Electronic Access Policy

(Approved Feb. 16, 2000; reviewed Sept. 24, 2009; reviewed April 28, 2011; reviewed May 24, 2012; reviewed July 25, 2013; reviewed July 24, 2014)

The Bristol-Washington Township Public Library’s Information Technologies are available to the public but with certain restrictions.  Use of these technologies, as with all library services and materials, is a privilege, not a right.  Misuse of library hardware or software may result in assessed fees charged to the patron for required repairs or replacement, loss of library privileges, legal action, or all of the above.  In making decisions regarding access to the Internet, the library utilizes its own stated mission, goals, and objectives.  Inasmuch as providing access to electronic information services and networks is not the same as selecting and purchasing materials for the library’s collection, some information accessible electronically may not meet the library’s selection or collection development policy.  Therefore, the library does not endorse the viewpoints or vouch for the accuracy or authenticity of any electronic information. 

The Public Library does not act as guardian for minors and does not limit any library items from card-holding patrons, it is suggested that parents or caregivers monitor the use or non-use of computers by their children.   Patrons will at all times abide by all copyright laws applicable.  Patrons use their library card number to access the library’s computers.  The electronic access policy pops up to be accepted or declined.   Patrons below the age of 8 are asked to be accompanied by a parent or guardian while using the computers.

Patrons may use E-mail, chat rooms, Facebook, and newsgroups, but may not set up an account on the library’s E-mail.   All accounts on the library’s hard drive will be deleted.  Those patrons found setting up accounts on the library’s hard drive will lose their computer privileges.  Patrons may download information onto USB sticks that belong to the patron or are purchased from the library.  Patrons may not upload information onto the library’s system. Those patrons found uploading information will lose their computer privileges.  Patrons may use the computers for 2 hours per day.  Use is on a first-come, first-served basis, except for reserved time.  Patrons may reserve computer time by telephoning the library.  Computers may be reserved for 2 hours per day.  If the reserving patron is not at the library at their reserved time, their name is put to the bottom of the waiting list. 

All work, including printing, must be completed 5 minutes prior to the library’s closing.  The library’s computer hard drives are for the storage of library software and information.  DO NOT SAVE YOUR FILES THERE.  Any unknown files will be purged by library staff.  Patrons found to be entering files, erasing library stored data or programming on the hard disks, or illegally copying copyrighted software from library computers will lose their computer privileges. 

Library computers are not to be used to create, transmit, print, or otherwise distribute pornographic, obscene, sexually explicit, racist, sexist, or homophobic materials as decided by the Bristol Public Library Board of Trustees using community standards.  Patrons agree to anonymous monitoring of their use by library staff to ensure compliance with these policies.  Patrons may not use library materials or equipment to disrupt any of the Internet networks as a whole, or any equipment or system forming part of the connection to, or part of, the Internet system, or any services provided over the connection.  Patrons may not use library materials or equipment to mass distribute (or otherwise intrusively “broadcast”) any message over the Internet, including but not limited to advertising.  Patrons may not use the library connection to the Internet to violate any local, state, or federal statute.  Those whose conduct with a library account violates these laws will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.  Evidence of illegal activity will be reported to the proper legal authorities.  The library will cooperate with authorities in the investigation of illegal activities.  The library reserves the right to deny Internet access to any person found to be in violation of the Electronic Access Policy, and any addendum adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Bristol-Washington Twp. Public Library, or its designees. 

The library is not responsible for any damage to personal property/information due to library computer use.