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Home Library Policies Computer and Internet Usage

Computer and Internet Usage


Electronic Networks and the Library’s Mission

Libraries make it possible for citizens to have access to the information they need to make informed decisions. As a member of the Illinois Library and Information Network (ILLINET), Marshall Public Library is committed to networking, which represents good public policy by maximizing the use of the resources of all types of libraries. Every library user benefits from expanded access to information beyond the four walls of a single library building.
Marshall Public Library and all ILLINET libraries use electronic information networks such as the Internet, including wireless Internet access within the library, for a variety of purposes:
1. Access to shared automation systems that provide bibliographic access to the collections of the local library and libraries in the region and across the state.
2. Access to the wealth of information resources available via the Internet.
3. Access to general and specialized shared licensed databases available to ILLINET member libraries through regional and statewide cooperative programs.

Relationship to Other Library Policies

Marshall Public Library’s Policy for Access to Electronic Information Networks is part of the library’s overall policy structure and should be interpreted in conjunction with other existing policies. Copies of all library policies are available upon request from a library staff member or available online at www.marshallillibrary.com.

“Global versus Local” Resources

Most resources available via the Internet and other electronic information networks are “global” resources rather than “local” resources. The library does not and cannot control the information content available through global resources such as information obtained from outside sources via the Internet. Internet resources enhance and supplement resources that are available locally within a library. Library users must be aware that this library does not exercise control over information obtained via the Internet and must keep in mind the following points when evaluating information obtained via the Internet:
A. Information obtained via the Internet may or may not be reliable and may or may not be obtained from a reliable source. Library staff may be available to assist patrons in making judgments about the reliability or currency of certain types of Internet information sources, but are unable to provide definitive analysis of particular sources due to the extremely large variety and volume of information available via the Internet.
B. Information obtained via the Internet may or may not be accurate. Marshall Public Library urges library patrons to be informed consumers and carefully evaluate information obtained via the Internet.
C. Information obtained via the Internet may or may not be current and up to date.
D. Links to information on the Internet may not always be valid, and particular information sites on the Internet may sometimes be unavailable, and this unavailability often occurs unpredictably.
E. While the ability to access information on the Internet provides a wealth of material that is personally, professionally, and culturally enriching to individuals, it also enables access
to some materials that may be offensive, disturbing, and possibly illegal. The user, therefore, is the selector and, as a selector, must use the Internet in ways consistent with the mission of the library.
F. Users should be aware that there are security, privacy and confidentiality risks inherent in wireless communications and associated technology, and the library does not make any assurances or warranties relating to such risks.
G. The user must also be aware of and respect the rights of others.
This library is not responsible for damages, indirect or direct, arising from a library patron’s use of Internet information resources. By using wireless Internet access, users agree that the library is not liable for any costs or damages, special, incidental or consequential, arising from the use of this service.

Library Patrons’ Rights

Library patrons have certain rights with respect to use of electronic information networks such as the Internet. This library will work with other libraries in the Illinois Library and Information Network to preserve and protect these rights, subject to limitations imposed by licensing and payment agreements with database providers.
A. Library patrons have the right to confidentiality and privacy in the use of electronic information networks to the extent possible given certain constraints, such as proximity of other patrons and staff in public access settings.
B. Library patrons have the right to equitable access to electronic information networks.
C. Library patrons have the right to access and read all library service policies and discuss questions with appropriate library staff.

Patron Assistance and Instruction

The library staff is not responsible for providing technical support of any kind under any circumstances to any user trying to access the wireless network, but staff may assist a patron if time and ability allows. Formal instruction on the basic use of the Internet, Email, and various software programs is available periodically at the library.

Use of Electronic Networks and Computer Equipment

Internet access is provided only as a courtesy and may not be available at any requested time. Marshall Public Library does not warrant that this service will be uninterrupted, error-free, or free of viruses or other harmful components. No information the patron considers confidential should be transmitted via this network. By using this network, the patron agrees to be solely responsible for the content of all information he/she disseminates.
We reserve the right to deny or restrict access to any user who abuses the network, such as excessive bandwidth consumption or using the network for any type of activity or purpose deemed by the library staff to be unlawful, harassing, abusive, criminal or fraudulent. We also reserve the right to monitor, intercept and disclose any transmissions over or using our facilities, and or provide user information, or use records, and other related information under certain circumstances (for example, in response to lawful process, orders, subpoenas, or warrants, or to protect our rights, users or property) to appropriate authorities.
It is our policy to respond to notices of alleged infringement that comply with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998.

Marshall Public Library requires that library patrons using electronic information networks such as the Internet do so within the guidelines of acceptable use. The following activities are unacceptable:
A. Use of electronic information networks for any purpose which results in the harassment of other users,
B. Destruction of, damage to, or unauthorized alteration of the library’s computer equipment software or network security procedures,
C. Use of electronic information networks in any way which violates a Federal or State law,
D. Use of electronic information networks in any way which violates licensing and payment agreements between Marshall Public Library and network/database providers,
E. Unauthorized duplication of copy-protected software or violation of software license agreements,
F. Violation of system security,
G. Behaving in a manner that is disruptive to other users, including but not limited to overuse of computer equipment which serves to deny access to other users.
By using the free Internet or Wi-Fi service provided by Marshall Public Library, the patron agrees to the policy set forth above.

Children’s Access to Electronic Information Networks

Marshall Public Library supports the right of all library users to access information and will not deny access to electronic information networks based solely on age.
The library recognizes that electronic information networks such as the Internet may contain material that is inappropriate for children. The library recognizes and supports federal laws dealing with the access to information and it also is obligated to comply with laws pertaining to exposure to certain explicit images and material. The library is a public place and users should be reasonable and not display images or material that may be offensive to other users or staff. In addition, it upholds and affirms the right and responsibility of parents to determine and monitor their children’s use of library materials and resources. It also encourages parents and guardians to work closely with their children in selecting material that is consistent with personal and family values. Parents are also encouraged to discuss with their children issues of appropriate use and electronic information network safety. They are expected to monitor and supervise their children’s use of the Internet while at the library. The library staff is unable to monitor children’s computer use.

Social Media Policies

Marshall Public Library participates in social media as a means of promoting library services, resources and programming, as well as making the library more accessible to our patrons. One of the goals in using social media is to build community relationships and provide a tool for patrons to share feedback and opinions.
As with all other library resources, the library does not act in place of a parent and is not responsible for enforcing restrictions which a parent or guardian may place on a minor’s use of social media resources.
The Library Administration reserves the right to monitor the content posted on all of its social media applications and to remove any content that is deemed to be abusive, defamatory, in violation of rights of any other party, or otherwise inappropriate.

(Adopted: 1/14/2015, Revised 03/09/2016)

Library Procedures Relating to Electronic Networks and Computer Equipment/Devices

The library has developed certain procedures to assist staff and patrons in the use of computers, electronic devices, and electronic information resources. These procedures include (but are not necessarily limited to) the following:
1. Time limits are a total of 60 minutes per day on a computer, or other electronic device, up to three sessions per day, to allow use of resources by the maximum number of library patrons. If a user does not sign out, his/her session is considered to have been a 60 minute session. Sessions will automatically timeout after 60 minutes.
2. Access is given on a “first come first served” basis by registering at the circulation desk prior to use and signing out when finished.
3. Laptop computers and other devices may be checked out at the Circulation Desk for use within the library only.
4. The patron or parent is responsible for any lost or stolen device and for the cost of any needed replacement or repair for any damage caused to a device while using it.
5. All children under 18 years of age are required to be accompanied by an adult or must have a Computer/Internet Consent form signed by a parent or guardian on file with the library when using a computer or the Internet. Children under the age of 8 years may only use the children’s computers. Children age 8 or older may use a computer or laptop if a parent has filed a Computer Consent form with the library.
6. Patrons must be age 18 or older to check out an electronic device; however children under 18 years may use the electronic device with parental supervision. A parent must sign the Portable Electronic Devise Agreement. As collateral for a device, a patron must leave one form of identification at the Circulation Desk while the device is in use.
7. The library retains the right to determine the appropriate use of its equipment for the purpose of enforcing this policy. Users may have their privileges revoked if they refuse to abide by the instructions or requests made by library staff members.
8. There is a cost recovery charge for printouts using the library’s computer equipment either on paper provided by the library or by the patron.
9. Computers may occasionally be closed to the public in order to conduct library sponsored programs.
10. Computer use priority is given for accessing the library’s online catalog.

Breach of Policy

Violation of any aspect of this policy or refusal to abide by the instruction or requests made by library staff members may result in the loss of library privileges.
(Revised 07/13/2005, 02/14/2007, 12/09/2009, 01/13/2011, 9/12/2012, 10/10/12, 3/09/2016)