Internet Access and Computer Use Policy and Procedures

The Mission
The Tinley Park Public Library provides residents of Tinley Park, Orland Hills, and all other eligible patrons with materials in a variety of formats, as well as services and programs to meet their cultural, educational, informational, and recreational needs.  This is the mission of our library.  In order that we may continue to meet the needs of community members in a time when access to information is increasingly important for educational, economic, and personal success, the Board of Trustees and the Staff of the Tinley Park Public Library present this policy to offer and regulate Internet and computer use in the library.

Internet Resources
The Internet is a source of unfiltered information from around the world.  The Tinley Park Public Library does not and cannot control the content or quality of information obtained from sources that are accessed via the Internet.  Library users should consider the following when evaluating information obtained from the Internet:

1. Information obtained via the Internet may or may not be reliable, authoritative, accurate, or current. 
2. Links to information on the Internet may not always be valid.  Internet sites may sometimes be unavailable; this unavailability may occur unpredictably. 
3. Certain information obtained via the Internet may be considered controversial by some library patrons. 

The Tinley Park Public Library neither controls, nor can be responsible for the online information, graphics and messages accessible through the Library’s computers and wireless access points and originating outside the library.

The Tinley Park Public Library urges library patrons to be informed consumers and to evaluate information obtained from the Internet carefully.  The Library cautions patrons about the potential danger of transmitting personal information, such as credit card numbers, via the Internet.  The Library is not responsible for damages, direct or indirect, that arise from a library patron’s use of Internet information resources.  There is no guarantee that your account(s) or email is private. Email users should not expect or treat email as confidential or private. Further, in case of a request from law enforcement authorities, your email and other data may be available to the requesting agency.
  
Legal and Ethical Concerns
The Tinley Park Public Library requires that patrons using library computers and wireless access points do so within the guidelines of acceptable use.  The following activities are unacceptable:

1. the use of electronic information networks for any purpose that results in the harassment of other users; 
2. the destruction of, damage to, or unauthorized alteration of library computer equipment, software, or network security procedures; 
3. the use of electronic information networks in any way that violates a federal or state law, including copyright law; 
4. the use of electronic information networks in any way that violates licensing or payment agreements between the Tinley Park Public Library and network or database providers; 
5. the unauthorized duplication of copy-protected software or digital recordings ;  
6. behaving in a manner that disrupts other users, including overuse of computer equipment that serves to deny access to other users. 

Illegal acts involving library computer and wireless access point resources may be subject to prosecution by local, state, or federal authorities.  Internet users are requested to limit use to viewing online service sites that are appropriate in a public setting. Library equipment should not be used to access material that is considered to be obscene or pornographic (by other patrons or staff). Persons who use the Library’s computers and wireless access points for unacceptable uses may lose the privilege of using Library facilities including access to its computer systems. Users should be aware that they may encounter messages or graphics that they find offensive.  Parents are strongly advised to monitor their children’s use of the Library’s computer system, or the services, programs and networks connected to it, if they wish to control the information, messages and graphics to which their children are exposed.

Internet users using the Library’s Internet workstations must acknowledge acceptance of this Internet and Computer Access Policy each time they log into the Library’s computer workstations. Library cards must be in good standing. Fines of $5.00 or more must be paid before computer use is allowed.

The Tinley Park Public Library supports the right of all library users to access information and does not deny access to the Internet solely on the basis of age. The Library recognizes that the Internet may contain material that may be inappropriate for children. As with library materials, restriction or regulation of a child’s access to the Internet is the responsibility of the parent or legal guardian. Library staff will not monitor children’s use. A parent or guardian must sign an Internet Access User Agreement for young people under the age of 18.

Tinley Park Public Library staff will assist patrons with Internet use as time permits, but staff cannot offer extended personal instruction. It is also not possible for staff to evaluate or judge the quality or merit of every site that a patron may access. The reference staff is always available to help patrons locate books, periodicals, and other materials about the Internet.

General Procedures for Use of Computers
Library cards must be current and in good standing. Patrons without a Tinley Park Public Library card must pay a fee at the Patron Services Desk before using the Internet workstations; and those who are under 18 must also have an Internet User Agreement on file.

Internet workstations are available on a first come, first served basis. If all stations are in use, patrons may register at the computer reservation station, which will assign the next available computer. There is a limit of two simultaneous and registered users per Internet workstation.

Tinley Park and Orland Hills cardholders 18 years and older may use the Library’s Internet workstations on the first floor. Tinley Park and Orland Hills cardholders younger than 18 may use the workstations on the second floor if they have an Internet Access User Agreement on file.

Our library staff strives to balance the needs of adults and children, and we hope to accommodate patrons of all ages who want to use our public computers. There are two situations to consider:

A. An adult who wants to work with a computer, who is accompanied by one or more young children (age 9 or younger). In this situation, the adult may use computers on the first floor while seated with the child, unless there is substantial noise or disruptive activity. The adult (seated with a child aged 9 or younger) may also use workstations on the second floor from 9 am to 3 pm during the school year, and from 3 pm to 9 pm during the summer. (Ask for instructions at the Youth Services Reference Desk.)  Adults unaccompanied by children may not use workstations on the second floor for any other reason.

B. A child who wants to work with a computer, who is accompanied by an adult guardian. If the child is 9 or younger, the guardian must be seated with the child, using workstations on the second floor. If the child is a minor (ages 10-17), a guardian may be seated with the child, but only to educate the child or assist with their computer experience.

In order to preserve the integrity of the library computer network, patrons are prohibited from installing software in library computers. However, patrons may use personal storage media to transport and save data, including but not limited to floppy disks, flash drives, CD-R disks, etc. (Note that personal files cannot be saved to the hard drives of the library’s computers.)

Personal storage devices left in library computers will be kept for two weeks. After two weeks, the contents will be erased and the device disposed of.

Patrons who choose to print from the Internet workstations must pay in advance for printing. There will be an additional charge for color printing.

Wireless Internet Access
Patrons with wireless access capabilities on their own equipment, such as laptops, PDAs, etc., are welcome to use the Internet through the Library. This access option is open to patrons of all ages; parents or guardians of children under the age of 18 are responsible for supervising and guaranteeing their child's proper and safe use of the Internet. No registration or sign-up is required.

Use of the Library's wireless access points constitutes acceptance of this Internet Access and Computer Use Policy. The Library provides NO filtering or virus protection on its wireless Internet access points for patrons. The Library assumes no responsibility for damage caused to patrons' equipment (hardware or software).

Patrons are responsible for configuring their equipment to access the Library's wireless Internet access point. Library staff will only be able to provide a network address or name to the patron. The library staff can provide general information and handouts on using the Internet and how to connect to the wireless network, as well as the online catalog, and other databases, but cannot offer in-depth training. The reference staff is always available to assist patrons with locating books, periodicals, and other materials about the Internet. It is also not possible for staff to evaluate or judge the quality or merits of every site that the user may access.

This policy will be reviewed every two years or as needed.

Board Approved on 26 February, 1997
Revised 14 April, 1999
Revised 25 February, 2004
Revised 27 June, 2007
Revised October 2008
Revised 29 July, 2009
Revised 28 September 2011
Revised February 2012