Library Internet Use Policies
Orange County Acceptable Internet and Computer Use Policy
All library patrons wishing to access the Internet from a library workstation will be required to read the following policy in web page format before access will be provided.
Reservations: All individuals wishing to use a library computer of any type for Internet access must obtain a reservation, either from library staff at the main desk, or from the self-service station. Patrons must have a library card to make a self-service reservation. Patrons who owe fines or whose cards are blocked will be unable to make a self-service reservation until their account is clear. Patrons wishing to use a library computer for games must obtain a pass from a library staff member. Any patron whose library account is blocked for any reason will be unable to use the library’s computers other than for children’s games until his/her account is restored to a good status except by permission of the staff member in charge.
Visitors from outside our service area need to have a staff member make a reservation (Internet) or provide a pass (games) for them. Residency outside our service area will be confirmed by checking a photo ID, before use can be granted for anything other than children’s game computers. Our service area encompasses Orange County and all of the adjoining counties. Persons who are unable to document residency sufficiently to receive a regular library card may be issued in-house use only library cards to allow them access to library computers.
The reservation system provides us with usage statistics and allows for equitable access for all residents. Internet use is limited to a maximum, with time extensions of 200 minutes per day. Reservations can be made up to two days in advance either in person or over the telephone. If a computer is free, a reservation may be made at that station for immediate use. Anyone using a reservation will lose his/her reserved time if they have not logged onto their session by 5 minutes past the scheduled start time. If multiple successive reservations are made, each one has its own 5 minute grace period. Sessions can be extended by the user for a maximum of 20 minutes if there is an available computer which has no upcoming reservations. Terminals will issue 3 warnings when time is about to expire. At the expiration of the session, the computer will automatically log the user off. Staff may immediately terminate the session of anyone not following the guidelines of this policy.
The Main Library provides two stations dedicated to employment use which offer one hour sessions and one station dedicated to educational use that offers two hour sessions. Wilderness Branch provides one station offering two hour sessions for educational use.
Use by Minors:
Minors (patrons under the age of 18) may use a filtered Internet terminal upon request unless their parent or legal guardian has specifically requested in writing that we deny them access. Parents/guardians may use the library card application to make their Internet use preferences known. Preferences will be kept on file at the branch where they are received. Minors from outside our service area may only access the Internet if accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. Age and permission slip status will be verified by our online system at the time the reservation is made or pass given. Minors ineligible for Internet use may obtain a pass for access to Microsoft Office programs and games.
Time Restrictions: Use is limited to two hours per day unless exception is granted by the staff member in charge. Persons needing additional time for a school project or other special use should make their need known to the library staff so that accommodation may be made if resources are available. In addition, the reservation system may grant users additional time if there are free computers which do not have reservations.
Printing: Black and white pages may be printed at a cost of 15 cents per page. Color pages may be printed at a cost of 50 cents per page. These charges help to defray the cost of supplies.
Mission: It is the goal of the Orange County Public Library to “offer services and materials in appropriate technologies so that patrons of all ages will have access to the information required to meet personal, educational and professional and entertainment needs.” Providing access to the Internet helps our library provide a vast amount of additional information to meet patron’s needs. Within our mission, the library requires that users use Internet resources for educational, informational and recreational purposes only. These computer terminals are not to be used for illegal, unauthorized or unethical purposes.
Equipment: Orange County Public Library provides computers for public use. Available equipment varies by location and includes Pentium D or better computers running the Windows XP operating system. Applications software is provided for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, children’s edutainment, and reference use. Most workstations also offer Internet searching, access to the library homepage and the library’s subscription databases.
Disclaimers: The Internet is a global electronic network and there is no single governmental body that controls its users or content. Orange County Public Library cannot control either the availability or accuracy of information links which change rapidly and unpredictably. Not all sources on the Internet provide accurate, complete or current information. Users need to be good information consumers, questioning the validity of the information.
The Orange County Public Library is not responsible for damage to a patron’s disk or computer or for any loss of data, damage or liability that may occur from patron’s use of the library’s computers.
Protection of Minors :
The Internet does contain some controversial material. Orange County Public Library cannot restrict access to all potentially offensive World Wide Web resources or protect users from offensive information or images. Orange County Public Library is not responsible for visitations to web sites or information received from a Web site. Orange County Public Library filters only to the extent required to comply with the Children’s Internet Protection Act and this filtering may not prevent access to all material that may be deemed objectionable. Such filtering is necessary to receive federal funds. Parents of minor children must assume responsibility for their children’s use of the Internet. Parents may specify whether the child may use the Internet only in their presence, only with an accompanying adult or on their own and unsupervised. This can be done when applying for the child’s library card or at any time by requesting a change to the minor’s record. The record will consist of either a permission slip on file with the minor’s library card application at the branch where it is presented or the library card application itself. If a parent does not specify otherwise, all children will be allowed unsupervised Internet access.
Parents and children are encouraged to visit online at http://www.netsmartz.org/index.aspx for more information about using the Internet safely provided by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
Acceptable Internet Use
Use of the library’s computers is a privilege and not a right. All users are expected to use the computers in a responsible manner, consistent with the educational and informational and entertainment purposes with which they are provided. Any user not complying with the following guidelines for acceptable use may have his/her privilege of use suspended or completely revoked. Illegal acts involving library computing resources may also be subject to prosecution by local, state or federal authorities.
Revocation of privileges shall follow this schedule:
For minor infractions (more than 2 at a computer, noise) the patron shall be asked to leave and denied access for one week. If a second offense should occur, the patron’s privileges will be denied for one month. In the event of a third offense, the patron will lose privileges for 6 months.
For serious infractions (inappropriate content [not porn but things such as language or suggestive images] visible to others, refusal to log off after multiple requests, commercial use, the loaning of one’s card to another or use of another person’s card) the patron shall be asked to leave and shall be denied access for one month. If a repeat offense should occur, the patron will lose privileges for 6 months. In the event of a third offense – privileges will be permanently revoked.
For major infractions (viewing porn, sending spam, hacking, damaging equipment) the user shall be asked to leave and lose his/her privileges permanently.
Any infraction not itemized here shall be assessed a revocation in privileges as determined by the staff member in charge in the facility where the infraction occurs. The patron will be informed of the duration of their loss of privileges and the information will also be noted in his/her patron record.
Because our computer terminals are located in public areas that must be shared by library customers of all ages, backgrounds and sensibilities, users are asked to respect the sensibilities of others when accessing potentially offensive information and images.
The library does not provide comprehensive instruction in computer use; assistance with Internet searching and software applications by library staff is only available on a “as time permits” basis. Tutorials and “how to” handouts are available for many applications.
Use is limited to groups of no more than 2 persons per workstation.
The library does not offer e-mail accounts or instruction on obtaining them but you may download from your private web-based e-mail account (e.g.: gmail, hotmail) if you know the address.
The library’s computers may not be used to conduct a business.
Software or files may not be loaded or downloaded from the Internet onto the library computers’ hard drives, downloading to floppy disk or recordable CD is allowed. Floppy disks, recordable CDs may be purchased from the library (50 cents each). The Main Library offers flash drives for sale courtesy of the Friends of the Library
Minors may not access, upload, download or otherwise distribute or knowingly receive any material that would be considered harmful to minors according to the Children’s Internet Protection Act.
Users may not access, view, print, upload, download or otherwise distribute or knowingly receive any form of pornography.
Users shall not transmit obscene, abusive or sexually explicit language. Staff
may terminate sessions of anyone engaging in this behavior.
Users may not illegally copy or distribute electronic materials (including text, images, programs or data) in violation of U.S. Copyright law (Title17, U.S. Code)
Users shall not use the library’s Internet connection or computer equipment to violate any local, state or federal statute.
Users shall not seek unauthorized access to this or any other computer system, or vandalize, damage, or alter the software/hardware components of any network or database using the library’s computing resources.
Users shall not attempt to access features blocked by the library’s computer security settings. Those attempting to do so may be asked to stop their use of the computer immediately or staff may terminate their sessions.
Users may not bring in their own software or use circulating library software to use on the library’s computers. The only exception to this is read-only CD-ROMs, such as tutorials, which play but do not install files on the hard drive.
(Approved by Library Board of Trustees 6/17/99, amended: 11/16/2000, 8/16/2001, 10/2003, 9/16/04, 10/21/2004, 4/21/2005, 2/16/2006, 3/15/2007; 11/12//2009)
Section 5 – 6
The following is intended to explain our current Internet privacy practices but is not a contractual promise. We reserve the right to change our policy at any time without providing advance notification.
Our library protects your records according to Virginia law and any applicable federal laws. Applicable laws include the “Virginia Privacy Protection Act of 1976” and the “Virginia Freedom of Information Act”. The Code of Virginia 2.2-33705(A)10 states the following records are excluded from the provisions of this chapter (7) Library records that can be used to identify both (i) any library patron who has borrowed material from a library and (ii) the material such patron borrowed. Our library does not sell information about our customers or their search habits to third parties.
Links to other websites
The library provides access to subscription databases for our customers. When you use these third party sites, logs of the searches conducted, dates and times are made accessible to the library by the vendor. We will retain these records and use them to evaluate current and future purchases. In addition, the statistical counts received through these logs will be submitted to the Library of Virginia as part of the library’s annual statistical report. These vendors may also be collecting other information for their own purposes. Please consult their privacy policies for more information.
What Information Our Library Collects
Our Library collects the following types of information:
1) Routing information (the Internet address and domain of the computer that you are accessing us from)
2) Essential technical information (the page or service you are accessing, your browser type, your operating system, date and time)
3) Voluntary optional non-privileged information (when you send us an e-mail)
4) Voluntary privileged information (when you review your patron account, place a hold or renew a book through the site)
5) Cookies (we place “session” cookies with a 10 minute expiration on your computer to enable you to navigate and “save to list”)
How we use the information we gather
1) Routing information is used to send you the pages you request. Since your ISP and other entities use this information, we cannot control your privacy. The logs are used to help us improve our website and also to provide statistical information about usage. We report the annual usage statistics for our site as numerical data to the Library of Virginia as part of our annual statistical report. The Library may maintain logs of routing data indefinitely but we typically delete such logs after the completion of our annual report. We typically do not try to link the logs to any particular user. We reserve the right to do so if security reasons dictate it is necessary. We may forward such logs and any other relevant information in our possession to law enforcement agencies in cases of unauthorized access (e.g. hacking).
2) Essential technical information is also retained as part of our system logs. The logs are used to help us improve our website and also to provide statistical information about usage. We report the annual usage statistics for our site as numerical data to the Library of Virginia as part of our annual statistical report. The Library may maintain logs of routing data indefinitely but we typically delete such logs after the completion of our annual report.
3) Voluntary optional non-privileged information is used to provide responses to your queries and suggestions. We will use the information as we see fit and do not guarantee any confidentiality for voluntary submissions other than that we will not divulge your e-mail or mailing address to outside parties. We will retain e-mail messages as required by the retention schedules of the Library of Virginia.
4) Voluntary privileged information is protected under the Code of Virginia and can only be divulged under court order as described above in “Confidentiality of Library Records”. Scripts are included in the software that prevent other patrons from accessing our data by using the “back” button. Your library card number and PIN number are also required to access the online holds, renewals and patron record review to protect your privacy. If you loose your library card, please notify us as soon as possible. We cannot be held liable for access of this information if your card is lost or stolen. Your PIN number may be changed by staff upon request and is confidential. When we input your PIN number into the computer or access your patron record, all we see is a series of asterisks.
Any information in our records, except privileged information, is subject to request under the “Virginia Freedom of Information Act” by members of the public. In compliance with FOIA, all identifiable personal or confidential information is to be removed from the paper copies of the records before filling the request. These requests are governed by the Library’s policy on “Confidentiality of Library Records.”
(Approved by the Orange County Library Board of Trustees 4/19/2001, amended 11/2002, 8/2003).