Computer Use Policy

Mission

The mission of the Hancock County Public Library is to deliver quality information service, multiple resources and technology tools, and a variety of programs for lifelong learning and enjoyment to all residents of Hancock County in a caring and innovative setting.

Computer/Internet Access

The Internet, a worldwide network of computer networks, is an essential medium for obtaining and transmitting information of all types. However, the Internet is an unregulated medium. The Library has implemented and maintains Internet filters that are compliant with the Children’s Internet Protection Act.

Internet filters are not perfect and may block access to inoffensive and useful information. Technology protections measures may be disabled (and only when deemed necessary by library staff) for bona fide research or other lawful purposes by people aged 18 and older. Written request will be honored or refuted within 48 hours. (Note: From Technology Protection Measures section)

This policy includes all computer equipment maintained by the library, patron owned equipment, and all equipment using the library’s Internet connection. The user's access to the library's computer network and Internet is a privilege, not a right. Failure to comply with this policy and its procedures will result in the forfeiture of the user's right to access the library’s network and computer resources.

Unacceptable Uses of Computers/Internet Access

Among the uses that are considered unacceptable and which constitute a violation of this policy are the following:

  1. Uses that violate the law or encourage others to violate the law. Transmitting of offensive or harassing messages; offering for sale or use any substance, the possession or use of which is prohibited by law; viewing, transmitting or downloading pornographic materials or materials that encourage others to violate the law; downloading or transmitting confidential, trade secret information or copyrighted materials.
  2. Uses that cause harm to others or damage to their property. Engaging in defamation (harming another's reputation by lies); uploading a worm, virus, "trojan horse", "time bomb" or other harmful form of programming or vandalism; participating in "hacking" activities or any form of unauthorized access to other computers, networks, or information systems.
  3. Uses that jeopardize the security of access to the computer network or other networks on the Internet. Disclosing or sharing the user's password with others; impersonating another user; damaging or modifying computer equipment or software.
  4. Uses that compromise the safety and security of minors (people under 18) when using e-mail, chat rooms and other forms of direct electronic communications.
  5. Viewing obscene matter. The State of Indiana defines “obscene matter or performance” in Indiana Code 35-49-2-1 as follows:
  6. A matter or performance is obscene for purposes of this article if:
    1. the average person, applying contemporary community standards, finds that the dominant theme of the matter or performance, taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest in sex;
    2. the matter or performance depicts or describes, in a patently offensive way, sexual conduct; and
    3. the matter or performance, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.

Disclaimers

  1. Information/data on all computer workstations is the property of HCPL; this includes information collected on patron Internet browsing history. HCPL staff reserves the right to check all workstations for suspicious/inappropriate activity.
  2. HCPL will maintain the confidentiality of patrons using its computer resources. Requests for disclosure of information will be honored only when required by law.
  3. The library reserves the right to terminate a computer session or network access that disrupts library services or that involves user behavior that violates the library's policies.
  4. As with all library resources, the library affirms the right and responsibility of parents/guardians, NOT library staff, to determine and monitor their minor children's use of computer equipment.
  5. While the library endeavors to provide access to information of the highest quality, the library specifically disclaims any warrant as to the information's accuracy, timeliness, authoritativeness, usefulness, or fitness for a particular purpose.
  6. The library will have no liability for direct, indirect or consequential damages related to the use of information accessed through the Library's network and Internet service.
  7. The library, having installed and enforced the operation of filtering software in compliance with the Children's Internet Protection Act, will have no liability for damages related to the operation of, or failure of, the filtering software or for its circumvention by users.
  8. The library is not responsible for damage to users' equipment or computers or for any loss of data, damage or liability that may occur from use of the library's computers and network.

Adult Computers

  1. Residents of Hancock County must login with their own valid library card. Library cards are non-transferable. Visitors to HCPL and those who reside outside of Hancock County will need to present a photo ID to be issued a guest pass to log-in to the computers.
  2. HCPL will use a computer time management system, to manage adult public computer usage with the exception of Library programs and special lab times.
  3. The total amount of time a patron can use the computers during one day will be 180 minutes. Non-card holders will be limited to 120 minutes per day. Sessions may be extended at the discretion of the library staff. Computers will automatically shut down 15 minutes before closing time.
  4. Electronic devices are available for checkout and use inside the library on a first come first served basis. Reservations cannot be placed on electronic devices. A valid photo ID is required to checkout a laptop. Standard time limits apply. Users/Patrons are financially responsible for all equipment and accessories borrowed.
  5. Staff will be available to answer questions, but patrons are expected to search independently. Patrons are encouraged to get additional help by signing up for training services conducted by library staff and/or available online training provided through the library's website.
  6. Training services will be offered to educate patrons on computer use. HCPL has the right to reserve all computers for educational purposes.
  7. User files will not be saved to the hard drive.
  8. Color and black and white printing are available from library computers. HCPL is not liable for printing errors with the exception of equipment malfunction. Patrons may not insert their own paper into library copiers/printers.

Children's Computers

As with all library resources, the library affirms the right and responsibility of parents/ guardians, NOT library staff, to determine and monitor their children's use of the computer equipment.

  1. The user, or the parent/guardian of a child, is responsible for his or her computer use or Internet session at all times.
  2. Children under the age of 8 must be supervised by their parent/guardians in the children’s area.
  3. Parents/guardians are to stay at the computer with their young children (under 5) or those of any age with little computer experience.
  4. Electronic devices are available for checkout and use inside the library on a first come first served basis. Reservations cannot be placed on electronic devices. A valid photo ID is required to checkout a device. Standard time limits apply. Users/Patrons are financially responsible for all equipment and accessories borrowed.
  5. The children’s computers allow access to games and filtered Internet.
  6. Children’s computers are for use by children 12 and under.
  7. 'Tween computers are for use by children 9-12 only.
  8. Children may sign up for a one-hour session which can be increased to two hours total per day as long as patrons are not waiting to use the computers. Sessions may be extended at the discretion of the library staff.
  9. Color and black and white printing are available from library computers. HCPL is not liable for printing errors with the exception of equipment malfunction. Patrons may not insert their own paper into library copiers/printers.
  10. Adults may use personal or Library laptops (See Adult Computers #4) in the Children’s area while supervising/accompanying a child.

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