Freedom of speech and freedom of the press are rights of our heritage, guaranteed to each of us by the Constitution and defended by our courts. The right to have access to the diverse opinions and ideas of our human record, both past and present, is essential if we are to intelligently and humanely exercise our rights and responsibilities to make decisions affecting our families, community, and nation. Libraries facilitate the exercise of these rights by providing access to information regardless of format or technology.
GENERAL COMPUTER USE
Computer use is an integral part of library activities. The use of any Mishawaka-Penn-Harris Public Library computer or network resource is a privilege and not a right. Users agree to abide by library computer policy standards as defined herein. It is understood that all patrons using Library computers will have a basic knowledge of how to use computers.
Patrons who access networks or facilities not owned by the Library will adhere to the policies and procedures established by the administrators of these networks and facilities. (Patrons can usually obtain these from the network information center of the network in question.)
In general, the Library will treat information stored on Library computing resources as confidential, whether or not that information is protected by the computer operating system. Requests for disclosure of information will be honored only under one of the following conditions:
- when approved by the appropriate Library administrator;
- when authorized by the owners of the information;
- when required by local, state, or federal law.
Except when inappropriate, patrons will receive prior notice of such disclosures. Viewing of information in the course of normal system maintenance does not constitute disclosure.
Patrons who use electronic mail systems should be aware that electronic mail in its present form cannot be secured and is, therefore, extremely vulnerable to unauthorized access and modification.
RESPONSIBILITIES OF USERS
The patron is responsible for correct and sufficient use of the tools available for maintaining the security of information on each computer system. The following precautions are strongly recommended:
- Computer accounts, passwords, and other types of authorization that are assigned to individual patrons should not be shared with others.
- The patron should assign an obscure account password and change it frequently.
- The patron should understand that files saved on Library computing resources may not be totally secure and may be deleted by the Library at any time.
- The patron should be aware of computer viruses and other destructive computer programs, and take steps to avoid being a victim or unwitting distributor of these processes.
Ultimate responsibility for resolution of problems related to the invasion of the patron's privacy or loss of data rests with the patron. The Library assumes no liability for loss or damage to the patron's data or for any damage or injury arising from invasion of the patron's privacy.
ACCEPTABLE USE POLICY
A. LEGAL USE
The public and staff may use library computing resources only for legal purposes. Examples of unacceptable purposes include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Libel or slander;
- Destruction of or damage to equipment, software, or data belonging to the Library or others;
- Disruption or unauthorized monitoring of electronic communications;
- Unauthorized copying of copyright-protected material;
- Conducting illegal activities of any kind.
B. ETHICAL USE
Library computing resources should be used in accordance with the ethical standards of the Library. Examples of unacceptable use (some of which may also have legal consequences) include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Violation of computer system security;
- Unauthorized use of computer accounts, access codes, or network identification numbers assigned to others;
- Use of computer communications facilities in ways that unnecessarily impede the computing activities of others, such as randomly initiating interactive electronic communications (chat) or e-mail exchanges (spam), visiting spam URLs, overuse of interactive network utilities, and so forth;
- Violation of software license agreements;
- Violation of network usage policies and regulations;
- Violation of another person’s privacy.
C. COOPERATIVE USE
The Library endorses the practice of cooperative computing. This includes:
- Refraining from overuse of connect time, information storage space, printing facilities, or processing capacity;
- Refraining from overuse of interactive network utilities;
- Refraining from use of sounds and visuals which might be disruptive to others;
- Refraining from use of any computing resource in an irresponsible manner.
Violators of Library computing resource use policies will have their computer privileges suspended or revoked at the sole discretion of the Library Administration. Violations of policies described above for legal and ethical use of Library computing resources will result in the suspension or revocation of Library computer privileges at the sole discretion of the Library Administration. Illegal acts involving Library computing resources may also be subject to prosecution by local, state, or federal authorities.
A. DISPLAY AND DISSEMINATION OF SEXUALLY EXPLICIT MATERIALS
Use of Library computing resources to display or disseminate sexually explicit or sexually suggestive (obscene/pornographic) material on Library property is prohibited. Violators of this policy will be removed from library property and will have their computer privileges revoked.
B. SOCIAL NETWORKING SITES
Use of Library computing resources to access social networking sites, such as, but not limited to, My Space, and Meebo, on Library property is prohibited. Violators of this policy will be removed from Library property and will have their computer privileges revoked.
C. CONSEQUENCES FOR VIOLATION OF COMPUTER USE POLICIES
Vandalism and/or violation of these policies will be dealt with in a serious and appropriate manner. First offense will result in loss of computer and network privileges for six months. Second offense will result in loss of computer and network privileges for an additional six months. Third offense will result in permanent loss of Library computer and network privileges. Illegal acts involving Library computing resources may also be subject to prosecution by local, state, or federal authorities. If a patron’s misuse causes damage to occur to Library property or equipment, penalty fines will be assessed at the cost of repair or replacement (including labor) and all library privileges will be denied until payment is received in full.
Since the Internet is a global electronic network, there is no state/county control of its users or content. The Internet and its available resources may contain material of a controversial nature. The Library cannot protect patrons from all offensive information. Parents of minor children must assume responsibility for their children's use of the Internet through the Library's connection. Library staff cannot control the availability of information links, which often change rapidly and unpredictably. Not all sources on the Internet provide accurate, complete, or current information.
The Mishawaka-Penn-Harris Public Library assumes no responsibility for any damages, direct or indirect, arising from use of its WWW Server or from its connections to other Internet services.
LIMITATIONS OF LIABILITY:
All patrons who wish to use the Library's computing resources are required to click on “I Agree” to the following “Limitation of Liability” statement:
"LIMITATION OF LIABILITY"
By logging on to this computer you (the user) acknowledge you have read and understand the Mishawaka-Penn-Harris Public Library Computer Usage Policy (the Computer Usage Policy) and you agree to fully comply with all terms, conditions and requirements of the Computer Usage Policy. You acknowledge and agree that any violation of the Computer Usage Policy will result in suspension or revocation of Library computer privileges at the sole discretion of the Library Administration.
The user also acknowledges that the Mishawaka-Penn-Harris Public Library assumes no liability for any loss or damage to the user's data, or for any damage or injury arising from invasion of privacy in the user's computer accounts, programs, or files. In consideration for use of Library computer resources, you (the user) agree to hold harmless and indemnify Mishawaka-Penn-Harris Public Library, its directors, officers, administrators, employees and agents, from any and all liabilities for any claims, demands, and damages to your person or property whatsoever.
UTILIZING COMPUTER RESOURCES
A. SIGN UP FOR COMPUTER USE
Use of Library computing resources is on a first-come, first-served basis. To make better use of Library computing resources and provide equitable access, the Library has installed a sign up system in order to allow the system to monitor patrons' usage time and to give patrons the convenience of using a computer at multiple locations for a total limit of 2 hours per day.
Sign up stations are located in the Computer Lab and Media in Downtown Mishawaka and near the Reference Desks of the Bittersweet and Harris Branch locations.
B. REQUIRED IDENTIFICATION
Patrons are required to have a Mishawaka-Penn-Harris Public Library card to use Library computing resources. Those patrons who do not have a MPHPL card and are eligible are required to register for a card in order to use Library computing equipment. See Library Circulation Policies for applicable identification requirements.
To accommodate the computing needs of visitors from out of town the Library will issue them a one-day Visitor’s Pass. The Library requires a photo ID in order to issue the Guest Pass. This pass is good for one hour of computer usage. Only one guest pass is allowed per person per day.
C. TIME LIMITS PER DAY
Patrons will be given a total of two hours of computer use time per day when they sign into the system. If a patron leaves during their 2-hour session they may return multiple times to use the rest of their 2-hour allotment. When there are no current available computers, patrons may join the computer use queue for the next available computer. Express stations in Media Services are limited to fifteen minute intervals. Time limits on workstations in certain locations designated for specific uses may vary, based upon number of patrons and computer availability.
Charges for printing are 15¢ per page for black and white and 50¢ per page for color. Patrons are responsible for putting money on their account before printing. No pages will be printed without funds being available. Patrons should ask for assistance if unsure how many pages a document contains.
E. WIRELESS CONNECTIONS
All Library locations now offer WiFi for patrons use. The network does not require a password and can be accessed from most places in the building.
F. LIBRARY LAPTOPS
- Library laptops are for use within the building. Library laptops may not to be taken out of the building.
- You must be at least 16 years old to use a Library laptop.
- A valid Mishawaka-Penn-Harris Public Library card and valid driver’s license are required to use library laptops. For patrons out of our service area, a valid driver’s license and credit card are required to use library laptops.
G. PERSONAL LAPTOPS OR DEVICES
Patrons wishing to use the Library’s connection using their personal laptops or other equipment may do so by using the Library’s wired network connections or the WiFi network.
Cabled connections are still available by requesting a network cable from any library’s reference desk.
Library Computer Use, Study Room, Meeting Room, and any other applicable policies must be abided. Patrons must have the knowledge to set personal equipment to automatically acquire a network address (DHCP or BOOTP). Library staff may not change patron equipment settings. Modem connections are not available.
H. SPECIFIC USE WORKSTATIONS
Workstations in certain locations may be designated for specific uses, such as “research only” or “genealogical research only.” These workstations may not be used for general Internet browsing, email, chat rooms, or other non-designated purposes. Any library staff member who observes a person using a workstation for a non-designated purpose will direct that person to cease using the workstation in that manner and direct them to the appropriate department.
USE OF COMPUTERS BY MINORS
Children age 17 and under must have a Computer Use Agreement card on file signed by a parent or guardian. Children age 7 and under must be under the direct supervision of a person over the age of thirteen in accordance with MPHPL’s Child Supervision Policy. Children age 12 and under must use the computers in the Children’s Services area. Children may receive one hour of continuous computer use. At the Library’s discretion, up to an additional hour may be received to complete school assignments.
(Approved by Mishawaka-Penn-Harris Public Library Board action 09-13-2001. Amended by Mishawaka-Penn-Harris Public Library Board action 04/08/2004. Amended by Mishawaka-Penn-Harris Public Library Board action 04/14/2005. Amended by Mishawaka-Penn-Harris Public Library Board Action 1/8/2009. Amended by Mishawaka-Penn-Harris Public Library Board Action 3/11/2010. Amended by Mishawaka-Penn-Harris Public LIbrary Board Action 5/12/2011. IC 20-2-8) Amended by Mishawaka-Penn-Harris Public LIbrary Board Action 4/12/2012.