Approved by the Board of Trustees December 19, 2011

ST. JOSEPH PUBLIC LIBRARY

GUIDELINES FOR PUBLIC ACCESS TO THE INTERNET AND COMPUTER WORKSTATIONS

Policy

This policy applies to all users of St. Joseph Public Library public Internet access and computer workstations.  Questions about the policy should be directed to the administrative offices at 232-4038.

The Library provides computer workstations and Internet access to Library users to support its mission, roles, and goals.  Use of these resources should be consistent with the Library’s policies and procedures, as well as with all applicable local ordinances and state, federal, and international laws.  Internet sites and other graphic material that could be defined as pornographic, harmful to minors, or inappropriate for viewing in a public setting should not be accessed on library computers. If such sites are accessed, library staff will take appropriate action, which is outlined in #9 of the Procedures section.  Allowing minors to view inappropriate materials may be a crime under Missouri Law and may be reported as such.  The Library also expects that users shall make no effort to interfere with the operations and integrity of its systems, and may develop appropriate procedures to ensure their ongoing efficiency, reliability, and security. 

Internet users under the age of 17 must submit a signed parental release form, available at public service desks.  An exception may be made for emancipated minorsParents accompanying their minor child may give verbal permission for an Internet session on that day.  Children eight years old and younger must be supervised by a parent, guardian, or designated caregiver (an individual at least 18 years of age who has been charged by the parent or guardian with the care of a minor during a visit to a Library facility) while using a public Internet workstation.  Parents, guardians, or designated caregivers of children nine years old through seventeen years old are strongly encouraged to accompany their minor children while using a public Internet workstation.

The Library expressly disclaims any liability or responsibility arising from access to or information obtained through its public Internet access and computer workstations, or any consequences thereof.

Any use of a St. Joseph Public Library computer workstation or Internet access point constitutes acceptance of this policy.

Internet Use Procedures

1.        Patron ID numbers located on the back of library cards allow users to whom the card is issued to access the Internet. Library cards need to be in good standing if patrons wish to use the Internet computers.  If patrons owe a balance for lost or damaged items they will need to make monthly payments of no less than one dollar to be granted a guest pass.

2.         Users may sign up initially for a one hour period.

3.        If there are no other patrons waiting to access a computer, a user may have up to three hours total daily Internet access unless the library staff determine otherwise.

4.        There is a limit of two users per workstation, at least one of whom must be the owner of the library card used to access the internet.

5.        Users may print at the rate of ten cents per page for black and white prints and twenty-five cents per page for color prints. Printouts may be picked up at service desks.

6.        Users may not attempt to add, modify, or remove any system element.

7.        Users may not impede public use through the monopolization or overload of resources.

8.        Staff reserves the right to remove access to the Internet if deemed appropriate.

9.        If the guidelines are not followed or inappropriate sites are accessed, the following steps will be taken:

a.     First instance of user accessing an inappropriate site:  User will be asked to exit site.

b.     Second instance:  User will lose Internet privileges for the day.

c.     Third instance:  User will lose Internet privileges for one week.

d.     Fourth instance:  User will lose Internet privileges permanently at all St. Joseph Public Libraries.

Nothing in this section will preclude the staff from taking more or less aggressive action as the conditions may warrant.

Security Guidelines

1.        Users may not attempt to access security-related or confidential information.

2.        System maintenance must be performed by the Library.  No unauthorized software may be downloaded from the Internet, installed, or executed from any source.

Legal and Ethical Considerations

1.        Users may not use an Internet site to misidentify or misrepresent themselves, the Library, or any of its policies, or to commit forgery or fraud in any manner.

2.        Users may not employ Library equipment for purposes of libel, slander, or any form of harassment.

3.        Users may not systematically employ Library equipment to operate a business.

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 the consequences of copyright infringement lies with the user, and the Library expressly disclaims any liability or responsibility resulting from such use.