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

Northwest Georgia Regional Library System’s Wireless Internet Access Policy

The Northwest Georgia Regional Library provides free wireless Internet access points or “hotspots” for users with portable computers or devices capable of receiving wireless signals during normal library business hours. These “hot spots” will allow users to access the Internet from their laptop computers within range of the access points.

Library staff will provide general information on the settings necessary to access the Internet via these connections, but are not responsible for any changes a user makes to the computer’s settings and cannot guarantee the hardware will work with the library’s wireless connection. If a user has problems accessing the Internet over these connections, staff will verify the library’s connections are up and running, but they cannot assist in making changes to the user’s network settings or perform any troubleshooting on the user’s own computer. Please refer to the owner’s manual or other support services offered by the device manufacturer.

As with most public wireless “hotspots”, the library’s wireless connection is not secure. There can be untrusted parties between a user and the party in a line of computer communication. Another wireless user could potentially intercept any information being sent or received. Please take appropriate precautions when using this service.

The library will not be responsible for any information (i.e. credit card) that is compromised, or for any damage caused to a user’s hardware or software due to electric surges, security issues, or consequences caused by viruses or security issues. All wireless access users are advised to have up-to-date virus protection on their laptop computers or wireless devices.

Printers are not available via the wireless connection. If a user needs to print, he/she should save work to a removable storage device or e-mail files to himself/herself, then login to a wired library workstation and send jobs to the public printer.

Use of the “hotspots” is governed by the library’s Computer Use and Internet Access Policy. All users are expected to use the library’s wireless access in a legal and responsible manner, consistent with the educational and informational purposes for which it is provided. Users may not violate federal, Georgia, local laws or ordinances, including the transmission or receiving of pornography or harmful materials, or fraudulent material. Patrons may not download copyrighted material with permission of the owner.

(Adopted April 25, 2006)

Northwest Georgia Regional Library System Policy Book, Effective April 1, 2013, page 12

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