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Internet and Computer Use Policy

Approved: 2/2/98
Approved by: River Falls Public Library Board
Date Amended:  2/99, 6/00, 10/01, 9/04, 11/05, 11/06

The development of this statement of policy by the River Falls Public Library is in recognition of the need for guiding rules or principles which can be followed in deciding actions to be taken when various problems are made known to it. The rules, regulations, statements and procedures set forth in this policy are not final answers to every or any given problem and must be studied and interpreted in terms of the changing needs of the River Falls Public Library service area. This policy will be in support of the American Library Association document, " Access to Electronic Information, Services and Networks: an Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights," adopted by the ALA Council, January 24, 1996.

The Internet is an international network of public and private computers which increases availability of resources and provides access to information outside the scope of the regular library collection. The public library does not guarantee the accuracy, authenticity or currency of the information located by the user. Electronic information is constantly changing and expanding. It is the responsibility of the user to evaluate information found on the Internet. Provision of access does not imply sponsorship or endorsement.

The River Falls Public Library does not restrict Internet access or protect users from encountering images or ideas that are controversial or inappropriate. People may not use library computers for illegal purposes, i.e. copyright infringement, accessing pornography.  Please read Guidelines below.

Parents, guardians and caregivers are responsible for their child’s use of the Internet. The library homepage provides a link to the parents' guide, Child Safety on the Information Highway.

River Falls Public Library assumes no responsibility for direct or indirect results of access to the Internet through the library on both the library owned computers and patron owned computers on the wireless network.

Computer assistance
Library staff is available for basic assistance as time allows, but must also serve other library customers. Library staff can demonstrate the use of an internet browser such as Firefox or Internet Explorer to access useful Internet sites, but will not be familiar with every application. Because of the many different Internet applications available, library staff cannot provide technical support for the sites on the Internet. Computer users who would like extra help or training are encouraged to look for educational classes elsewhere in the community. If you are having problems connecting to the Internet or other program, or with the printer, ask for help at the reference desk.

The library has written directions on how to connect to the library’s wireless network.  A wireless network card is available for check-out at the Reference Desk.  A valid ID or library card and/or $50 deposit, either cash or check, is required.  Please note that the Library cannot assist you with your laptop, wireless network card, or configuration. The Library cannot accept the liability of handling your equipment.

Printing charges
Printed pages are $.10 each. Color copies are $ .50 each.  You must pay for each and every copy you print.

Liability
The Library assumes no liability for any loss or damage to users’ hardware, software, data or disks, nor for any personal damage or injury whatsoever incurred as a result of using the Library’s electronic resources or wireless network. This includes, but is not limited to, damage or injury sustained from invasions of the user’s privacy. Enter any credit card, personal, or financial information at your own risk.

Guidelines

1.  The following activities are prohibited on both library owned computers and patron owned computers using the library’s wireless network: 

  • Violating federal, state, or local laws. This includes, but is not limited to, copyrighted material or licensing agreements, sending unsolicited chain letters or broadcast messages, assuming another’s identity, and sending threatening or obscene materials. 
  • This is a public building with users of all ages and sensibilities. Knowing display of obscene graphics or graphics that may be harmful to minors is not allowed under Wisconsin Statues 944.21 and 948.11. The online version of this policy on the library homepage provides links to the text of these statutes.
  • U.S. copyright law (Title 17, U.S.Code) prohibits the unauthorized reproduction or distribution of copyrighted materials, except as permitted by the principles of fair use. Users may not copy or distribute electronic materials (including electronic mail, text, images, programs, music files or data) without the explicit permission of the copyright holder. All responsibility for any consequences of copyright infringement lies with the user; the River Falls Public Library expressly disclaims any liability or responsibility resulting from such violations.
  • Disregarding the rules of network etiquette, or interfering with use of the network by others. These rules include using appropriate language, respecting the privacy of other users, and keeping conversation to a minimum. Hate mail, discriminatory remarks, and other antisocial behaviors are unacceptable.
  • Invading privacy of individuals by accessing their data or by harming, modifying, or destroying their data.
  • Using the Internet for financial or commercial purposes.
  • Damaging or disrupting equipment, system performance, or data.
  • Causing excessive congestion of the network or interfering with use of others.
  • Placing or altering files or programs.
  • Because of copyright laws and potential damage from computer viruses, the Library prohibits the use of personal software, or any other media supplied by the user, on the Library’s computer equipment.
  • Gaining unauthorized access to resources.
  • Downloading or uploading large amounts of data or large files (more than 10MB), thus monopolizing bandwidth on the library network.

2.  Illegal acts involving Library computing resources may also be subject to prosecution by local, state or federal authorities.

3.  The library does not provide access to gambling or fee-based services.

4.  Cell phone use is restricted to the library lobby. 

5.  Keep any and all conversation to a minimum while using the computer room.  If you are using headphones, keep volume at a level that is not distracting to other computer users.

6.  Save your work to a floppy disk, CD-R/RW or zip disk, not the hard (C:) drive.  Please provide your own disk.

7.  Computer users are not guaranteed more than one (1) hour of computer time per day. If there is a waiting list, and you have exceeded the one hour time limit, you will be logged off of the computer.

8.   Computer work stations are designed for use by one person at a time.

9.   Young children are not to be left unattended while parents and caregivers use the library’s electronic resources.  Library staff is not be responsible for the safety of unattended children.

Consequences
Access to the Internet from the River Falls Public Library is a privilege, not a right. Be considerate of others when viewing material that may be considered offensive by other library users. The River Falls Public Library Board is committed to providing a safe working environment for all library users, including staff and volunteer internet guides.

Library staff will determine what constitutes a violation of these guidelines. The library staff will tell anyone viewing inappropriate material to exit that site immediately. A second offense will result in the immediate loss of computer privileges for the rest of the day. Further violations will be referred to the Library Director, and may include but are not limited to a loss of privileges for up to six (6) months, or permanently as the situation merits.