Library Policies - Internet/Computer Use

Temple Public Library Internet/Computer Use Policy

Introduction: Temple Public Library welcomes all people and supports formal and self-directed learning and leisure experiences.  Public use of the Internet is another way the Library can provide information to our patrons.

Disclaimer: The Library only assumes responsibility for the information provided on the library’s home page and its supporting pages.

Temple Public Library does not have control over the performance or quality of individual websites. The Internet offers access to many valuable sources of information. However, not all sources on the Internet provide accurate, complete, or current information. As with printed resources, the user should evaluate the content and validity of information found. Restriction of a child’s access to the Internet is the responsibility of the parent or guardian; the Library does not have the right or responsibility to act in loco parentis (as a parent or guardian).

Copyright: 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 or data) without the explicit permission of the copyright holder. Any responsibility for any consequences of copyright infringement lies with the user; the Library expressly disclaims any liability or responsibility arising from access to or use of information obtained through its electronic information systems, or any consequences thereof.

Restrictions: Although the Library staff would prefer not to monitor a patron’s use of library materials, the Internet terminals are in a public area where children are often present; therefore, patrons must refrain from visiting sites which are not suitable for display in a public area. Such sites include, but are not limited to, those which include pornography, graphic depictions of sex, nudity or violence. Library computers are filtered for pornography. If a patron feels that a site has been blocked in error or that an accessible site should be blocked, he/she should consult the reference librarians.

Available Resources: There are several Internet terminals in the children’s section and more Internet terminals on the 2nd floor in the area of the Reference Desk. There is a network printer on each floor which may be used to print from the Internet. Printing cost will be ten cents per page for black and white and 15 cents per page for color prints.

Staff Limitations: Library staff cannot provide in-depth training concerning Internet computer jargon or personal computer use. We may, however, be able to offer searching suggestions and answer short questions.

Children’s use of the Internet: There are Internet stations in the Children’s Department reserved for youth use. As with other library materials, restriction of a child’s access to the Internet is the responsibility of the parent/legal guardian. For children twelve and under, if a parent wants his or her child to access the Internet at the Temple Public Library, he/she should fill out a permission slip at the Circulation desk for that child. Parents should let their children know if there are materials which they do not want them to access/view. Ideally, parents should supervise their child’s Internet sessions. Children 6 and under may only use an Internet terminal when accompanied by a parent.

Rules governing use:
• Users must have a valid Temple Public Library card. (“Guest” cards are available for non-resident, short-term visitors.)
• Users of the Internet terminals must agree to comply with the Library’s Internet use policy.
• Public Internet access is available to individuals over the age of twelve or between the ages of six and twelve with a parent’s permission.
• Internet use is limited to one hour per day.
• Internet use must be arranged through the staff at the Reference Desk on each floor. In the Children’s Department there are sign in sheets on the Children’s Reference Desk. On the second floor Internet users must initially register at the Reference Desk to receive a Login ID. Users must not use another person’s ID and may not register for multiple ID’s.
• Floppy Disks, USB flash drives, and CD’s are not allowed. Headphones are not provided, but may be used as long as the sound level is not such as to disturb other patrons.
• Children six and under may only use an Internet terminal when accompanied by a parent.
• Young people under the age of 18 may not share an Internet workstation with any user other than that child’s parent or guardian.
• With the exception of a parent/legal guardian with a baby or toddler, only one person may be at a desktop computer. Two users over the age of 18 (or a parent and child) may share a laptop computer.
• Patrons registering to use the Internet must have signed the Internet Use Agreement.

User Responsibilities: Users may not:
• Access websites not suitable for display in a public area. Such sites include, but are not limited to, those which include pornography, graphic depictions of sex, nudity, or violence. Patrons viewing such materials will be asked to exit from the website. If the behavior persists, the patron will be logged off the computer for the day. A repeat offense will cause the patron to lose Internet privileges for six months.
• Use the workstations to gain access to the Library’s networks or computer systems or to any other network or computer system.
• Obstruct other people’s work by consuming gratuitously large amounts of system resources or by deliberately crashing any Library computer system.
• Make any attempt to damage computer equipment or software.
• Make any attempt to cause degradation of system performance
• Use any Library workstation for any illegal or criminal purpose
• Violate copyright laws or software licensing agreements in their use of Library workstations.
• Engage in any activity which is deliberately and maliciously offensive, libelous, or slanderous
• Install or download any software.

Failure to comply with Internet rules or Patron Conduct Rules will result in a suspension of Internet privileges. After one warning and a subsequent infraction, the user will have his/her account suspended for six months. After six months he/she may request reinstatement. Rules violation after reinstatement will result in permanent loss of library Internet privileges.

Word Processor: Several computers are available for the use by the public with the following programs: Word, Excel, and Powerpoint. Due to constraints on reference staff time, use of this computer is limited to individuals with sufficient knowledge of these programs not to require staff assistance. The computer may be used for up to two hours per day and may be reserved through the Reference staff up to a week in advance. Floppy disks, USB flash drives (“thumb drives”) and CDs may be used but will not be provided by the library. Computers will read but not write to CD. Patrons should not save files to the hard disk since it is periodically purged by Information Technology staff to maintain the efficiency of the system.  Black and white copies are ten cents per page, color are fifteen cents per page.

Wireless Access: The library also provides wireless access throughout the library to patrons using their own laptops. The Reference staff can provide you with a handout of general instructions for accessing the wireless network, but Library staff cannot be expected to know how your specific computer works. A handout is also available that lists appropriate places to plug in your laptop if you so desire. Please do not stretch cords across areas where people may walk and trip over them. Printing is not available from your personal computer accessing the wireless network. Patrons should be aware that the wireless network is a public, unsecured network, so it may be risky to transmit confidential information over it.


Revised 10/21/08