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Library Policies

Computer Use Guidelines

Sedalia Public Library provides free public access to computer software, CD-ROM’s, the Internet, and information databases. This service is offered to patrons of Sedalia Public Library as a way of enhancing the Library’s existing collections with computer resources and information networks from around the world. In order to help you use these computer resources for the purposes for which they were intended, the Library has established guidelines to make more efficient use of the computers. Failure to follow these Computer Guidelines will result in loss of computer use.

II. Qualifications
All Internet users are required to have a valid Sedalia Public Library card or may check out an Internet computer as a Guest User for a Guest User Fee of $1.00 (One Dollar) and use the computer for one (1) hour only . Internet users under the age of 18 years must have written permission from a parent/guardian on file at the library. An Internet/Computer Use Policy will be available for patrons at the time they apply for a library card. Internet computers in the Children’s Department are reserved for children under the age of 18. Stand-alone computers are reserved for word processing and CD-ROM products. No special permission or age limit is required to use the stand-alone computers. Printers are available on all computers and copies can be printed for a fee. MOREnet requires that all Internet Users be on file for a minimum of two (2) weeks.

Guest Internet Usage
Internet users without a Sedalia Public Library card may register to use the Internet computers as a Guest User. The Guest User MUST present a valid Photo ID with current information and pay a Guest User Fee of $1.00 (One Dollar). Guest Internet Users are limited to a one (1) hour session per day. MOREnet requires that all Internet Users be on file for a minimum of two (2) weeks.


III. Time of Use
Use of all computers is on a first-come, first-served basis. Internet computers used for reference, research, and education may be used for ONE (1) HOUR. If no one is waiting, the Sedalia Public Library patrons’ time may be extended another hour for a total of TWO (2) HOURS per day. Guest Internet Users are limited to ONE (1) HOUR per day. Stand-alone computers used for word processing or CD-ROM products are available for ONE (1) HOUR. If no one is waiting, the time may be extended to TWO (2) HOURS.

IV. Software/Computer Equipment

Only computer equipment and software owned and previously installed by the Sedalia Public Library may be used on SPL computers. ADDING, DELETING OR MODIFYING installed hardware or software is not permitted. No personal files will be saved on the hard drive. Doing so will result in the LOSS OF COMPUTER PRIVILEGES.

It is illegal to copy software programs protected by copyright laws.

Because many users with varying degrees of skills use the computers, it is inevitable that there will be some equipment or software failure. The library is not responsible for any damage or loss of data arising from the use of equipment, programs, or other library materials.

Intentionally damaging software or equipment will result in loss of computer privileges and may lead to prosecution.

Calling up or producing obscene, pornographic or indecent materials will result in the loss of computer privileges and may lead to prosecution. Hacking, spamming, and harassment are not permitted.

V. Printing/Downloading

Printing and/or downloading must not start within ½ hour of closing.

The user is responsible for ALL COPIES PRINTED OR ATTEMPTED, whether user accepts them or not. Failure to pay for all copies will result in loss of computer privileges.

Patrons may bring personal floppy disks to download information or floppy disks may be purchased at the circulation desk.

A. Policy updated by Board of Trustees – January 9, 2006

Sedalia Public Library
Sedalia provides access to the Internet through the Missouri Research and Education Network (MOREnet), an electronic information network serving public libraries, educational institutions, and governmental agencies. As a member of MOREnet, the library must conform to its use policy.

Acceptable Use: All Internet use shall be for research, education, local, state or governmental affairs, economic development, or public service.

Unacceptable Use: It is not acceptable to use the Internet for purposes that violate any federal or state law. It is not acceptable to use it in a manner that is harmful or harassing to others. Any use that disrupts normal network use and service is prohibited. This would include such things as introducing computer viruses, violation of personal privacy, and the unauthorized access to protected and private network resources. It is not acceptable to use MOREnet for commercial solicitation of business.
Ultimate responsibility for the proper use and misuse of the Internet lies with each individual user. Parents and/or guardians may be held accountable for inappropriate or illegal use by their child or children.
Because the library has a limited number of computers for use by a potentially large number of individuals needing to use them, access may be limited to a specified amount of time per day. These limitations will be posted at the network site.
Email accounts through MOREnet are not available to the public due to the restricted number of addresses provided to the library.
The library will periodically remove any material stored in files to which users have access in order to free up space for other users.
Because of the many individuals, organizations, businesses, etc. which provide information on the Internet, Sedalia Public Library cannot, and does not, warrantee that such information is true and valid, nor shall it be liable for any direct or indirect, incidental, or consequential damages (including lost data, information, or profits) sustained in the use or inability to use the system.
The library will make every effort to keep the system operating; however, because so many individuals with differing degrees of computer competency use the equipment, there will be times when the system and/or equipment is “down”. The library assumes no responsibility for lost information, time, or money by the user.
Rules and regulations of system usage may be changed from time to time by the library and/or the network and will be posted by the library. Users of the system are subject to these changed rules and regulations.
Adopted by the Board of Trustees: August 26, 1996


**Safety Tips for Minors taken from the ALA (American Library Association) website:
The Librarian’s Guide to Cyber Space for Parents and Kids—ALA from the American Library Association
Safety Tips: The best way to ensure your child’s safety on the Internet is to be there. Of course, that is not always possible. Just as you teach your child rules about dealing with strangers outside the home, you must provide rules of communicating online.
Suggested rules for kids:
  1. Always ask your parents’ permission before using your full name, address, telephone number, or school name anywhere on the Internet.
  2. Always tell your parents or other adults you trust if you see something online that is scary or that you don’t understand.
  3. Don’t respond to messages that make you feel uncomfortable or uneasy.
  4. Never give out a credit card number or password online.
  5. Never arrange to meet in person someone you’ve met online unless you discuss it with your parents and an adult goes with you.

Teach children that not everything they see or hear may be true. Some sites may be trying to sell them something or contain inaccurate information.

Remember, the vast majority of Internet sites are perfectly safe. But, like the real world, the virtual world contains some sites with sexual, violent, and other content that may not be appropriate for children.

If you have a home computer, a number of software filters are available to block websites you may not want your child to visit. Parents need to understand that filters are not perfect. They cannot block everything you might not want your child to see and they may block information that is helpful. Even if filters were 100 percent effective, this software is no substitute for parental guidance.

We strongly recommend that you supervise older as well as younger children’s Internet use at home and at the library. It’s a good idea to place computers in the kitchen, family room, or living room so that you can see your child using it. Young children should never be allowed to “surf the Net” alone. (American Library Association)

Internet Access
The Internet, a world-wide network of computer networks is an essential medium for obtaining and transmitting information of all types. Therefore, public access to the Internet is germane to the Library's mission.

However, the Internet is an unregulated medium. It also provides access to information that is inaccurate, illegal or that some may find offensive or disturbing. The Library will identify on its web site specific Internet sites that have potential interest for Library users. But the Library cannot control a user's access to other Internet resources.

Responsibilities of Library Staff and Users
Library staff will not monitor a user's Internet use, except for length of use in order to ensure equal opportunity of access for everyone. The user, or the parent of a minor, is responsible for his or her Internet session at all times. If you do not find what you need on the Internet, please do not hesitate to ask a librarian for help. Technology protection measures may be disabled by a library staff member, as necessary, for bona fide research or other lawful purposes by people aged 18 and older.
The Library reserves the right to terminate an Internet session that disrupts library services or that involves user behavior that violates the Library's policies.

As with all Library resources, the Library affirms the right and responsibility of parents/guardians, NOT Library staff, to determine and monitor their minor children's use of the Internet. (Minors are defined in this policy as children and young people under the age of 18 years.) Parents are responsible for their minor children's use of the Library's resources and facilities. Parents who believe that their children cannot responsibly use the Library's Internet access are requested to monitor their children's Internet use.

Disclaimers
While the Library endeavors to provide access to information of the highest quality, the Library specifically disclaims any warrant as to the information's accuracy, timeliness, authoritativeness, usefulness or fitness for a particular purpose.

The Library will have no liability for direct, indirect or consequential damages related to the use of information accessed through the Library's Internet service.

The Library, having installed and enforced the operation of filtering software in compliance with the Children's Internet Protection Act, will have no liability for damages related to the operation of, or failure of, the filtering software, or for its circumvention by users.

Since software and information downloaded from any sources, including the Internet, may contain computer viruses, users are advised to utilize virus checking software on their home computers. The Library is not responsible for damage to users' disks or computers or for any loss of data, damage or liability that may occur from use of the Library's computers.

Technology Protection Measures
The Library, either by itself or in combination with its Internet access provider, will install filtering software or other technologies on all library computers with Internet access, and will enforce the operation of same during any use of those computers, to prevent minors from accessing visual depictions that are (1) obscene, (2) child pornography, or (3) harmful to minors.
The term "harmful to minors" is defined by the Communications Act of 1934 (47 USC Section 254 [h][7]), as meaning any picture, image, graphic image file, or other visual depiction that

  • taken as a whole and with respect to minors, appeals to a prurient interest in nudity, sex, or excretion;
  • depicts, describes, or represents, in a patently offensive way with respect to what is suitable for minors, an actual or simulated sexual act or sexual contact, actual or simulated normal or perverted sexual acts, or a lewd exhibition of the genitals;
  • taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value as to minors.
  • Filtering software is not foolproof. It diminishes the likelihood that searchers will inadvertently retrieve text or images that they may find offensive, but does not eliminate that possibility. Filters often block access to sites that users would consider both inoffensive and useful.

Procedures
The Library staff will develop such rules and procedures as are necessary to ensure the fair and reasonable use of Internet access.
Response to Violations
The user's access to the Library's computer network and Internet is a privilege, not a right. A user violates this policy by his or her own action or by failing to report any violations by other users that come to the attention of the user. Further, a user violates this policy if he or she permits another to use his or her account or password to access the computer network and Internet. Failure to comply with this policy and its procedures will result in the forfeiture of of the user's right to access these computers.
 

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