Computing Resource Policy

Purpose
The East Lansing Public Library's mission is to actively provide easily accessible, new and traditional resources, services, and programs. Internet access and the provision for public computing are an extension of the Library’s commitment to meeting the community’s information needs.
Because the Internet is a vast and unregulated information network, it also enables access to information, ideas, and commentary beyond the confines of the Library’s mission, selection criteria, and collection development policies. The provision of access does not mean or imply that the Library endorses or sanctions the content or point of view of any of the information or commentary that may be found on the Internet.
The Internet may contain information that is controversial, sexually explicit, or offensive even on the Library’s filtered workstations.  Parents or guardians of minor children are responsible for their child’s use of the Internet through the Library’s connection as stated more fully below.  In addition, the Library cannot guarantee a user’s confidentiality or privacy in their online transactions. Library patrons use the Internet and the Library’s computer network at their own discretion and risk and shall abide by the Library’s rules regarding computer use.
Internet Access Policy
1. The East Lansing Public Library offers access to the Internet as an informational reference and resource tool. However, not all sources on the Internet provide information that is accurate, complete or legal. The Library is unable to monitor or control the content of Internet information, which changes rapidly and unpredictably. Internet users will need to evaluate for themselves the validity of information found. The availability of information via the Library’s computer system does not constitute an endorsement of that information by the East Lansing Public Library
2. Internet access is both restricted and not restricted. The Michigan State Law, under Public Act 212 of 2000, mandates minors age 17 and under must use a terminal in the Library that is "restricted from receiving obscene matter or sexually explicit matter that is harmful to minors" on “the Internet or a computer, computer program, computer network, or computer system” unless "accompanied by their parent or guardian." Adults, age 18 and over, select for themselves either restricted or not restricted access.
3.  The Library uses public access management software to manage the daily access to computers and the Internet for users including the provision of access to filtered or unfiltered computers, depending on their age in compliance with state law.1  The Internet, even on the Library’s filtered workstations, may contain information that is controversial, sexually explicit or offensive to some users. Patrons, and parents/guardians of patrons, should be aware that no filter is 100% effective at blocking or allowing web sites.  The Library’s filter does not block access to web based email accounts, web based chat services, blogs or social networking sites.  Parents or guardians, not the Library or its staff, are ultimately responsible for their child’s use of Library computers as well as discussing Internet use and safety with their child(ren) and monitoring their child(ren)’s Internet use.
4.  The Library makes every attempt to continually update and upgrade public access computers but some sites or online services may be inaccessible due to software or network incompatibilities.
5. There may be times when the user may not be able to access a given site on the Internet or the Internet connection is disrupted or slow due to circumstances beyond the control of the Library.

6. The Library has no control over information transmitted via email, chat, blogs or social networking sites.  Those transmissions are not secure against interception and may be monitored by a third party.

Acceptable Use
All users of the Library's computing services and Internet connection are expected to follow all rules and procedures as established in this policy. Users must:

1. use the computer workstation in a responsible and courteous manner, respecting the rights of others, and adhering to the Library Behavior Policy.

2. use the equipment in an appropriate manner.  The user may not change any of the settings or damage/change the setup of either the hardware or the software of Library computers. Personal software may not be loaded or used on library computers. Attempts to circumvent or breach workstation, network, or host security within the Library or at other Internet sites, or to otherwise compromise the operation of or access to these systems or resources will result in denial of computer privileges.

3. respect intellectual property rights by making only authorized copies of copyrighted, licensed or otherwise-controlled software or data residing on the Internet and the World Wide Web. It is the user's responsibility to be aware of the display of any copyright notices and to obey the copyright laws of the United States and all other intellectual property rights. Responsibility for any consequences of copyright infringement lies with the user, and the Library expressly disclaims any liability or responsibility resulting from such use.

4. respect the privacy of others by not misrepresenting oneself as another user or by using another identity; by not attempting to modify or gain access to files, passwords or data belonging to others; and by not seeking disallowed access to any computer system via the Internet.

5. use the Library Internet connection and workstations in a lawful manner. Workstations cannot be used for any fraudulent or unlawful purpose, including activities prohibited under any applicable federal, Michigan or local laws. If it comes to the attention of the East Lansing Public Library that the library’s computers are being used for illegal or criminal activity of any kind, the Library will report to and cooperate with law enforcement officials in any manner authorized by state or federal statute.  These activities may include but are not limited to:

-Publishing or sending threatening, harassing, abusive, defamatory or libelous information.
-Advocating or soliciting illegal behavior.
-Exposing minors to sexually explicit materials deemed harmful to minors.

6. refrain from the display of obscene matter or sexually explicit matter on screens and/or printers. Such display will be construed as sexual harassment, and in the case of a minor, a violation of Michigan law and will result in revoking Internet privileges. As defined by federal and state law, users shall not access, send, receive or print materials that can be classified as child pornography2. Minors may not access, send, receive, print, or be exposed to materials that can be classified as obscene2 or harmful to minors3. The East Lansing Public Library, and the City of East Lansing, is committed to providing an environment free from sexual harassment.

7. follow Library procedures in downloading data from the Internet. Warning: downloaded data may contain computer viruses and/or malware.  The Library employs software to protect the integrity of the library’s computers and network, however, no piece of software is 100% effective.  The East Lansing Public Library is not responsible for damage to any user's personal equipment (discs, storage media or devices, or peripherals) or computer, or any loss of data, damage or liability that may occur from use of Library computers.

8. respect the policy that CD-ROM computers in the Children's Room are intended for use by children age 12 and under.

9. recognize that staff will provide assistance to users to the extent that time and customer demands allow. Library staff may assist users in getting started with computing resources. However, the Library cannot guarantee that staff fully trained in all aspects of software, Internet resources, or other technology will be available to assist users at all times the Library is open. Because of the many different applications and resources available, particularly on the Internet, staff may not be able to provide specialized or technical knowledge about a particular application. The Library’s collections contain materials that are available to computer users regarding assistance and guidance in use of software and other applications.

10.  use their own equipment to access the Library's wireless network which is unsecured, unencrypted and unfiltered.  They must abide by the Acceptable Use provisions of this policy when using this service.

Violations of the Computing Resources Policy

Users of the Library's computing resources must adhere to the Computing Resources Policy.  Failure to follow the Policy will result in the loss of the ability to use these services.  Staff is authorized to terminate any customer's session if the customer has failed to comply with this policy.

-Initial Violation:  Users observed violating this Computing Resources Policy will be asked to cease the violation with a verbal warning or on-screen message.  If the user does not comply with the request, the user's access to the Library's computing resources shall be terminated for the day and/or the user's access to the Library may be suspended, as determined by the Director or Director's authorized designee.

-Subsequent Violations:  The Director of the Director's authorized designee may further limit or revoke the patron's computer and/or Library privileges if infractions continue.  Such limitation or revocation shall be in writing specifying the period of time and the nature of the violation(s).

-Violations Affecting Safety and Security:  If the violations of the Library's Computing Resources Policy affects safety or security, or is a violation of law, the Library has the right to immediately call the police and terminate the user's Library computing resources or other Library privileges without complying with the procedure outlined above.  Illegal acts involving the Library's computing resources shall be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.  Any user who is denied access to the Library's computing resources may file a written appeal of this decision by sending a letter to the President of the Library Board within 10 business days.  The Library Board will render their decision within 60 days of receipt of the appeal.  The decision of the Library Board is final.

Revised and Updated by the Library Board of Trustees
May 20, 2009

1MCL 397.606 et seq. Library Privacy Act
2U.S. Code, Title 18, §§ 2256 (1) and (8)
3Michigan Obscene Material Act, P.A. 343 of 1984
4Michigan Harmful to Minors Act, P.A. 33 of 1978

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