In support of the American ideal of free public access to information, the Hubbard Free Library (the Library) provides free use of its desktop and laptop computers to all members of the public. Internet access, word processing, spreadsheet and desktop publishing programs are all available. The only charge is for printing (currently 20 cents a copy). However, certain rules and standards apply to all users.
- All users must sign a Computer Use Agreement, acknowledging that they have read and understood this Computer Use Policy, and agree to abide by its guidelines. Children under 16 years of age must have signed parental or guardian consent to use the Internet (see Children’s Use, below). Agreements and consent forms will be kept on file behind the front desk (and eventually patrons won’t be asked if they’ve signed, when the librarians have all become familiar with those who have).
- All users must sign in at the front desk before sitting down at a computer. Failure to sign in, or to include the start time, may result in a shortened period of time on the computer. There is a separate sign-in sheet for each computer.
- In order to insure computer access for everyone, the Library reserves the right to restrict time on computers, as well as certain functions/ applications. Currently time is limited to one half hour if others are waiting. Everyone, including children, are entitled to their half hour. If someone is waiting and no one’s half hour is yet up, the person waiting may put her/his name in a queue on the sign-in sheet. Because of our limited number of computers, and the fact that people spend varied amounts of time on them, we cannot take reservations for computer use over the phone.
- Unacceptable Uses Of Computers Include But Are Not Limited To:
- Reconfiguration or disruption of computer systems here or elsewhere.
- Violation of computer security.
- Damage to equipment or furniture.
- Engaging in illegal activity.
- Invading the privacy of, harassing, libeling or slandering others.
- Displaying graphics that other patrons are likely to find offensive or inappropriate. This is especially necessary given the general lack of privacy at our computers, and the number of children who frequent the library.
- Unauthorized copying of copyright-protected materials (this includes music).
- Unauthorized monitoring or disruption of electronic communications.
Children’s Use of Computers
Patrons under the age of 16 must have signed parental permission to use the Internet. The Library cannot individually supervise minors using the Internet. Parents or guardians, not the Library, are responsible for the sites visited, information selected (or given out), by their children. To help parents with this task, we urge them to read the CyberSafety Tips for Children sheet that accompanies the Parental Consent Form, and to discuss it with their children. Copies of the sheet are also available in the computer sign-in notebook.
Violations of the guidelines described above may result in suspension of Internet (and possibly library) privileges. The librarian on duty has the right to make this determination, although a user may appeal to the Library Director if s/he takes issue with the suspension. If the Director has made the determination, a user may have recourse to the Board of Trustees.
Illegal acts involving library computers may also be subject to prosecution by local, state or federal authorities.
Library staff is happy to assist users with electronic resources, but may not be familiar with every application or web site a patron might wish to use. We will do our best to help, within a reasonable amount of time.
The Internet is a resource that enables the Library to provide information beyond the limitations of its own collection. However, as an unregulated publishing network, the Internet contains both useful and enriching materials, and subject matter that is inaccurate, outdated or offensive. The Library does not monitor, has no control over, and is not responsible for information found on the Internet. The staff is always happy to assist patrons with searches, in an effort to retrieve information from reliable and reputable sources.