Atchison Public Library

Computer Use and Internet Safety Policy

 

The Library affirms that this policy is supported by and in alignment with the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights and the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights to the United States Constitution.

 

General use

Public access computers are provided for use by cardholders in good standing of the Northeast Kansas Library System (NEKLS). Cardholders may gain access to the library’s computers and internet service by presenting their library card or other valid photo identification. For cardholder protection, patrons should use only their own card.

Patrons who are not cardholders may be permitted to use the public access computers as a guest if they present valid photo identification, but this use may be limited. The library is not responsible for damage to and/or incompatibility with personal hardware or software that is used and data may not be permanently stored to the library’s computers.

 

  • In the interest of serving all customers, the Library reserves the right to set time limits on any workstation. A daily four-hour time limit is set on all desktop and laptop computers. Patrons may ask to have usage extended in one-hour increments if no one else is waiting.
  • Patrons must abide by all other library policies while using computers
  • No information may be saved to the library’s computers. Patrons are responsible for saving content to the cloud or USB drive. The library is not responsible for data that may be lost due to power outages, equipment failure, viruses, or malware.
  • Library staff are not responsible for children’s computer usage, or the information selected and/or accessed online by children. Parents/legal guardians are advised to supervise their children’s internet usage.
  • The Library’s computers are set-up for optimal use by a single individual. However, in some cases, it may be important for two or more individuals to sit together at a single computer. Groups of two or more may be asked to break up if their activity proves to be disruptive to other patrons or staff.
  • Library staff are available to provide limited assistance in the use of computers and the internet. Staff may limit the amount of time spent in assisting a user in order to provide adequate support of all other library services. Patrons requiring more training than can be given at the public service desk are encouraged to schedule a one-on-one training session by contacting library staff.
  • Because computers are located in public areas which must be shared by library users of all ages, backgrounds, and sensibilities, individuals are asked to consider this when accessing potentially controversial information and images. Library staff cannot consistently and effectively monitor the public’s use of the internet. Therefore, the library reserves the right to ask individuals to discontinue the display of information and images which cause disruptions, even if their use is legitimate.
  • Flash drives and earbuds are available for purchase at the circulation desk.
  • Printing will be sent to a networked printer for a fee.
  • The library does not have the ability to give unfiltered access to the internet for individuals using their own computer.
  • The library will comply with all state and federal laws applicable to computer use and the internet.

Using library computer workstations in an inappropriate manner or for illegal purposes is prohibited.  Users must comply with the United States copyright law (See United States Code, title 17, Sections 107 and 108), United States and Kansas statutes, and all other applicable laws.

 

Unacceptable use of computers includes, but is not limited to:

  • Use of computer which impedes activities of others
  • Unauthorized use of another patron’s library card number
  • Use of another patron’s account because their own card is blocked
  • Use of another patron’s account to extend time on computers
  • Violation of software license agreements
  • Violation of user privacy
  • Alteration or reconfiguration of library hardware or software
  • Excessive volume on headphones or speakers
  • Destruction or damage to equipment, software, or data belonging to the library
  • Attempt to gain unauthorized access to any data, computer, or network

 

The Library Director and Staff Designee, at his or her discretion, has the ability to determine unacceptable or inappropriate use of computers which includes, but is not limited to: 

  • Sending, receiving or viewing content considered obscene, pornographic, sexist, racist, hate or inflammatory information
  • Hacking or gaining unauthorized access to or adversely affect another computer, system or network for illegal, malicious or harmful use;
  • Sending spam, conducting phishing or other unlawful or fraudulent e-mail communication
  • Sending, receiving or viewing any other material or information that is considered illegal by federal, state, or local code.

Anyone who engages in the above or other inappropriate or illegal uses of the library’s computers and internet service will be asked to stop and/or asked to leave the library premises. Revocation of his or her computer privileges, library privileges, and/or the use of the library system and its facilities may occur. The Library Director or staff designee, at his or her discretion, has the ability to determine appropriate action determined on the severity and nature of the situation. Illegal or criminal activity will be reported to the appropriate legal authorities.

The user agrees to assume any and all liability for the cost of the repair or replacement in the event of loss due to theft, damage, negligence or misuse of library equipment.

Members of library staff are under no obligation to monitor library workstation usage, except to comply with the Kansas Children’s Internet Protection Act (K.S.A. 2013 Supp. 75-2589 as amended). When a member of the library staff determines that a patron is using a workstation in an unacceptable manner, any or all of the following consequences may apply:

  • Immediate termination of the computer or internet session.
  • Additional suspension of computer use or other library privileges.
  • Notification of appropriate law enforcement officials.

Use of Desktop Computers on main floor

  • Patrons ages 16 or older may use the desktop computers without being accompanied by an adult
  • Children ages 13 or older may use the desktop computers if they are accompanied by an adult
  • Children ages 12 and younger should use the desktop computers in the children’s library

 

Internet Safety Policy and the Kansas Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA)

The library is concerned for the safety and security of users who access online information. The library has no control over the information on the internet and cannot be held responsible for its content.  As with other library materials, the library affirms the right and responsibility of parents or guardians to guide their children’s use of the internet.

Patrons shall not access or exhibit inappropriate matter on computers used in the library.  Inappropriate matter is defined as, but not limited to the following:

  • Access or exhibit obscene material on library computer workstations. Disseminating or exhibiting obscene material is a crime in the state of Kansas.  (See “Promoting Obscenity; Promoting Obscenity to Minors”, S.A. 21-6401, as amended).
  • Access material or computer-generated images deemed harmful to minors. (See “Promotion to Minors of Material Harmful to Minors”, S.A. 21-6402 and as amended).
  • Use the library computer workstations in a manner that allows them to possess a computer-generated image that contains or incorporates sexual exploitation of a child. (See “Sexual exploitation of a child”, S.A. 21-5510 and as amended).

Additionally, patrons shall not disclose, use, and/or disseminate personal information that could threaten or create a vulnerability for a minor, for any other person, while using library computers and internet service.

In compliance with the Kansas Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA), the library uses a filtering technology for all internet access, including wireless. This technology is not infallible and the library will not be held responsible for prohibited information that may be displayed or for useful information that may be blocked while filtering online access to visual depictions that are child pornography, harmful to minors or obscene as defined in the Kansas statutes listed above.

 

Persons eighteen years and older may request that this filtering software be disabled or that certain websites be unblocked, provided their research does not violate the Kansas statutes listed above. The library has 48 hours to honor such requests.

It shall be the responsibility of all members of the library staff to supervise and monitor usage of the online computer network and access to the Internet in accordance with this policy and the Kansas Children’s Internet Protection Act.

The library shall inform patrons of the Computer Use and Internet Safety Policy by making the policy available on the library’s web site, in print at the circulation desk, and on the library’s time-management software.

Final Disclaimers

  1. The Library is not responsible for any damage done to computer users’ storage devices, data, hardware or software by any virus, which may leave or has been contacted on or through library equipment. Although the Library continually updates virus and other protective software on its computers, it is always possible for damage or loss to occur. Protection cannot be guaranteed.
  2. The Library is not responsible for any damage done to computer users’ disks, data, hardware or software as a result of the malfunctioning of library hardware or software.
  3. The library uses unsecured wireless and LAN networks for public access, and is not responsible for any intercepted or lost data that may occur while using them.

 

 

Reviewed and approved by the Board of Directors on November 27, 2023.