Computer & Acceptable Use Policy

Overview
The library provides access to many electronic resources, including the Internet, which contains a wide variety of material and opinions from varied points of view. Many web sites contain valuable and timely information; however, other web sites may contain material that is inaccurate, defamatory, illegal or offensive to some people.

 

Access
Access to library computer systems is a privilege and requires a valid library card, Computer Use Only card or a Temporary pass. (A library card is not required for the online catalog, Inspire periodical database use, or use of a personal laptop on the library’s wireless network.) Library cards used to access computer systems must be registered to the patron accessing the systems. Use of cards registered to other patrons is prohibited. Generally, up to two patrons are permitted to use one library computer at a time as long as they do not disturb or interfere with other patrons using computers. Computer sessions are limited to one hour but may be extended past an hour if no one else is waiting to use a computer. Please be aware that there is no guarantee for a time extension.

 

Wireless Access
The Kokomo-Howard County Public Library also provides public wireless access to the Internet. Patrons must provide their own computer and wireless network cards to connect to the public wireless hotspots. Technical support will not be available to users. Users of the wireless hotspots are subject to the terms of this policy; however, a library card is not needed to use the wireless network. The library cannot guarantee the privacy or safety of data and communications while using either wired or wireless services. Patrons need to be aware that wireless networks are inherently insecure and it is strongly recommended that patrons secure their computers with firewall software and data encryption.

 

Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA)
The library enforces an Internet Safety policy that supports CIPA, which addresses issues pertaining to minors (any person younger than 18-years-of-age):

  • access to "inappropriate matter";
  • safety and security when using e-mail, chat rooms and other forms of direct electronic communication;
  • unauthorized access, including hacking and other unlawful online activities;
  • unauthorized disclosure of personal identification information;
  • measures designed to restrict access to harmful materials; and
  • Social networking sites are accessible. The library offers education to minors about appropriate online behavior, including cyber bullying awareness and response, and interacting with other individuals on social networking sites and in chat rooms.

 

Filtering
While the Kokomo-Howard County Public Library attempts through filtering software to prevent direct access to materials that would not be generally acceptable in a public library, it is technically impossible to prevent access to all objectionable resources. Filtering software also occasionally blocks acceptable sites; therefore a library staff member will disable the filtering software upon request by an adult user. However, library rules and restrictions as listed below apply at all times.

The filtering software will not be disabled for users who are minors. Furthermore, it is the responsibility of parents, stepparents and guardians to monitor and guide their own children in the use of the library computers and the Internet. Those who do not want their children to access library computers and the Internet may fill out a form at the circulation desk.
Filtering software will not be disabled for patrons using personal computers or devices while connected to the library’s public wireless network because library staff are unable to monitor internet usage on patrons’ personal devices.

 

Printing Services
The Kokomo-Howard County Public Library provides printing services to patrons through the use of library computers. All prints must be paid for in advance through a pre-paid print account, managed through the barcode on the back of patrons’ library cards. Users are responsible for retrieving their prints in a timely manner. The library is not responsible for misplaced, lost or stolen printouts.  Unclaimed printouts will be destroyed at the closing each day.

User errors, typos, formatting issues, printing the wrong document, or printing too many pages of the document will not be refunded. If output is significantly smudged, faded, streaked, spotty, or creased, a request can be made to a KHCPL staff member to reprint the job for no fee. Print jobs are kept in the system for up to an hour.

Account balances on pre-paid print accounts are not refundable, but will be kept on the account and will be available for any future printing.

 

Legal Considerations
The Kokomo-Howard County Public Library makes no warranties of any kind, neither expressed nor implied, for the Internet access it is providing. The library is not responsible for the accuracy, nature, or quality of information gathered through library-provided Internet access.

In consideration of the Kokomo-Howard County Public Library providing patrons with access to the Internet, patrons agree to hold the library harmless and agree to indemnify the library from any and all liability. The library will retain computer usage information for a period of three months, at which time these records will be destroyed.

 

Rules and Restrictions
The use of library computing resources is a privilege and is subject to the following rules and restrictions. The following intentional actions are considered unacceptable and may result in loss of computer resource privileges, library privileges and/or prosecution by local, state or federal authorities in the case of illegal acts.

  1. Accessing, transmitting, uploading, downloading, or distributing material or language that is pornographic, abusive, defamatory, sexually explicit, obscene, child pornography, harmful to minors, or any material that is intended to annoy, harass or alarm another person;
  2. Engaging in any illegal activities using library computers or networks;
  3. Vandalizing, damaging, modifying or disabling library computers, networks, software, electronic resources or any library property, including installing and/or modifying any software on library computers;
  4. Attempting to gain unauthorized access to any computing, information, or communication devices;
  5. Unauthorized copying of copyright or other protected material;
  6. Violation of another person's privacy;
  7. Disrupting others' use of computer resources in any way.
  8. All KHCPL computer use is subject to monitoring by library staff.

In addition, minors (any person younger than 18-years-of-age) shall not disclose personal identification information on the Internet.

 

Last revised February 2014