Beaufort County Library Logo

Computer user at the
Beaufort Branch Library
Computer and Internet Use Policy

Approved by the Beaufort County Library Board of Trustees
on May 9, 2001
, as amended.
Updated on January 24, 2006.

Table of Contents:

SECTION [A]: PURPOSE AND WHO MAY USE:

[A](1) PURPOSE
[A]
(2) ACCESS
[A](3) PRINTING CHARGES
[A](4) LENGTH OF SESSIONS


SECTION [B]: CONDITIONS OF USE:

[B](1) SIGNED AGREEMENT REQUIRED BEFORE USE
[B](2) HONORING COPYRIGHT AND SOFTWARE LICENSES

[B](3) OTHER TERMS OF USE
[B](4) LOSS OF PRIVILEGES FOR VIOLATION OF POLICY AND OTHER PENALTIES
[B](5) INTERRUPTION OF SESSIONS


SECTION [C]: LIMITATIONS AND DISCLAIMERS ON USE:

[C](1) LIMITS ON INTERNET PROTOCOLS AVAILABLE (E-mail, news groups, chat, etc.)
[C](2) LEVEL OF STAFF TRAINING AND ASSISTANCE AVAILABLE
[C](3) ENDORSEMENT OF AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION POLICIES
[C](4) PRIVACY/CONFIDENTIALITY OF PATRON USE
[C](5) FILTERING OR BLOCKING SOFTWARE
[C](6) LIMITATIONS ON NUMBER OF USERS AT ONE PC UNIT
[C](7) LIBRARY’S DISCLAIMER AND LIMITATION OF LIABILITY STATEMENT ABOUT INTERNET CONTENT
[C](8) APPEAL PROCESS
[C](9) USE OF PATRON-OWNED SOFTWARE/DISKETTES ON LIBRARY PCs
[C](10) INTERNET ACCESS PROBLEMS BEYOND THE CONTROL OF LIBRARY STAFF
[C](11) LAPTOP COMPUTERS


SECTION [D]: CHILDREN’S ISSUES:

[D](1) SUPERVISION BY PARENT(S) OR LEGAL GUARDIAN(S)


SECTION [E]: APPROVAL STATEMENT BY LIBRARY BOARD OF TRUSTEES


SECTION [F]: COMMITTEE MEMBERS FOR 1999 REVISION


SECTION [A] PURPOSE AND ACCESS:

[A](1) PURPOSE:

In accordance with the Beaufort County Public Library System mission statement, this document constitutes a Library-wide policy for the management of computer data networks and the resources they make available, as well as stand-alone computers that are owned and administered by the Beaufort County Public Library System. The Library has established this policy to ensure equitable, responsible and appropriate use of computer technologies within the Library's facilities.

[A](2) ACCESS :

1. All registered borrowers of the Library will have free and equal access to those computer resources in the Library that have been equipped with filtering software (See Item 7 for terms of access for persons not registered as borrowers). Users of all Library computers (except terminals for the online catalog) must submit a signed The Internet Agreement and Parental Permission Agreement (See section [B]).

2. Licensing agreements with providers of online subscription databases limit remote access to these resources to registered borrowers of the Library (the databases are available from library PCs to those who have signed the use agreement, however).

3. Only adult users (ages 18 and older) may request the unfiltered computers permitted by Proviso 72.95 of the 2001-2002 South Carolina Appropriations Act. Where these PCs are available, staff will inform each patron that a computer is unfiltered before assigning it. All public access Internet computers at the Lobeco and St. Helena locations will be filtered.

4. Because the Internet exists as an unregulated medium and existing software does not effectively exclude all pornographic or other content that some users may find offensive, access by library users ages seven (7) through seventeen (17) will require a signed Parental Permission Agreement (signed by a parent or legal guardian). Verification of age may be required.

The Beaufort County Public Library System assumes no responsibility for monitoring the use of the Internet by children.

5. When unregistered users ages seven (7) through seventeen (17) intentionally access the Internet on library computers, the parents or legal guardians will receive a notice to discuss the infraction with library staff. The child may not access any library computers until the parents or legal guardians have met with library staff and have signed a Parental Permission Agreement on their child's behalf. Further infractions may result in loss of computer use privileges. The severity of the infraction requires additional documentation for use of the Internet and all other kinds of computer use by the child.

6. Patrons may use PCs that have been dedicated to access Library-selected Internet web sites only (for example, the full-text Discus and NewsBank periodical databases) without having to complete an Internet Agreement or Parental Permission Agreement. Use of these specific resources is free of charge to all persons.

7. Access to Internet resources, excluding printing charges and supplies, will be free of charge to registered borrowers of the Beaufort County Public Library System. For persons not registered as borrowers, there is a charge of $2.00 per Internet session (as described in Section [A](4), "Length of Sessions").

[A](3) PRINTING CHARGES:

Printing charges are ten cents ($.10) per page of copy for the first one hundred (100) pages. Thereafter, the charges are fifty cents ($.50) per page. These charges include all pages transacted by the patron (b) per day, including blank sheets and any other unwanted printouts. (c) Patrons should consult staff if unsure of printing limitations.

[A](4) LENGTH OF SESSIONS:

1. Patrons may use the Internet terminals for one hour per session. Sessions may be extended beyond the hour only when there are no other patrons waiting. Users must relinquish use of the PC to the next user immediately at the end of a session, without delay for print jobs or other unfinished computer functions.

2. In order that others may have a chance to use these computer resources, users will wait (90) minutes after completing a session before they can sign up for another session.

3. All sessions end without delay at the daily shutdown time for computers.


SECTION [B] CONDITIONS OF USE:

[B](1) SIGNED AGREEMENT REQUIRED BEFORE USE:

The Internet Agreement and Parental Permission Agreement apply to Internet access only. However, patrons must sign in to use all computer resources except the online catalog in order to ensure equitable access to these resources. Unless otherwise stated in Library procedure, the time limits for these other computer resources are the same as for the Internet.

Because existing filtering software does not effectively exclude all potential access to pornographic or other content that some users may find offensive, the requirement for a signed agreement applies to both filtered and unfiltered public access PCs.

[B](2) HONORING COPYRIGHT AND SOFTWARE LICENSES::

U. S. Copyright law (Title 17, US Code) prohibits the unauthorized reproduction or distribution of copyrighted materials (including electronic mail, text, images, programs or data) without the explicit permission of the copyright holder. Any responsibility for consequences of copyright infringement lies with the user; the Library expressly disclaims any liability or responsibility resulting from such use.

[B](3) OTHER TERMS OF USE:

Internet use will be managed in a manner consistent with the Library’s Appropriate Behavior Policy. The following rules must be observed.

USERS MAY NOT:

{1} Use a computer other than the assigned machine.

{2} Engage in any activity that is disruptive to other Library users (including intrusive use of sound and/or visuals or cell phones).

{3} Gain unauthorized access to the Library's network or computer systems, or to any other network or computer system.

{4} Damage or attempt to damage computer equipment or software.

{5} Use personal software on Library computers; attempt to install software; alter, delete or add to computer files/setting/configurations in any way; store files in Library hard-drives; move computer equipment; or download or upload files to terminals other than appropriate files to word processor PCs.

{6} Violate copyright laws or software licensing agreements.

{7} Violate federal, state, or local laws or regulations.

{8} Monopolize PCs.

{9} Create bookmarks, favorites or icons.

{10} Make any attempt to cause degradation of system performance.

{11} Overuse interactive network utilities (users may not obstruct other people's work by consuming large amounts of system resources or by deliberately crashing any Library computer system).

{12} Make irresponsible use of any computing resources.

{13} Violate the privacy, individual rights and privileges of other users.

{14} Violate any article of the Beaufort County Public Library System Computer and Internet Use Policy.

{15} Bypass Web-filtering software or instruct or demonstrate to another person how to bypass the Web-filtering technology.

{16} Use stations to access or disseminate obscene, pornographic, or illegal material in any Library building. The sending or displaying of obscene (as defined by SC Code 16-15-305) or disruptive messages or images is forbidden.

See the following memo from Kelly J. Golden, Staff Attorney of County Council of Beaufort County:

MEMO

To: Wlodek Zaryczny, Division Head, Beaufort County Library

CC:

 

Frank Guth, Chief Information Officer
Gary Kubic, Administrator
Members, Beaufort County Library Board
Date: December 21, 2005

Re: Internet at Libraries

Attached please find copies of S.C. Code §§ 10-1-205-206.

S.C. Code § 10-1-205 regulates internet use in a public library by policies to be determined by the library's governing board. Included in the adopted policy manual are procedures intended to reduce the ability of the user to access web sites which contain obscenity, material harmful to minors, child exploitation, and child prostitution, as defined in Article 3, Chapter 15 of Title 16 of the S.C. Code of Laws.

S.C. Code § 10-1-206(D) states "any person blocked from an Internet site he believes contains materials that does not meet the criteria listed... and desires to access such Internet site, may make a request that the institution unblock the specified site." Criteria relative to this section include restrictive access to sources of information or images that are considered obscene including hard-core pornography and child pornography, and to limit or restrict access to sources of pornographic information or images that could be obscene as to
minors or harmful to minors.

I hope this information is helpful to you. Should you have any questions or comments please do not hesitate to contact me.

Kindest regards,

Kelly J. Golden

KJG/sdb

[B](4) LOSS OF PRIVILEGES FOR VIOLATION OF POLICY
AND OTHER PENALTIES:
:

1. Violators of computer access and use policies may lose access and library privileges. Violations of Beaufort County Public Library System policies for the legal, ethical, and appropriate use of computing resources will be dealt with in a serious and appropriate manner. Illegal acts involving Library computing resources may also be subject to prosecution of the violator by local, state or federal authorities.

2. When users ages seven (7) through seventeen (17) violate the conditions of use of the Library's Internet and Computer Use Policy, the parents or legal guardians will receive a notice to discuss the infraction with library staff. The child may not access any library computers until the parents or legal guardians have met with library staff and have signed a Parental Permission Agreement on their child's behalf. Further infractions may result in loss of computer use privileges.

[B](5) INTERRUPTION OF SESSIONS:

All Library staff have the authority to end any computer session and to instruct the user to cease and desist from further use of Library electronic resources.


SECTION [C] LIMITATIONS AND DISCLAIMERS ON USE:

[C](1) LIMITS ON INTERNET PROTOCOLS AVAILABLE
(E-mail, news groups, chat, telnet, FTP):

1. The Library is not an Internet vendor and will not provide E-mail accounts and file transfer, usenet access or FTP. Only Internet-accessible E-mail accounts can be accessed.

2. The Library will disable access to all but the World Wide Web and search engines on its Internet access software whenever possible.

3. The Library will not offer dial-in connections to the Internet from home PCs.

[C](2) LEVEL OF STAFF TRAINING AND ASSISTANCE AVAILABLE:

Reference staff will assist with all computer resources and the Internet as time allows. Because of Library scheduling, however, reference staff may not always be available. The availability of staff and the needs of other Library users will necessarily affect the extent of assistance in computer use. The levels of computer experience will vary from staff member to staff member. Library staff will provide limited assistance for basic start-up procedures.

The best way to learn the Internet and other software is by repeated independent use. Users should also consult self-guided materials for Internet access and other programs available at the library to increase their own knowledge of computer resources and procedures.

[C](3): ENDORSEMENT OF AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION POLICIES:

The Beaufort County Public Library System endorses the American Library Association's "Guidelines for the Development and Implementation of Policies", "Regulations and Procedures Affecting Access to Library Materials, Services and Facilities", and the "Library Bill of Rights".

[C](4) PRIVACY/CONFIDENTIALITY OF PATRON USE:

While the Beaufort County Public Library System upholds users' rights to privacy and confidentiality in their use of all library resources, the nature of electronic resources makes it impossible to guarantee these rights. Ultimate responsibility for resolution of problems related to the invasion of the user's privacy or loss of data rests with the user. The Library assumes no liability for loss or damage to the users' data or for any damage or injury arising from invasion of the users' privacy.

Users should be aware that any information left on Library computers may be accessed by other users. This information will be deleted occasionally by Library staff, but privacy cannot be insured.

[C](5) FILTERING OR BLOCKING SOFTWARE:

The Beaufort County Library Board of Trustees firmly believes that decisions affecting local public library systems are the province of local library boards, governments and parents, and will oppose any attempt to make Budget Proviso of the 2001-2002 South Carolina Appropriations Act permanent. However, the Board has reluctantly voted to require filters to be placed on public access computers for Fiscal Year 2002 in compliance Budget Proviso 72.95.

In compliance with the Proviso, the Beaufort County Library System must equip ninety percent of its public access computers with Web-filtering software. Up to ten percent systemwide, and at least one, of the system's public access computers may be unfiltered.

[C](6) LIMITATIONS ON NUMBER OF USERS AT ONE PC UNIT:

1. Because space is limited and increased noise from group conversations is disruptive to others, no more than two people may gather at one workstation. Scheduled instructional sessions constitute exceptions to this rule. In addition to a second party, parents may bring infants up to six months of age to the computer terminals provided that the infants' behavior is not disruptive to other library patrons.

2. For personal safety, children seven (7) years old and under must remain with an adult at all times in the building. The responsibility to accompany children seven (7) years of age and under supersedes the right of the patron to access the Internet and other computer resources.

3. Users who abandon machines for any length of time risk the chance of those computers being claimed by the next assigned user.

[C](7) LIBRARY’S DISCLAIMER
AND LIMITATION OF LIABILITY STATEMENT
ABOUT INTERNET CONTENT:

Library staff cannot control or monitor Internet access points that change rapidly and unpredictably. Some material on the Internet may contain items that are illegal, inaccurate, defamatory, and potentially offensive and/or disturbing to some people. The Library is not accountable for changes of content within the unregulated sources to which we link, primary or secondary.

As with printed information, not all sources on the Internet are accurate, complete or current information. Users should evaluate Internet sources just as printed publications, questioning the validity of the information provided.

The Library does not have the authority to act in place of the parent or legal guardian and so assumes no responsibility for the use of the Internet by children. The parents and legal guardians of minor children are solely responsible for restricting their children's use of the Internet through the Library's connections.

The Library upholds and affirms the right of each individual to have access to constitutionally protected material. Because it is the individual users who are the selectors in using the Internet, those users must accept the ultimate responsibility for determining the content they want and need. The Library's policy prohibits all inappropriate use of the Internet, in spite of the fact that users may have the ability to access offensive information and visual materials. Patrons use the Internet at their own risk and discretion, and they alone are responsible for the access points they choose to reach and for following the guidelines of all networks traversed.

The Library assumes no responsibility or liability for the effectiveness of the filtering software product that it has implemented in compliance with state law.

[C](8) APPEAL PROCESS:

Patrons may appeal the selection or availability of specific electronic resources owned and administered by the Beaufort County Public Library System through the same procedure of due process for all material formats as described in the Library's Collection Development Policy.

[C](9) USE OF PATRON-OWNED SOFTWARE/DISKETTES ON LIBRARY PCs:

Disks may be used only for saving or downloading. The loading of one's own programs and products onto library computers is not permitted. Please note, however, that certain machines may not be enabled to accept diskettes.

[C](10) TECHNICAL PROBLEMS:

1. Patrons may not be able to access the Internet for a number of reasons beyond the control of Library staff. These reasons include, but are not limited to, the following:

{1} The web site or the system has been "overloaded" by Internet visitors, and has closed down or has limited access;

{2} The web site or the system is no longer maintained or may have changed its address (this may be a permanent or temporary condition);

{3} The database or computer is accessible only to users affiliated with a specific licensed organization;

{4} Browser or site limitations may prevent printing.

{5} Filtering software malfunctions may disable access to the Internet.

2. In these and similar cases, users should attempt access again at a later time or try other search strategies. Various web sites are available to explain common Internet error messages and what to do about them. All computer systems may experience technological problems that will necessitate temporary interruption or termination of access.

[C](11) LAPTOP COMPUTERS:

Users may plug their own laptop computers into available electrical outlets in a Library facility's public service area provided that the connection does not pose a safety hazard (for example, tripping over cords) or an obstacle (like cords blocking free movement) to others. Library staff will suggest appropriate outlets for use.

Laptop users may not connect their computers to Library printers or to Library phone and telecommunication jacks.


SECTION [D] CHILDREN’S ISSUES:

[D](1) SUPERVISION BY PARENT(S) OR LEGAL GUARDIAN(S):

Parents and legal guardians are encouraged to work closely with their children in selecting material that is consistent with personal and family values and boundaries.

The Library also upholds and affirms the right and responsibility of parents and legal guardians to determine and monitor their children's use of this and other library materials and resources. It is not the responsibility of the Library staff to determine and monitor this use for children. Parents and legal guardians should let their children know if there are materials which they do not want them to use and should supervise their children's Internet sessions. Only parents and legal guardians may restrict children from access to Internet resources accessible through the Library.

It is the position of the Library that existing filtering software is an inadequate safeguard against pornography and other content that some users may find offensive.


SECTION [E]: APPROVAL STATEMENT BY LIBRARY BOARD OF TRUSTEES

This policy was approved by the Beaufort County Library Board of Trustees on May 9, 2001 and amended by the Board on September 12, 2001. It is subject to Board revision.


SECTION [F]: COMMITTEE FOR 2001 REVISION

Dennis Adams (Chair), Information Services Coordinator

Wendy Allen, Beaufort Location, Children's Services Coordinator

Baiba Appelbaum, Hilton Head Island Reference Librarian

Michael Broam, Beaufort Circulation Services Representative

Talaia Greene, Hilton Head Island Circulation Services Representative

Scott Strawn, Lobeco Location Manager

Search the Library's website
 

| Library Policies |
| Return to Home Page | Website User Agreement |

Last Revised 2-23-07. Send comments on this web page to Webmaster.
Copyright © 2007, Beaufort County Library, SC
All Rights Reserved.
 
Beaufort County Seal. Click to go to County website
 
 
 
Beaufort County Library, 311 Scott Street, Beaufort, SC 29902 || Telephone: (843) 470-6504
Fax: (843) 470-6542