Computer & Internet Usage Policy


Purpose

The Lakeland Public Library is committed to providing a variety of resources in diverse formats to meet the informational, educational, and recreational needs and interests of its patrons. As a complement to and extension of its physical and digital collections, the Library also offers electronic access to information, ideas, and resources via the Internet. As an information resource, the Internet connects users to a global network of ideas, images, and information, much of which can supplement and enhance the physical and digital collections owned by the Library. However, the Internet is also an ever-changing and unregulated global medium. The wealth of information it offers may contain inaccurate, incomplete, offensive, and/or illegal materials. The Library cannot regulate or vet the content, accuracy, or nature of Internet resources, and disclaims any liability or responsibility for the content, accuracy, or potentially offensive nature of information, ideas, and resources found on the Internet.


Internet Usage

The Lakeland Public Library and its branches offer free Internet access for public use via library computers, networks, and Wi-Fi. Patrons should be aware that site availability and transfer speeds often depend on the state of network traffic. Response times will be slower when popular websites are accessed at peak usage times. Similarly, there may be periodic network or Internet outages and downtimes outside the control of the Lakeland Public Library. Every effort will be made to restore access as quickly as possible when these events occur. Library staff is available to assist patrons with computers, answer questions, and offer search suggestions. Individual training is available by appointment for patrons who need indepth instruction on the Internet and personal computer use.


Patron Responsibilities

Patrons should be aware that they are working in a public environment when using library computers and show consideration for staff and other users around them. When using the Internet in the Library, patrons assume all responsibility for their own access to and use of information and online resources, as well as for the security of their own personal information. The Lakeland Public Library cannot be responsible for the security or privacy of personal information shared on or with non-library sites on library computers or networks. Patrons are encouraged to use discretion when sharing any personal information online, save any files to external storage devices, refrain from using auto-login/password remember functions on websites, and log out of any online accounts when finished using library computers.

The Lakeland Public Library acknowledges the right and responsibility of parents and legal guardians to determine and monitor their own children’s access to and use of Internet resources. Patrons must accept responsibility for determining the suitability of content, resources, and websites, both for themselves and their children. To facilitate this, the Main Library has designated separate computer areas for children, teens, and adults, and Internet filters are in place on all public access computers. All patrons are allowed a maximum of 90 minutes per day on library computers; time extensions may be granted if no one else is waiting. Patrons are asked to comply with signup and time limit policies to ensure all library users have the opportunity to use library equipment.


Violations/Unacceptable Internet Usage

Unacceptable use of library equipment, software, and/or networks includes, but is not limited, to:

  • Failure to comply with established library policies for behavior as outlined in the Code of Conduct, as well as any policies regarding library computers, time limits, printing, and wireless access
  • Harassment of staff or other library patrons, including libel, slander, or other maliciously offensive behaviors
  • Abuse of library system resources, including overuse of bandwidth
  • Exploitation or modification of library equipment and software, including, but not limited to:
    • Booting from external drives
    • Changing program settings
    • Attempting to copy programs or settings
    • Installing personal software on library computers
    • Bypassing, hacking, disabling, or in any way circumventing library reservation, print management, and/or security software
  • Damage, alteration, or destruction of equipment, software, or data belonging to the library or other library patrons
  • Deliberate misuse of library systems or equipment to gain unauthorized access to library computer or network systems or to degrade or crash library computers or networks
  • Directly connecting to the library’s wired network
  • Download or installation of any harmful or malicious program, defined as, but not limited to, viruses, malware, spyware, Trojans, or any other illegal utility
  • Transmission, display, or printing of any materials that are illegal, offensive, harassing, libelous, or threatening
  • Impersonation of other patrons to obtain extended time on public access computers or to gain unauthorized access to accounts
  • Violation of software license agreements, copyright laws, or intellectual property rights

Engaging in any of these behaviors will result in the immediate suspension or termination of library computer privileges. Patrons may also be asked to leave the library and could be prohibited from future library computer use. As necessary, library staff may summon law enforcement.


Internet Filters & Printing

Commercial filtering software is installed on all public access computers in the children’s room. This filtering software blocks many specific sites that may be deemed unacceptable or offensive, but does not block out all sites and materials that some users may find unacceptable or offensive. Parents should supervise their children’s Internet sessions and inform them of any materials or sites that are inappropriate. Public access computers for adults and teens are also filtered to block sites that include nudity, gambling, hate speech, or pornography. If a site is blocked inadvertently, library staff members are willing to correct this. Black and white printing is available from all public access computers for a fee of 10 cents per page. All public access computers have USB ports for saving work, but any USB devices that use an auto-run encryption/password launcher will not work on library computers.


Wi-Fi Access

The Lakeland Public Library provides free, filtered wireless access to the Internet.

Connecting to Library

Wi-Fi Laptop computers or wireless-capable devices with a charged battery and a standard wireless network interface card compatible with Wi-Fi standards 801.11a and 802.1g can connect to the Library’s wireless network. Most devices that have been purchased since 2005 should meet this requirement. Available power outlets may be used to charge devices wherever the cord does not present a tripping hazard or block access for patrons or staff. When possible, library staff can help configure your equipment to access the Wi-Fi network.

Wi-Fi Availability

The Main Library and its branches provide wireless access during normal library operating hours. However, Wi-Fi access may be affected by high demand, reliability of technology, and other factors outside the control of the Library. For these reasons, the Library cannot guarantee the availability or reliability of the service.

Wi-Fi Printing

Wireless printing is available through the PrinterOn service, which is linked through the library website. To print from a wireless device, you will need to select the appropriate pickup location library and follow the prompts to upload a file or URL to print.

Wi-Fi Security

Communication over a wireless network is not secure. The Library disclaims all responsibility for the safety of your equipment, data, and personal information while using the Library’s wireless network. The Library highly recommends that all laptops or wireless devices have up-to-date anti-virus software, spyware protection, and a personal firewall installed while utilizing the Library’s wireless network.