Computer and Internet Access Policies

photo of lots of books

Computer & Internet Access Policy

As part of its mission to be the community’s information center, E. M. Gilliam Memorial Public Library provides free access to essential digital public services. By doing so, the Library supports the American Library Association’s (“ALA”) assertion that “libraries empower users by offering opportunities both for accessing the broadest range of information created by others and for creating and sharing information. Digital resources enhance the ability of libraries to fulfill this responsibility.” 

Essential digital public services provided by the Library include access to computers, the Internet, and basic software. In addition, the Library provides an unsecured wireless network for patron use with their personal devices. 

All patrons are permitted to use Library computers to access the Internet. In accordance with the federal Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA), E. M. Gilliam Memorial Public Library employs commercial filtering software and/or parental controls to block the display of illegal material and material that is potentially harmful to children on Library computers and mobile devices. However, no filtering software or control is completely effective. It may inadvertently allow access to content intended to be blocked and, conversely, it may block unobjectionable content. Persons 18 years of age or older may request unfiltered Internet access for bona fide research or other lawful purposes. 

Parents or guardians - not the Library and its staff - are responsible for the information selected and the sites visited on the Internet by their children and for supervising their children’s Internet use on Library-owned computers and devices, as well as on personal devices used in the Library. 

This policy supports the ALA’s Intellectual Freedom statements, including The Library Bill of Rights, and Access to Digital Information, Services, and Networks. 

Acceptable Use

The following guidelines have been established for acceptable use of Library-owned computers and equipment, as well as personal devices used on Library property: 

A. Time limits on the use of computers and equipment, as well as bandwidth limits on wireless access, are enforced to ensure that all patrons have the opportunity to use Library resources. 

B. Any activity which violates Federal, state, or local laws is prohibited on both Library and patron devices. Examples of illegal activities include, but are not limited to, fraud (which includes disguising or falsifying sources of electronic mail or other electronic communications with the intent of misleading, defrauding, or harassing others); libeling and slandering other persons; displaying or distributing child pornography. The Library must comply with all proper judicial processes. 

C. Users may not violate software license agreements or infringe on copyrighted material. United States Copyright Law: U.S. Code, Title 17 prohibits the unauthorized reproduction or distribution of copyrighted materials, except as permitted by the principle of "fair use". This includes most electronic information sources. Users may not copy or distribute electronic materials without the explicit permission of the copyright holder. Users are responsible for consequences of copyright infringement. 

D. Users may not attempt to, or actually, modify Library hardware, software or any configurations via Library workstations or any wireless network. This includes, but is not limited to, attempting, or succeeding to evade or disable the Library’s Internet filtering software; the intentional propagation of computer viruses or worms; and “hacking” of any kind. Users may not interfere with the activities of the Library or its network in any way. Users may not attempt to intercept, monitor, disrupt, or impede other user’s communications or to access or alter other user’s data or software. 

Failure to follow this policy or the Library Rules of Conduct may result in suspension of internet or Library privileges. 

User Responsibility

Library computers are utilized in a public area and information viewed on the screen may be visible to patrons of all ages. 

All users are asked to view content appropriate to a public space and respect the privacy of others. If a patron expresses concern regarding web browsing activity, library staff may ask users to take action to address the situation.

 Users accept that the Library makes no representation or guarantee that computer or Internet services, including wireless service, will be uninterrupted, error-free, virus-free, timely, or secure, nor that any Internet content is accurate, reliable, or safe in any manner for download or any other purpose. 

Use of the Library’s hardware, software, Internet service, wireless network, and electronic information resources is entirely at the risk of the user. Neither the City of Wilmer nor E. M. Gilliam Memorial Public Library shall be liable for any damage that may occur to any computer, peripheral equipment, device, or storage media; loss of data or confidential information; unauthorized access to or alteration of data transmission; and/or any other direct, indirect, special, incidental, consequential, or exemplary damages resulting from or arising out of use of the Library’s Internet service, equipment, or other devices; wireless network, and/or electronic information resources or inability to use these services; or any other matter relating to these services. 

The user agrees to hold the Library harmless from any claims, losses, damages, obligations, or liabilities relating to the use of Library computers, network, or other equipment, or related to the use of information obtained from the Library’s electronic information system.