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Internet Access and Use Policy

Botetourt County Libraries
Internet Access and Use Policy

The Botetourt County Libraries endeavor to provide collections, resources, and services that meet the informational, educational, and recreational needs of its community. Within this context the Botetourt County Libraries offer access to the internet.

The internet is an enormous network of computers which connect with each other to share information. Governments, businesses, associations, schools, and individuals make information available on the Internet. The Internet contains a wide variety of material, most of it valuable, but some of it controversial, inaccurate, or offensive. The Botetourt County Libraries do not monitor the information available on the Internet and cannot be held responsible for its content.

Filtering software is installed on all of the library’s internet workstations. Persons who wish to obtain access to blocked web sites should inform library staff. Access to blocked sites may be granted by the Library Director. As with all services and resources provided by the library, parents or guardians of minor children must assume responsibility for their children’s use of the Internet through the Library’s connection.

Wireless access to the internet is available at all county libraries. Users of wireless services will be subject to the same filtering as all other library computers. Wireless users should not expect technical help from the staff at the library. Wireless users assume all risk.

Users of the internet workstations at Botetourt County Libraries must agree to follow these guidelines:

• Library patrons may use Library Internet workstations only after signing the “internet sign-in” document at the circulation desk. All users must sign their name and the time on the internet sign-in sheet before using the library’s computers. Signing this form indicates that the user agrees to obey the Library’s Internet policy. Failure to sign in may result in denial of access to use the internet. A parent or guardian may be asked to sign a consent form for children under the age of 18.

• Internet users must conduct themselves in a responsible and lawful manner. Use of the library’s computers to access or download obscene materials (as defined by §18.2-372 of the Code of Virginia) may constitute criminal offenses enumerated in Title 18.2, Chapter 8, Article 5 of the Code of Virginia, and elsewhere. The Library reserves the right to revoke privileges for internet access in the event of illegal use, or use which is calculated to be offensive or embarrassing to library patrons.

• E-mail accounts may be accessed if the user has an established account through a commercial provider or through an educational institution. The library will not provide users with e-mail accounts and will not be responsible for e-mail that is lost as a result of using library computers.

• Library computer hardware or software may not be altered in any way. Attempts to alter the hardware or software, violate computer security systems, enter the computer operating system, or change the configuration of the library’s computers will result in revocation of privileges to use internet workstations.

• Use of library computers is limited to thirty (30) minutes when others are waiting. The library staff may assist patrons in how to use the internet as time permits.

• Library users are permitted to print material from the internet for a charge of ten cents (10¢) per page in black and white and twenty-five cents (25¢) per color page. Persons who fail to pay for copies may be prohibited from using library computers.

• Library staff will assist patrons with the internet and computer questions as they are able and as time permits.

• Library computers are equipped with word processing and spreadsheet programs. The library is not responsible for any data lost through use of computers.

• Patrons who use e-mail and other programs that require a log-in are responsible for closing those programs when they conclude their work.

• Flash drives may be used with all computers

• Failure to follow Library internet policies, guidelines, or procedures can result in a loss of the user’s access privileges. Illegal or disruptive behaviors can result in immediate termination of access and may necessarily involve intervention by law enforcement authorities. The Library reserves the right to terminate any internet search session, and users who fail to follow guidelines may indefinitely lose their access privileges, particularly in the case of repeat offenders. Users may appeal any termination of access privileges to the Library Director. Cases needing subsequent review may be taken to the Library Board.

Adopted by Botetourt County Library Board of Trustees September 26, 2013

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