Computer Use

While all NGRL libraries follow this policy, each library may have additional restrictions, including but not limited to, blocked access to social media websites, which can be removed upon request.

Northwest Georgia Regional Library System Computer Use and Internet Access Policy:

The use of the library’s computers and the Internet is a privilege, not a right. Inappropriate use will result in the cancellation of the privilege. All patrons are expected to use the library computers and the Internet in a legal and responsible manner, consistent with the educational and information purposes for which they are provided. Users may not violate federal, Georgia, local laws or ordinances, including the transmission or receiving of all pornography or harmful materials, fraud, or downloading copyrighted material.

No one under 12 years of age may access a computer lab PC without (1) a parent or guardian being in the library and (2) authorizing that child to use the lab at the start of the session.

Due to court decisions, all machines are filtered. Parents or guardians, not the library or its staff, are responsible for the Internet information selected and/or accessed by their children. Parents must supervise their children’s Internet sessions, as some information is sexually explicit, and other information may be controversial or inappropriate.

Under the Supreme Court’s decision and the government’s interpretation of the statute, libraries must turn off the filter upon request by an adult, without inquiring into the adult’s “purpose” for disabling the software. Under CIPA, a minor is anyone “who has not attained the age of 17.” Adults, therefore, include everyone 17 years old and older. CIPA provides that filters may only be disabled by a library administrator, supervisor, or other person authorized by the library for legitimate adult use.

That does not mean that the library cannot allow a child to be present at the workstation after his or her parent requests disabling of the filter. However, should the parent allow his or her child to use the computer, the parent is required to remain at the monitor during use of the (unfiltered) computer by his or her child. While allowing the child to “use” the unfiltered computer even in the presence of a parent does not literally comply with the statutory mandate, should a complaint arise, it is the parent, not the librarian, who bears the responsibility.

Information found on the Internet does not carry the library’s endorsement. While sites on the Internet are constantly increasing, not all these Internet sources provide accurate, complete or current information. Patrons need to be good information consumers, questioning the validity of the information found.

It is the responsibility of all library patrons to take steps to safeguard their personal information. The library assumes no liability resulting from the exchange of personal information on a library computer or through a library network. Personal information may include, but is not limited to, usernames, passwords, credit card information, or financial account information.

Library staff will answer basic questions about computer use and jargon. Staff cannot provide in-depth training on how to use the computer or Internet. Staff also cannot advise patrons on how to complete tax, financial, medical, or other private records due to liability issues.

The library computers each include an Internet browser, office applications, and miscellaneous programs such as CD burning software, Windows games, and accessibility features. The library allows use of removable storage devices. Patrons may purchase storage devices from a library staff member when items are available. The library is not responsible for damage to a patron’s data storage media or computer, or for any loss or corruption of data.

The library cannot guarantee that individual computers or computer resources such as the Internet or printers will always be available. The library does not guarantee that individual applications or Internet web-sites will be accessible or will work with the computers provided. The library reserves the right to perform maintenance, or conduct staff or patron training on the computers at any time.

No more than two individuals may use a single PC at any given time.

Northwest Georgia Regional Library System Policy Book, Effective April 1, 2013, page 10

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