Computer Usage

Patrons are expected to be familiar with the Herington Public Library’s Internet Access Policy.

The Library reserves the right to terminate an Internet session.

Internet Access Policy:
General Mission:
In response to advances in technology and the changing information needs of the community, the Herington Public Library offers public access to the internet. The internet is a vast global electronic network that provides access to information of every kind. The internet is a key resource in supporting the mission of libraries to provide information and ideas of all types to all users.

Quality of Information, Privacy Issues, Access to Controversial Sites:
Users need to be aware that not all sources on the internet provide accurate, complete, or current information. Users need to be good information consumers, questioning the validity of the information they find. As users access sites on the internet, they should be aware that what information they send to internet sites may be used by companies or individuals for statistical purposes, mailing lists, or for more questionable and dangerous activities. If a user sends personal information via the internet, the Herington Public Library cannot control its use or distribution.

The library has no control over the information on the internet and cannot be held responsible for its content. While much information on the internet can be valuable, some internet information may be offensive, disturbing, or illegal. Filtered search engines (which are not under control of the library) may restrict access to sites which could be considered objectionable, but may also limit access to sites which have legitimate research value. No filtering system is completely effective or efficient. Filters can be bypassed at the discretion of the librarian.

Privacy and Confidentiality:
The Herington Public Library does not monitor an individual’s use of any sites except when material displayed on the screen is not appropriate in a public environment and other users’ sensibilities are violated. Patrons use the internet at their own discretion.

In general, the library will treat information concerning computer use as confidential. Requests for disclosure of information regarding an individual’s computer use will be honored only if approved by authorized staff, when agreed to by the library patron, or when required by local, state, or federal law.

User Responsibilities:
Users must comply with the United States copyright law, Kansas obscenity statues, and all other applicable laws. To access computers in the library users must agree to:

* Not access, create or display information that is obscene as defined by Kansas law (KSA 21 4301) (KSA 21 4301C)

* Not disclose or disseminate personal information that could threaten or create vulnerability for any person or the library

* Not use library computers for any illegal or criminal use

* Respect the legal protection provided by copyright and license to programs and data (US Code Title 17)

* Not tamper with computer hardware and/or software or attempt to gain unauthorized access to any data or computer network

* Respect other users’ privacy and rights

The library reserves the right to terminate an internet session at any time. Staff is authorized to take immediate action to protect the security of computers and the network and to ensure the fair and reasonable use of internet resources. This includes confiscating disks, requiring a user to leave the computer or the library, and/or the contacting of law enforcement authorities. Misuse of the computer or internet access will result in the loss of computer privileges. (See forms sections F II.)

Guidelines for Internet Access:
Age Limits and Parental Supervision:
There is no age limit for patrons. Parents/guardians who have children under the age of 18 are responsible for their children’s usage on the internet. The library is not held responsible for this.

Time Limits:
Internet access will be available, subject to periodic maintenance, during the library’s regular hours. Users must sign in at the front desk before using the library’s public access computers. Use of the public access computers will be on a first-come, first-serve basis. No telephone reservations will be taken. Those using the public access computers will agree, as a condition of use, that they have a 30 minute time limit. If another patron is waiting for a computer after 30 minutes, the patron will be informed that their time is up. If no patrons are waiting for a computer, patrons can stay on for another 30 minutes.

The user must end his/her session and leave the terminal when asked to do so by authorize library staff.

Food or Drink:
Food and/or drink are not allowed in the computer area. Any food or drink items must be left at the circulation desk.

Number of Users Allowed at Computer Terminals:
No more than two patrons are allowed per computer unless library staff grants permission for more than two users at the terminal.

Monitoring of Children:
Adults using computer resources are responsible for the behavior of any children accompanying them. It is not the responsibility of library staff to monitor the children of patrons who are using the computers.

Downloading Files:
Patrons must ask a library staff member if they wish to save files.

Patrons will be charged for copies printed in both black and white and colored.

Staff Assistance:
Library staff will be available to assist the user in accessing the internet. The staff may be able to offer searching suggestions and answer questions; however, the staff cannot provide in-depth training or assistance with technical problems. There are tutorials available on the computers to help users learn more about using the features and programs on the computers.

~ Reviewed and updated 10-8-2015 (Shelly Wirtz, Director)
~ Revised on 6-16-2017 (Shelly Wirtz, Director)
~ Reviewed on 6-9-2020 (Shelly Wirtz, Director)

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