Wayland Free Public Library

Computer and Internet Use Policy

The Wayland Free Public Library is delighted to provide free Internet access to our patrons. Most of our computers are also loaded with standard office application software such as Microsoft Word, Access, Excel, and PowerPoint. The library may establish policies limiting particular online activities (such as chat, games, and e-mail) in order to increase access for research and other Internet uses and to minimize disruptive or unsafe behavior. When you use a computer in the library, you are agreeing to the Library's Computer and Internet Use Policy, as follows:

Introduction to the Internet: While traditional print collections offer us stability and the opportunity to compare and verify authenticity, the Internet is characterized by constant change and unpredictability. Its great strength is its vastness and wealth of information. It offers a wide variety of materials on all topics, from many points of view. While its resources may be useful and enriching, they also may be outdated, inaccurate, and illegal, and even offensive and disturbing to some individuals. With the Internet, the Library opens a gateway to information far broader than that found in our Library's collections which have been carefully selected and developed with our users' needs in mind. The Wayland Public Library does not monitor or exert control over information accessed through the Internet and is not responsible for its content. The library does not endorse the viewpoints or vouch for the accuracy of information obtained through the Internet. Most, but not all, content on the Internet is protected by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

Access to Computers: Because demand often exceeds supply, the Library reserves the right to enforce time limits and to end an Internet session if necessary. Patrons are permitted to sign up to use computers for one hour per day. If no one is waiting for a computer, the time may be extended at the discretion of library staff. When others are waiting to use the equipment, patrons must limit their time on the computers to one hour. We request that each computer user log in using his or her own Minuteman Library Network card. Visitors to Wayland who wish to use one of our computers may request a guest card at the reference desk.

Some of the library's computers provide only limited Internet access and are designated as "Catalog and Reference Only" or "Limited Internet." Please do not use these machines for extended Internet browsing, e-mail, chat, or games.

Internet Use: Computer users may not use the Internet in the Wayland Library for illegal or abusive purposes, including but not limited to:

  • unauthorized copying of copyright-protected materials in any form
  • viewing content that is NOT protected by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution (obscenity or child pornography) or displaying this illegal content (or if a minor, viewing materials defined as "harmful to juveniles" in violation of federal, state, or local laws)
  • transmission of chain letters, broadcast letters, or any form of junk mail
  • transmission of threatening, obscene, or harassing materials
  • transmission of computer viruses
  • unauthorized access to local and remote computer systems, including so-called "hacking"
  • software installation or intentional changes to software or hardware configurations on any library computer
  • engaging in any activity that is harassing or defamatory
  • attempts to determine how other patrons have used the computers

Library computers are located in public areas that are shared by library users of all ages, backgrounds, and values. We request that our computer users remain sensitive to the fact that they are occupying a public environment shared by others.

Children and the Internet: As a gateway to world-wide resources, the Internet can be a valuable and exciting source of information for children. However, there is content on the Internet that is inappropriate for children and content that can be legally defined as obscene or "harmful to minors." Parents or legal guardians must assume responsibility for their children's use of the Internet through the library's connection; therefore, restriction of a child's access to the Internet is the responsibility of the parent/legal guardian. The Library does not act in loco parentis and is not currently using filters on any computers in the library.  We strongly recommend that parents or guardians work with their children when they are using the Internet. Parents of minor children should be aware that the Library is a public building, and Library staff cannot monitor individual Internet use. In the Children's Room, library staff will try to monitor Internet use as staffing allows. The library sponsors its own Youth Services website that refers children to web resources such as KidsWeb, created by children's librarians in the Minuteman Library Network; the library will also encourage the use of other Internet resources developed especially for children by providing links to such resources on our Youth Services website.  We strongly recommend, however, that parents or guardians work with their children when they are using the Internet. Library staff will be happy to assist parents and children in finding appropriate information on the Internet. Ultimately, however, parents or legal guardians must assume responsibility for their children's use of the Internet through the library's connection. We encourage parents to read our statement on Internet Safety.  We also encourage parents to read "Child Safety on the Information Highway," and "Teen Safety on the Information Highway," free brochures available at the Reference Desk, the Children's Desk, or at www.safekids.com/.

Disclosure of Personal Information: All computer users must exercise great care when using the Internet to avoid unauthorized disclosure, use, and dissemination of personal identification information. Parents, in particular, must caution their minor children which personal facts are not to be shared on the Internet, particularly when using forms of direct communication such as e-mail or chat rooms. Also, parents should direct their children to read the signs labeled Youth Safety Online that are posted near computers in the library. The Wayland Library assumes no liability for loss of user privacy sustained while using our equipment.

Downloading: Computer users may download information from the Internet to their own diskettes. Diskettes are sold at the reference desk. The Library assumes no liability for any damage to user data while using our equipment.

Printing: Printed pages cost ten cents per page, payable at the Circulation Desk. Print-outs that are not paid for may be added as a fine to a patron's account.

Assistance: Patrons should notify library staff immediately if they experience any problems with the equipment or software. Library staff will devote a reasonable amount of time assisting individual library users with the Internet and other computer applications as needed. They cannot devote large amounts of time to individual patrons because staff assigned to the reference desk are responsible for handling many information requests from many individuals. The library offers regular classes of instruction in online searching skills. If you require a great deal of assistance, please sign up for a class.

Privacy: Although the Wayland Public Library keeps no records of your Internet activity, it does record login and logout times associated with the barcode on your library or guest card. Although this information is kept only for cumulative, generic statistical reports that measure service and usage and will be purged as soon as it is no longer needed for those reports, the Library must make this information available if it is subpoenaed by a court of law. Also, the Library reserves the right in extraordinary cases to use that information to investigate serious breaches of its policies. Although the Library maintains no permanent records of what our visitors view or the documents they create, the Library cannot guarantee absolutely anonymous computer use. We ask that our computer users respect the privacy of other computer users in the library.

Acceptance of other policies: In addition, in using the Library's computers, you are agreeing to adhere to the Acceptable Use Policies of the Library's Internet Service Provider, the Minuteman Library Network (MLN) and of MLN's Internet Service Provider. For full information on those policies, see http://www.mln.lib.ma.us/policy.htm.

Violations of Internet Policy: The consequences for violating the Internet policy of the library may include suspension or loss of use privileges or legal prosecution by appropriate authorities.

Approved by Board of Trustees
8/15/02