PUBLIC POLICIES AND PROCEDURES: 404
SUBJECT: Computer and Internet Use Policy
APPROVED: February 3, 1997
REVISED: April 19, 2006, July 21, 2020
I. General Statements Regarding Internet
- Internet Access. The Brighton District Library provides access to a broad range of information resources, including those available through the Internet. Access to the Internet enables the Library to expand its information services significantly. This policy applies to both the Library-owned computers and wireless access available at the Library.
- Validity of Information. The Internet offers access to a wealth of information and Internet sites including useful ideas, information and opinions from around the world. However, not all sources on the Internet provide information that is accurate, complete or legal. Internet users will need to evaluate for themselves the validity of the information found.
- Library does Not Endorse Information on Internet. Because the Internet is a vast and unregulated information network, it also enables access to information, ideas and commentary beyond the confines of the Library’s mission, selection criteria, and collection development policies. The provision of access does not mean or imply that the Library endorses or sanctions the content or point of view of any of the information or commentary that may be found on the Internet.
- View Internet at Own Risk. The Internet may contain information that is controversial, sexually explicit or offensive. Users are cautioned that ideas, points of view and images can be found on the Internet that are controversial, divergent and/or inflammatory. Because of this and the fact that access points on the Internet can and do change often, rapidly and unpredictably, the Library cannot protect individuals from information and images which they might find offensive, disturbing or inaccurate. Library patrons use the Internet at their own risk. Parents or guardians of minor children are responsible for their child’s use of the Internet through the Library’s connection as stated more fully below.
- No Liability. The Library assumes no responsibility for any damages, direct or indirect, arising from its connections to the Internet. Patrons shall use Library computer hardware and software at their own risk. The Library is not responsible for equipment malfunction, loss of data, any damages to the user’s disks, data, or electronic transactions of any type. The Library is not responsible for the loss of any portable media.
II. Nature of the Public Library Setting
- Respect Others. Because Library Users of all ages, backgrounds and sensibilities are using the computers, Library patrons are asked to be sensitive to other’s values and beliefs when accessing potentially controversial information and images.
- Use with Caution of Risks. Users are cautioned that, because security in an electronic environment such as the Internet cannot be guaranteed, all transactions, files and communications are vulnerable to unauthorized access and use.
III. Procedure for Use
- Sessions. Library Administration will establish procedures for reserving and logging on to computer sessions, and to regulate the amount of usage allowed to an individual per day.
- Closing. All computers are shut down ten (10) minutes before the Library closes.
- Reimbursement Fees. Library Administration will set reimbursement fees for printing services.
IV. Internet Filtering; Children Under 18
- Responsibility of Parents and Legal Guardians. As with other materials in the Library’s collection, it is the Library’s policy that parents or legal guardians are responsible for deciding which Library resources are appropriate for their children. The Library urges parents and guardians to discuss Internet use with their children and to monitor their use of this educational tool.
- Access for Users Under 18 Years of Age.
- Unfiltered/Unblocked Terminals. A parent or guardian must accompany and be sitting at the computer terminal with Users under 18 years of age wishing to have access to unfiltered or unblocked Internet workstations.
- Wireless Access. Wireless access will be filtered. Users under 18 years of age may not access unfiltered wireless access.
- Disable Filters: Patrons 18 years of age or older may request to have the filters disabled for bona fide research or other lawful purposes.
- Unblock Sites. Individuals who believe an Internet site has been improperly blocked can request that the site be “unblocked.” A decision on the site’s status will be made by the Director, who will prepare a written reply to the individual submitting the form. Any decision to deny the unblocking of a site by the Director may be appealed to the Library Board within 10 days of receipt of the written reply.
V. Acceptable Use
All users of the Library’s Internet connection and workstations are expected to use this resource in a responsible and courteous manner, and to follow all rules and procedures as established in this Policy.
- Lawful Use. The Library Internet connection and workstations shall be used in a lawful manner. The Library’s Internet and workstations cannot be used for any fraudulent or unlawful purpose prohibited under any applicable federal, state or local law, including, but not limited to, accessing material that can be classified as obscene or child pornography.
- Intellectual Property. Users must respect intellectual property rights and obey the copyright laws of the United States and all other intellectual property rights. Responsibility for any consequences of copyright infringement lies with the user. The Library expressly disclaims any liability or responsibility resulting from such use.
- Use Must Not be Harmful to Minors. Michigan law prohibits users from allowing minors access to sexually explicit materials harmful to minors. Internet Users shall also not permit any minor to view sexually explicit material or any other material deemed harmful to minors.
- Compliance with Code of Behavior. The same rules apply to the use of the Internet as with the use of any other Library materials. The Library has adopted a Patron Behavior Policy. All Internet Users must comply with the Library’s Patron Behavior Policy, which shall be posted in the Library.
- Privacy; Unauthorized Access. Users must respect the privacy of others by not misrepresenting oneself as another User; by not attempting to modify or gain access to files, passwords or data belonging to others; and by not hacking or seeking disallowed access to any computer system via the Internet.
- Time Limit: No patron may use the Library’s Internet for longer than the time limits established by the Library pursuant to Section III above. Failure to leave a computer terminal upon the expiration of the allotted time is a violation of this Policy.
- Personal Software Prohibited. The Users shall refrain from use of personal software, the attachment of equipment (excepting storage media to save or retrieve personal files) to the Library’s computers or networks or the modification of any operating system or network configuration.
- System Modifications. Users are not permitted to change the security setup, operating systems, the network configuration or any other configuration of any Library computer workstation without authorization.
- Damage. The User shall be responsible for repayment of any costs to the Library for damage to the computer terminals or system.
- Terminal Use.
- For the adult Internet computers, only (1) person may use a workstation except for (1) a parent or caregiver assisting a user and (2) a person assisting another individual who lacks the knowledge to effectively use the computer alone. However, in either case, both individuals must be seated.
- No person may stand behind another person.
- Upon request, Library staff members may approve and allow additional Users at a workstation.
- Personal Information; Unauthorized Release. No patron, including minors, may engage in the unauthorized disclosure, use and dissemination of personal information of any person, including minors.
- Saving Files and Documents. Patrons who wish to have a permanent record of their work need to save files and documents on their own portable media. Library computers do not allow Users to permanently save documents or personal files to the hard drive.
VI. Violations of Internet Use Policy
The Library Director or the Director’s designee may restrict access to Library facilities by (1) terminating or limiting computer, Internet access or Library facilities; (2) immediately dismissing the patron from the premises; (3) suspending the patron’s access to Library facilities for a set period of time; or (4) by denying access to specific services and/or programs pursuant to this Policy. If necessary, the local police may be called to intervene.
- Incident Reports. Library Staff shall record in writing in the form of an Incident Report any violation of this Policy that resulted in a verbal warning or a suspension of Library privileges. By the end of the day on which the incident occurred, an Incident Report shall be written and forwarded to the Library Director for logging and review. The report should include physical descriptions, in addition to the name of the patron. A copy of the suspension of privileges letter should be attached, if applicable.
- Violation of the Policy – Suspension of Privileges. Unless otherwise provided in this Policy, (See Section C below), the Library shall handle violations as follows:
- Initial Violation: Library patrons observed violating this Policy will be asked to cease the violation with a verbal request. If the patron does not comply with the request, he or she will be asked to leave the building for the day. If he or she refuses, police may be called.
- Subsequent Violations: The Director or the Director’s authorized designee may further limit or revoke the patron’s Library privileges if infractions continue. Such limitation or revocation shall be in writing specifying the nature of the violation. Subsequent violations of the same rule shall result in additional suspensions of increasing length.
- Violations that Affect Safety and Security. Violations involving violations of law (including child pornography and allowing minors to view sexually explicit or other material deemed harmful to minors), violence, threatening behaviors, sexual or other harassment, vandalism, theft or attempted theft, sexual misconduct or any behavior that threatens the safety and security of staff and/or patrons shall be handled as follows:
- Initial Violation: The police will be called immediately. If the conduct constitutes a violation of local, state, or federal law, arrest or criminal prosecution may ensue. Violations of this nature will result in an immediate minimum two-week suspension of Library privileges. The Incident Report shall specify the nature of the violation.
- Subsequent Violations: The police will be called immediately. If the conduct constitutes a violation of local, state, or federal law, arrest or criminal prosecution may ensue. The Director or the Director’s authorized designee, may further limit or revoke the patron’s Library privileges in escalating responses, which will be documented in writing. Subsequent violations of the same rule will result in additional suspensions of increasing length.
- Reinstatement. The patron whose privileges have been limited or revoked shall attend a meeting with the Director or the Director’s designee to review the Library Patron Behavior Policy before their privileges may be reinstated.
- Civil or Criminal Prosecution. Illegal acts involving the Library’s Internet access service may be subject to civil or criminal prosecution.
VII. Right of Appeal
Patrons may appeal a decision to limit or revoke privileges by sending a written appeal to the Library Board within 10 working days of the date the privileges were revoked or limited. The appeal should be sent to the President of the Library Board. The decision of the Library Board is final.
VIII. Staff Assistance
Staff may assist Library Users in getting started on the Internet and basic use of Library-provided software applications. However, the Library cannot guarantee that Internet-trained staff will be available to assist users at all times the Library is open. Because of the many different applications available on the Internet, staff may not be able to provide specialized or technical knowledge about a particular application. Users who need training on Library software or digital collections should request an appointment.