Public Use Computers, Internet Access, and Internet Safety
Fort Scott Public Library
The purpose of this policy is to define computer and Internet services provided by the library and to restrict access to those materials which are child pornography, obscene, or harmful to minors.
The Fort Scott Public Library is committed to meeting the information needs of the people we serve by providing the greatest possible information access within the means of the library and within the limitations of policy and law.
The library is concerned for the safety and security of users who access online information. The library has no control over the content of the Internet and cannot be held responsible for what the user sees when using the Internet. The restricting of a minor’s access to the Internet beyond that required by this policy is the responsibility of the parent or legal guardian. The safety and security of users’ access to the Internet require those persons to be cautious, thoughtful, protective of personal information, and respectful of library policy and state and federal laws.
A user will not use a library computer:
- to access or display information that is obscene or child pornography as defined by Kansas law
- if a minor, to access or display information that is harmful to minors
- to participate in e-mail, chat-rooms, or instant messages that use information that is obscene as defined by Kansas law
- to disclose, use or disseminate personal information that could threaten or create a vulnerability for a minor, for any other person, or for the library
- to attempt to gain unauthorized access to any data, computer, or network
- to distribute unsolicited advertising
- to invade the privacy of others
- to participate in any activity that is deliberately offensive or creates an intimidating or hostile environment
- to engage in any activity that is harassing or defamatory
- to make any attempt to damage computer equipment or software
- to use the Internet for any illegal activity, including violation of copyright or other rights of third parties, or in a manner inconsistent with the Library’s tax-exempt status or its proper operation
- for any illegal purpose
Users should be aware that the Internet is not a secure medium and that third parties may be able to obtain information regarding users’ activities. Fort Scott Public Library will not release information about the use of specific resources by members of the public except as required by law or as necessary for the proper operation of the Library.
The library shall use a DNS-based filter. Such filter shall be configured as nearly as possible to prevent access to materials that is obscene, child pornography, or harmful to minors while allowing access to other information.
It is recognized that filters do not block all inappropriate sites or allow access to all legitimate sites. The filter will be disabled upon request by an adult, or for a minor to enable access for bona fide research and other lawful purposes. Computers must not be used to display sexually explicit images as defined by Kansas law, even when sites are not blocked by the filter or when the filter is disabled.
Patrons who encounter web sites which they believe should be blocked but which are not, or who are prevented from accessing web sites which they believe should not be blocked, may submit a complaint. This should be given in writing to the senior employee in charge and include the URL of the site in question and whether the request is to block or unblock it. Staff shall examine the site and determine whether it should be blocked or unblocked. If the filter currently being used is a regional service, the information and recommendation shall be forwarded to the appropriate regional staff.
Complaints about enforcement of this policy or observed patron behavior which violate this policy shall also be submitted in writing to the senior staff person in charge, providing as much detail as possible.
The library shall inform patrons of the provisions of this policy, including the standards used and procedures for complaint, by making the policy available on the library’s web site and in print at the circulation desk.
Patrons may not load software on the computers. Files may not be saved to the hard disk, but may be saved to the patron’s own storage devices. Although reasonable precautions will be taken, the library does not guarantee the hard disks to be virus free and assumes no liability for virus infections if persons save files to their own disks.
Absolutely no food or drink is allowed at the public computers.
The use of tobacco products is not allowed in the library. This includes at the computer terminals.
Anyone using the public access computers is expected to behave in an appropriate manner. Inappropriate behavior includes, but is not limited to: rowdiness, excessive noise, and talking on cell phones.
Before using a public computer, please check in at the counter and pick up a numbered card for your assigned computer.
Use of public access computers is assigned in one hour increments. When your hour ends, if you still wish to use the computer and if no one is waiting for a computer, you will be assigned another hour of computer time. When your second hour ends, you may continue to use the computer if you wish until someone else needs a computer. At that time, you will have 5 minutes to finish. If you refuse to leave the computer, staff will shut down the computer.
You may use the library computers more than once per day.
Library staff will maintain a record of public computer use by using the clocks on staff computers
The cost for all pages printed from public access computers is 10 cents, even if you provide your own paper. You must pay for all pages printed. Library staff do not have any control as to the content of printed pages. Please pay at the circulation desk. No printer access is provided on the wi-fi network.
No more than 2 people may be at any public access computer at one time.
All public computers will be shut down 15 minutes before closing time. All users will be asked to leave the computers at this time. We will try to give a warning ahead of time. At 15 minutes before closing, we will shut down the computers whether you are finished or not.
Since the story room is used for other activities, the computers in it will be unavailable for public use at certain times. These times will be posted on the door of the story room.
Library staff members offer assistance with basic computer and internet procedures as time permits but do not provide in-depth support for computer usage or technical issues.
Patrons may use their own laptops or other devices to use the library’s wi-fi network. The library does not provide technical assistance in configuring a patron’s device for wireless Internet. Due to insurance requirements, personal electronic devices may not be plugged in to a library electrical outlet.
Users of the library wi-fi must follow the same guidelines, where applicable, as for other Internet use. Therefore, sexually explicit images may not be displayed, and the network may not be used to send threatening, obscene, abusive or harassing messages, or for any illegal purposes.
Public wi-fi is not secure. Information sent to and from a patron laptop computer may be captured by someone else with a wireless device and appropriate software. The library assumes no responsibility for the safety of patron equipment or data resulting from connection to the library’s wireless access.
Violations of this policy may result in loss of access to computing resources at Fort Scott Public Library. Patrons who feel that their computer privileges have been unjustly terminated may ask to be placed on the agenda for a library board meeting and may discuss reinstatement of privileges with the library board.
10/15/02; rev 5/20/03; rev 01/18/05; 4/19/05, rev 9/09, rev 04/17/12; rev 11/17/2015