Internet & Computer Use Policy and Guidelines


This policy applies to use of the Internet (world wide web) on public computers at the Muehl Public Library.

The Muehl Public Library is committed to providing its patrons with informational, educational, cultural, and recreational resources in a free and accessible manner. The Internet enables the library to provide global ideas beyond the limits of its own collection.

The U.S. Congress and the court system in the United States have recognized that there is no single organization at this time to govern, control, or select information for the Internet. Because of this freedom of information, the Muehl Public Library cannot control the content of resources available on the Internet. Nor does the Muehl Public Library monitor information accessed from the World Wide Web.

The Muehl Public Library assumes no responsibility for the quality, accuracy, or currency of an Internet resource. Internet users should be aware that not all information found on the Internet is accurate or current. Users are encouraged to be good information consumers by evaluating the validity of the materials drawn from the Internet. When using the Internet for a report or a paper, patrons should familiarize themselves with how to cite an Internet website as a source.

Library staff members normally will not be expected to assist persons with the Internet.

Children and the Internet

The public library, unlike schools, does not serve in loco parentis (in place of a parent). Librarians cannot act in the place of the parent in providing constant supervision of children as they explore the Internet. The responsibility for what minors pull up from the Internet rests with parents or guardians.

Parents are advised, but not required, to accompany children using the Internet at the library, in order to monitor the content of the information to which their children are exposed. The following are recommended guidelines for parents and guardians to ensure that children have positive online experiences.

Advisable Guidelines

  • Use the Internet as a family. Join your children in Internet exploration.
  • Explore the wide range of available information and tell your children about sites you consider unacceptable for them.
  • Provide guidelines for your children on the amount of time they spend online, just as for television watching.
  • Instruct children NEVER to give out personal information (name, address, password, telephone number, credit card number) online.

At the Muehl Public Library, if parents allow their children to use the Internet but are not accompanying their children, children must have a signed permission slip at the library desk. It will be noted in the electronic library application of the child that a parent has agreed to Internet access for the child.

The Public and the Internet

The Muehl Public Library reserves the right to ask a patron of any age to back out of electronic material that they deem harmful or unsuitable in a public building. The Muehl Public Library respects the right of each and every patron to feel safe and fairly treated.

I. Procedure

We have SAM time out software on our Internet stations. The patron will be blocked from using the Internet if

a) They don't have or know their pin. (see a librarian)

b) They have a fine in excess of $5.

c) Their card has expired. (see a librarian)

d) They are under 18 and do not have a permission slip on file @ our library

e) They are permanently banned from the Internet at OWLSnet libraries because of misuse of the priviledge of using the Internet.

II. Usage Guidelines

  1. There is no charge for using the Internet at the library. Black and white printouts cost .25. Color printouts cost .50.
  2. Patrons are limited to up to two hours a day at the workstation(s).
  3. The librarian on duty can override the time out software if you need a lot of uninterrupted time. Examples include: applying for a job; creating a resume; taking an online test. PLEASE FEEL FREE TO COMMUNICATE YOUR NEEDS TO A LIBRARIAN!
  4. In general, a patron may not spend more than a total of two hours in a day on computers at this library.

III. Unacceptable Use

Misuse or abuse of the computer will result in suspension of computer privileges. The following are some examples of misuse:

  1. Attempting to alter software configurations or software components.
  2. Attempting to modify or gain access to files, passwords or data belonging to others.
  3. Propagation of computer viruses.
  4. Any corruption of the computer's files.
  5. Careless use resulting in the damage of the computer and/or its peripherals.
  6. Use of impolite or abusive language.
  7. Creating noise which violates the rules of common sense or etiquette.
  8. Deliberately accessing materials that are deemed potentially offensive to other patrons.
  9. More than two patrons on one computer station.

Librarians will document a verbal warning given to a patron for inappropriate use of the technology. This encompasses the disruption of other patrons in the library. At the time of a third verbal warning, a patron will be suspended from computer privileges for one month. Future suspension may result in termination of use.

IV. Acceptable Use

Responsible, ethical use of the library's computer equipment enables our community to continue growing educationally and helps technology to reach more people. Examples of responsible, ethical use are:

  1. Using Internet resources for legal purposes only.
  2. Observing copyright laws.
  3. Respecting the privacy of others by refraining from interfering with their use of the workstation.
  4. Taking all your personal belongings with you when you leave the workstation.
  5. Closing out of all applications when your time is up.
  6. Following directions of the librarian in charge.

**Please note, for public convenience

  • Photostory 3 is available on all stations.
  • 6 stations are connected to a centralized scanner/component of the copier.
  • One station is a 15-minute station for quick checking of e.mail.
  • One station has special software for working with digital photography.

Use our online Internet User Agreement Form

This policy is subject to change at the discretion of the Muehl Public Library Board of Trustees.

Approved April 7, 1997; Revised May 6, 2003; Revised April 1, 2013.

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