Computer & Internet use

Computer and Internet Use Policy

Electronic information research skills are now essential in the educational preparations of students and adults. Access to the internet enables people to explore thousands of libraries, databases, and other resources around the world. In making decisions regarding access to electronic information and the internet, the Bristol Public Library considers its own stated mission, goals, and objectives. The Bristol Public Library reserves the right to set and enforce rules and regulations concerning the use of the Internet and other computer resources.

Providing access to electronic information services, networks, and the internet is not the same as selecting and purchasing material for a library collection. Some information accessed electronically may not meet the library’s selection or collection development policy. It is, therefore, left to each user to determine what is appropriate. Parents who are concerned about their children’s use of electronic resources should supervise their children.

Responsibilities of users
• The user is responsible for the correct use of the computer systems and its tools. Patrons are not allowed to install computer programs on the library’s computers. Users will be held liable for damages as a result of improper use.
• Information gathered while using computer systems or the internet should be downloaded to the user’s portable storage devices. All information saved on the hard drive of the library’s computers will be deleted.
• While using the internet, computer users continue to be responsible for supervising the behavior of children who have accompanied them to the library. If a child is disruptive, you may be asked to terminate your computer use early and supervise the child.
• The user is responsible for complying with all copyright laws, patents, and licensing agreements.
• The library staff reserves the right to request photo identification of persons requesting to use the computers.
• No eating is allowed at library computers. There is a designated snack table for patrons to use in the Teen section of the library. Covered drinks are allowed at the computers.

Computers and Internet Use (Legal and Ethical)

Computers and their resources must be used only for legal purposes by the public and library staff. Examples of illegal use include, but are not limited to:
• Display or dissemination of sexually explicit or sexually suggestive (obscene/pornographic) material.
• Unlawful or malicious activities
• Libel or slander of others or the library
• Using abusive or objectionable language
• Harassment of others
• Unauthorized copying of copyright-protected materials
• Destruction or damage to equipment, software, data found on computers
• Violation of computer system security
• Destruction or tampering with computer files
• Use of spamming software or other high bandwidth usage programs
• Use of Internet chat programs
Any violations or inappropriate use of the library computer systems or the internet will result in loss of computer use and or library privileges, and possible removal from the library premises. Authorities will be notified if child pornography is found on a public computer.

Staff assistance

Staff provides limited assistance for basic start-up procedures. Library staff will not provide in-depth instruction for users. If specific information is needed, staff members will assist you in acquiring information, or will contact you at a later date with information you require.

Time Limits:

Children (16 and under) are allowed two hours per day, unless studying for school assignments. Adults are allowed three hours per day, unless studying for school assignments. If a user is studying for a school assignment, he/she may have all the time they need to complete their studying during library hours.


The cost of printing is $0.50 per page of color; $0.10 per page for black and white.


Users may download information onto their own portable storage devices.


The Bristol Public Library is not responsible for the following

• The accuracy of the information found on the internet, or other computer systems.
• Sites found on the internet that the user considers objectionable
• Lost data or information downloaded from the internet or computer files.
• Viruses obtained through computer use
• Personal property or information damaged while using the computer.
• The Library does not offer direct access to e-mail accounts.
• Information obtained through inappropriate or illegal use of the library’s internet connection.

Filtering software/technology protection measures

It is the decision of the library board to use filtering software for all computers accessing the internet. We acknowledge, however, the fact that no software is totally accurate in filtering internet sites. Errors may occur in the filtering process. The filtering software is not meant to discourage internet use, but to promote the idea that the internet should be used primarily as a tool for professional and educational research.

Wireless internet connectivity

Wireless internet connectivity is offered to patrons who have their own laptop computer or wireless device. There are no time limits on wireless use. Patrons using the Library’s connectivity will be subject to all other policies stated above, including filtering.

Approved by the Bristol Public Library Board of Trustees on December 21, 2017