Internet & Computer Use Policy
Internet and Computer Use
The Internet is not a single network; rather, it is a group of thousands of individual networks connecting thousands of computers all over the world and millions of individual subscribers, which have chosen to allow traffic to pass among them. The traffic sent out to the Internet may actually traverse several different networks before it reaches its destination. The Internet was developed to support open research and education in and among US research and instructional institutions, plus research arms of for-profit firms when engaged in open scholarly communication and research.
Philosophy of Library Internet Use
The Internet is a tool for lifelong learning. Users may access and use resources from computers around the world, significantly expanding their available information base. The Internet connection for the Warren-Trumbull County Public Library is provided through OPLIN (Ohio Public Library Information Network), a state-funded program.
Computer and Internet access are a privilege, not a right, which may be revoked at any time for abusive conduct. Such conduct includes, but is not limited to violations listed under Appropriate Use of Public Computers (INFOT-1 Regulation 3). Users will adhere to the policies and procedures established by the library and by the administrators of any networks accessed. Use of computing resources must follow the guidelines of all the networks traversed.
Disclaimer on Net Content
Sites accessible via the Internet may contain material that is illegal, defamatory, inaccurate, or potentially offensive to some people. While the library’s intent is to make Internet access available to further the educational and informational needs of its users, users will have the ability to access other materials as well. In offering Internet access, the library staff cannot control access points, which often change rapidly and unpredictably. The Internet is a fluid environment, the information that will be available to users is constantly changing; therefore, it is impossible to predict with certainty what information might be located. Individual users must take responsibility for their own actions in navigating the network. Parents of minor children must assume responsibility for their children’s use of the Internet in the library.
Third Party Supplied Information
Opinions, advice, services and all other information expressed by users, information providers, service providers, or other third party personnel on the Internet are those of the provider and not of W-TCPL or OPLIN. W-TCPL specifically denies any responsibility for the accuracy or quality of information obtained through its services. W-TCPL makes no warranties of any kind, whether expressed or implied, for the Internet service it is providing. W-TCPL also disclaims any warranty of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.
Connectivity & System Use
The library will attempt to keep equipment and the local network fully operational. However, the library is not responsible for system failures at the local or wider levels. There is no guarantee that the operation of the system will be uninterrupted or error-free or that defects in the system will be corrected. Internet access is provided on an “as is, as available” basis.
W-TCPL will not be responsible for any damages, direct or indirect, arising from use of its connections to Internet services. This includes loss of data resulting from delays, non-deliveries, misdeliveries, or service interruptions caused by W-TCPL’s own negligence or the user’s errors or omissions. Some sources may not be available at certain times.
Internet Functions Not Supported
The W-TCPL does not provide any data storage space for public use. Users must download to their own storage media or print. Social Internet chat rooms and instant messaging services for juveniles, and visiting “X-rated” web sites are prohibited by this library’s Internet use policies.
Who can use the Internet from library-based computers
The Internet may be accessed by any library user, except those who have been sanctioned for improper use. Parents of minor children must assume responsibility for their children’s use of the Internet in the library.
Appropriate uses of library computers
Effective March 20, 2001, Trumbull County residents using library computers must have a valid Warren-Trumbull County Library card in good standing. Library computers may be used for word processing, data organization and analysis, database research, Internet access (other than chat sites) and other applications for personal or educational purposes. Users are expected to observe appropriate computer etiquette at all times. This includes:
Be polite, using appropriate language. Never send or encourage others to send abusive, threatening, libelous, slanderous or harassing materials. Avoid offensive or inflammatory speech. Never swear, use vulgarities, obscenities or any other inappropriate language. Your monitor is visible to other users.
Be responsible. Do not disrupt the use of others, whether in the library or connected to the Internet. It is not acceptable to use library computers to interfere with or disrupt network users, services, or equipment. Disruptions include, but are not limited to, distribution of unsolicited advertising; the uploading or creation of embedded messages, computer viruses, worms, etc.; using the network to make unauthorized entry to any other machine accessible via the network (hacking); destruction or damage to equipment, software, or data belonging to the library, any of the agencies or other networks that are connected to OPLIN or the NSFNET Internet backbone, or other users. “Computer viruses” are programs developed as pranks to destroy computer programs and data.
Respect copyright laws. Users may download copyrighted material for their own use. Any user may also non-commercially redistribute a copyrighted program with the expressed permission of the owner or authorized person. Permission must be specified in the document or must be obtained directly from the author. Users may save public domain programs for their own use on their own device or non-commercially redistribute a public domain program. User assumes all risks regarding the determination of whether a program is in the public domain. Unauthorized copying of copyright-protected material or violation of software license agreements is a violation of federal law.
Be ethical. Use library computers and the Internet for purposes appropriate to the library setting. Examples of unacceptable purposes (some of which may also have legal consequences) include, but are not limited to, the following:
· Accessing material of a sexually explicit or violent nature.
· Unauthorized use of computer accounts, access codes, network identification numbers assigned to others
· Use of computer communications facilities in ways that unnecessarily impede the computing activities of others (such as randomly initiating interactive electronic communications or e-mail exchanges, overuse of interactive network facilities, etc.)
· Violation of network usage policies and regulations.
· Violation of another user’s privacy. Re-posting personal communications without the original author’s prior consent is a violation of the author’s privacy. However, all messages posted in a public forum such as newsgroups or listservs may be copied in subsequent communications, so long as proper attribution is given.
· Violation of any local, state or federal laws.
· Plagiarizing material written by others.
The library endorses cooperative computing. This includes:
– Refraining from overuse of connect time, information storage space, printing facilities, or processing capacity.
– Refraining from use of sounds and visuals which might be disruptive to others.
– Refraining from use of any computing resource in an irresponsible manner.
All public computers are subject to random monitoring by library staff to insure compliance with library policies.