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Computer and Internet use Policy

Governs the use of library computers and the internet at those workstations.

The Marengo Public Library offers access to the Internet in response to advances in technology and to the changing information needs of the community. Computer and Internet access is one component of the library's mission.

Choosing and Evaluating Sources
The Internet is a global electronic network that enables the library to provide information to patrons beyond its collection. The Marengo Public Library staff has no control over the vast array of information on the Internet. It is not possible to control the accuracy of the information, the availability of the links users would like to visit, or the materials some users might find offensive. Users need to be good information consumers, questioning the validity of the information.

Respecting the Public Setting
The computer/Internet station is located in an area that is shared by patrons of all ages. Given the public setting, complete privacy cannot be given. Individuals are asked to consider and respect the sensibilities of other by not accessing potentially offensive information and images.

The Library Will:

  • Locate the station where it can be monitored for assistance and security.

  • Manage the station in a manner consistent with the mission statement and all library policies.
  • Provide the user with:
    • A policy orientation session.
    • Assistance in using the computer/Internet as staff time and knowledge permits.
    • Paper for printing at 10 cents ($0.10) per page.
  • Make computer station available as equitable as possible.
    • First come, first served (NOTE: late comers forfeit the unused portion of their reserved time).
    • Available for 60 minutes per day with an extend 60 minutes if time is available.
  • Reserve the right to require a training session regarding operation.
  • Provide a browser for the World Wide Web but will not provide e-mail accounts nor allow cat lines or news groups.
  • Affirm the rights and responsibilities of parents/guardians to monitor any restrictions of a child's access to the Internet. Parents are encouraged to work with their children to develop rules for the use of the Internet.

The User of a Library Computer/Internet Station Will:

  • Have no more than two (2) people at a workstation at any one time.

  • Be age 10 or over or be accompanied by a parent/guardian. NOTE: THe library reserves the right to provide exceptions for special programming needs.
  • Attend the "Policy Orientation Session."
  • Sign the library's "Computer/Internet User Agreement" (or in case of a patron under age 18, have a parent or guardian sign). NOTE: This will be signed IN the library.
  • Check with the staff at the front desk each time that they use the computer station.
  • Comply with all state and federal laws, including but not limited to the laws of copyright, computer crime, and obscenity.
  • Use the computer station in a responsible manner that is legal, ethical, and consistent with the educational and informational purposes for which they are provided. Examples of unacceptable purposes include but are not limited to the following:
    • Bookmarking sites without the permission of staff.
    • Destruction of or damage to equipment software, or data belonging to the library.
    • Violation of computer system security and/or system configuration
    • Receiving or displaying text or graphics which may reasonably be construed as indecent or obscene.
    • Violation of the copyright laws of the United States, including but not limited to: unlawful or illegal downloading of movies, music, books, textbooks, etc.
    • Use of sounds or visuals that might be disruptive to others.
    • Violation of another user's right of privacy.
    • Use of personal software on library computers.
    • Storing files on the library's hard drive is not permitted. NOTE: Use of portable memory is prohibited on library computers.

Issues of Concern
Violations of this computer usage policy will result in the loss of Computer/Internet privileges and may lead to financial responsibility. Illegal acts involving library computers may also be subject to prosecution by local, state, or federal authorities. It is against Iowa law to download or provide child pornography, or to display pornography where children (Iowa Code, Chapter 728.2) may see it.

Policy Review
The Marengo Public Library Board of Trustees and librarians will regularly review this policy. Public notice will be made if any policy changes and the signers of this computer user agreement will be expected to abide by the terms of any updated policy.