Use a computer

XIV. Computer Use / Internet Policy

Policy regarding the use of public computers and the Internet at the Westgate Public Library


The Westgate Public Library provides access to electronic resources via the Internet through the use of our public access computers. Computers are available for public use during regular business hours. The purpose of providing public Internet access is to expose the public to the world of information available on the Internet and to provide equal access to that information for all individuals in the community.


The Internet is a global electronic network; the Westgate Public Library has no control over the content found there. The library will not censor access to material nor protect users from offensive information (except when it is contrary to law or poses a threat to other patrons) and it is not responsible for the availability and accuracy of information found on the Internet.


Although the library uses anti-virus software on its computers, absolute protection is not guaranteed. The library cannot assure that data or files downloaded by users are virus-free. The library is not responsible for damages to equipment or data on a user’s personal computer from the use of data downloaded from the library’s Internet service.


The use of the Internet and e-mail is not guaranteed to be private. Messages relating to or in support of illegal activities will be reported to the proper authorities.


The following procedures govern the use of the library computers:


·        Check in at the Circulation Desk is required prior to using any of the library computers. Users will be asked to read the policy and sign a user’s agreement.

·        In order to make computer access available to as many patrons as possible, a time limit for usage has been imposed. Internet use is offered in 60 minute sessions on a first-come, first-served basis; each user is allowed one session---if there is no patron waiting for the service at the end of s session, the user can have another session, but once having had the service for 60 minutes the user must abandon use of the Internet if another patron requests use of the service.

·        Users may use the Internet for research and the acquisition of information to address their educational, vocational, cultural and recreational needs.

·        Users may use the Internet for the receipt and transmission of electronic mail (e-mail) as long as they use free e-mail service which will establish and maintain an account for them; the library is unable to manage e-mail accounts for any organization or individuals.

·        A personal electronic storage device may be used to save information from a computer. The library is not responsible for any damage to personal electronic storage device when used in library computers.

·        Individual software may not be installed or used to alter or attach equipment to the library’s hardware or attempt to bypass security features.

·        Users shall not create and/or distribute computer viruses over the Internet.

·        Each user is responsible for complying with copyright law and adhering to software licensing agreements, as well as all local, state and federal laws including, but not limited to, those concerning, fraud , privacy or obscenity.

·        Users agree not to incur costs for the library through their use of the Internet service.

·        Library staff may be able to help with basic computer use and startup procedures, but may not be able to provide information on the use of each software program.

·        Users shall not deliberately or willfully cause damage to computer equipment, programs or parameters.

·        Misuse of the computer may result in suspension or loss of computer privileges.

·        No drinks are allowed at the computer station.


The following procedures govern access to the Internet from the library:

·        Internet communications shall be considered private, and confidentiality will be encouraged within the limits of public environment, the technology of the equipment, and the requirements of law.

·        The Internet user may encounter closed or restricted databases and resources for which the library accepts no responsibility:


1.      The host computer has been “overloaded” by Internet visitors and has closed down or limited access.

2.      The host computer is no longer maintained or has changed its address or Universal Resource Locator (URL).

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

4.      Westgate Public Library Internet connection may be temporarily closed down for maintenance or due to technical difficulties.

·        As is the case with other materials in the library’s collection, any restriction of a child’s access to the Internet is the responsibility of the parent or legal guardian. The Westgate Public Library cannot act as a censor or substitute parent. It is the responsibility of the parents to provide the oversight to ensure their children’s use of the Internet in a safe and appropriate manner, including the proper use of expensive computer equipment. Children under the age of 18 must have an Internet User’s Agreement signed by a parent or guardian and on file at the library.