the Internet.

Therefore, parental supervision of minors searching the Internet is advised, even with filtered access, as the Library cannot guarantee that a filter will be successful in screening out all objectionable or harmful content. The parent or legal guardian, not Library staff, is responsible for the information selected and accessed by his/her child. Library personnel do not and cannot act in loco parentis.

In accordance with the federal Child Internet Protection Act (CIPA), the Library utilizes a technology protection measure (or "Internet filter") on all Library computers. Per CIPA, the software is set to screen out sites which may be reasonably construed as obscene, depict child pornography, or are harmful to minors. (Users 18 years of age and older who believe a site is being blocked or allowed in error may submit a request in writing to have it reviewed by Library staff. A decision and any necessary action will be made by the Library Director.)

Adopted:
  • October 9, 2000
Revised:
  • February 26, 2007

Rules & Agreement for Electronic Resource Use


The same rules and expectations govern patron use of electronic resources as apply to other conduct and communications.

Patrons are further expected to comply with these rules and all specific instructions from the Library Director or other staff members when accessing the Library's computers, networks, and Internet services.

Patrons may not use the Library Internet computers or wireless network for unlawful purposes or to view illegal content. Some uses of Library-provided Internet and/or equipment use are not permitted. Such use may constitute termination of 1's access or permanent revocation of 1's electronic use and/or Library privileges.

As such, the user shall:
  • Agree not to incur any costs for the Library through the use of the Library's equipment or resources
  • Obey all applicable laws regarding copyright or licensing
  • Refrain from practices that interfere with fair and public use of the Internet and its users. These practices include, but are not limited to the following:
    • Utilizing Library equipment/services for illegal purposes or in support of illegal activities
    • Causing damage or alterations to computer equipment, programs, or parameters
    • Attempting to gain unauthorized access to systems, private files, authorization codes, etc.
    • Disruption or interference of network users or services. Such interference or disruption includes, but is not limited to, distribution of unsolicited advertising or chain letters; harassment; the libeling or slandering of others; propagation of computer worms or viruses; hacking (breaking into or out of any system); attempting to crash or degrade performance
    • Sending, receiving, or displaying text or graphics that may be reasonably construed as obscene or offensive and/or that are legally defined by State and Federal law to be obscene or pornographic
    • Attempting to load, use, connect, or download to personal hardware and/or software to/on Library equipment
    • Damaging equipment, software, data, etc. belonging to the Library or other users
    • Using another person's identification, bar code, or PIN, with or without permission
    • Operating a business
    • Using, disclosing, or disseminating personal identification information regarding minors without parental permission
    • Accessing chat or electronic mail functions (including bulletin boards, message board, forums, etc.) on Library equipment
The above serves as a sampling and is not intended to be all-inclusive.

Unauthorized/inappropriate use of the Lakeland Library Cooperative Online Catalog and/or Internet System or the Library's computer network/equipment as defined in this policy is a violation of the Library's Rules of Conduct. Violations will result in the suspension of Library privileges and/or revocation of electronic resource use and/or Library privileges.

Adopted:
  • October 9, 2000
Revised:
  • February 26, 2007
Revised:
  • August 22, 2011

Compliance, Violation & Enforcement


Patron use of the Library's equipment, networks, and Internet services is a privilege, not a right. Access entails the exercise of responsibility. To remain eligible for such privileges, one must make use of the equipment, network, etc. in ways consistent with the mission of the Library and in accordance with direction of Library staff.

It is the policy of the Library to provide an atmosphere conducive to the appropriate use of Library services and facilities. The rules of conduct outlined herein apply to all electronic resource users. Patrons shall not use Library resources in a manner that disturbs or interferes with other patrons, employees, or operations of the Library. All patrons accessing the electronic resources must respect the rights of other patrons not to be inadvertently exposed to materials and images they find personally unsuitable. Library computers are located in public areas that must be shared by users of all ages, backgrounds, and sensibilities. Thus, all patrons are encouraged to consider this when accessing information and images. Patrons who display information or images which cause a disruption to the library environment will have their access privileges denied, suspended, and/or terminated.

The Library reserves the right to terminate an Internet or other computer session at any time.

Failure to comply with policies, rules, procedures, etc. as well as unacceptable or inappropriate use of the Library's electronic resources may not only result in suspension or termination of computer and/or Library privileges but also expulsion from the Library as well as legal action

Users will be held financially responsible for any damage to Library computer equipment, software, etc.

The Library Director shall have final authority to decide whether a patron's privileges will be denied.

Utilizing computer access at the Georgetown Township Public Library to perpetrate illegal acts will be subject to prosecution by local, state, and federal authorities. Users (as well as parent/legal guardians in the case of use by minor children) will be held responsible for his/her actions with regard to the Library's equipment and/or services.

Adopted:
  • October 9, 2000
Revised:
  • February 26, 2007

Disclaimers


Patrons use Library computer hardware, software, and services at their own risk. The Library assumes no responsibility for the quality, accuracy, or currency of any electronic/Internet resource; equipment malfunction; or loss associated with data or transactions of any type. Patrons should recognize that, in addition to valuable and reliable information, the Internet does contain inaccurate, dated, incomplete, and controversial material.

The Library makes no guarantee that all Internet content and services will function on its equipment or via a connection provided by the Library. The Library may limit user access to Internet functions which it determines to be inconsistent with its mission and goals, consume more resources than the benefit derived in support of the mission and goals, compromise network/equipment security, etc.

By accessing the Internet through the Library, patrons agree that the Library will not be responsible for any direct or indirect, consequential, special, or punitive damages or losses which may arise in connection with their use of the Library's equipment, World Wide Web server, or from the Library's connections to other Internet services.

The Library assumes no responsibility for unauthorized charges, costs, or illegal use and is not responsible for damages to, or data on, a user's personal computer/electronic equipment.

Adopted:
  • October 9, 2000
Revised:
  • February 26, 2007

Privacy & Security


The Library retains control, custody, and supervision of all electronic resources, including, but not limited to, computers, networks, and Internet services provided. The Library reserves the right to monitor all electronic resource use (including computer and Internet activity) by patrons.

Patrons should have no expectation of privacy. All workstations are in view of other patrons and staff. The Library makes no representations regarding the privacy of information sent over equipment/connections provided by the Library.

Transactions, communications, and activities are potentially vulnerable to unauthorized access. Internet users should be aware that it is not a secure medium. It is possible for third parties to obtain information regarding an individual user's search activities. Users should exercise extreme caution about providing personal information on the Internet.

Information relating to or in support of illegal activities will be reported to the proper authorities.

Adopted:
  • October 9, 2000
Revised:
  • February 26, 2007

Administration & Modification of Policy, Rules, Regulations & Procedures


The Library reserves the right to modify this policy at any time and without advance notice.

The Library Director has the authority to implement this policy and to create whatever rules, regulations, policies, etc. necessary to enforce this policy and is responsible for establishing any administrative procedures necessary to carry out this policy.

Adopted:
  • October 9, 2000
Revised:
  • February 26, 2007