In keeping with the Library’s goal to provide access to information within the full scope of recorded human expression, the Monroe County Library System offers access to the Internet as an informational, educational and recreational resource for its patrons. The Internet is a vast, ever-changing global network providing a wide range of information and data from around the world. Some of the information might not be available in any other format, at an affordable price, or in a timely manner. For example, daily stock quotes, printable state and federal tax forms, local sport and concert arena information, and homework helper sites for students are available via the Internet.
Due to the size, scope, and rapidity of changes on the Internet, some information may be outdated, incorrect, or biased. The Library encourages the critical evaluation of all information found.
Children who use the Internet unsupervised may be exposed to inappropriate or disturbing information and images. Parents and legal guardians are responsible for the information accessed by their children and are encouraged to monitor their children’s use of the Internet. Parents should make children aware that adults may use Internet chat rooms or other Internet communications to attempt to make improper contacts with them. The Library does not filter Internet use by children, but does provide links to selected, age-appropriate Internet sites, including Internet safety information, via its Kids Zone. Public computers are placed so that staff can monitor for compliance with the Acceptable Use Policy. Through enforcement of this policy, the Library complies with MCL 397.606 and the federal Neighborhood Children’s Internet Protection Act of 2000 regarding computer access by minors.
The Library's connection to the Internet is provided through its affiliation with Merit, Inc., a non-profit Internet provider which operates MichNet, a Michigan computer network linking universities, public libraries, community colleges, K-12 schools, and other affiliates with each other and with the Internet. The Monroe County Library System maintains an affiliation with Merit through the Woodlands Library Cooperative. The Monroe County Library System also partners with local cable companies including Charter Communications, Comcast and Buckeye CableSystem to provide Internet access at some branch locations.
All users of library Internet services are expected to comply with the following while using a computer within a library branch of the Monroe County Library System.
- A user shall not intentionally transmit or display text or graphics which is obscene, sexually explicit matter that is harmful to minors, or child sexually abusive material.
- A user will be mindful and respectful of the rights of others, particularly children, not to be inadvertently exposed to materials they may find personally unsuitable.
- A user will respect the privacy of others; for example, users will not intentionally seek information on, obtain copies of, or modify files, other data, or passwords belonging to other users.
- A user may download to USB drive or CD-R(RW). Temporary download to the hard drive is allowed. Personal software and hardware is allowed but on a temporary basis. Any software or hardware requiring reboot of the system will not work with the current configuration.
- Users may save to the hard drive at their own risk. Changes to the hard drive during the current session are erased or reverted when the computer is shut down or restarted. However, it is possible that Items saved to the hard drive may be accessed by subsequent computer users if the computer is not restarted. Users should delete any files that are added to the hard drive. A user working on sensitive material may ask a library staff member to restart their computer when done working.
- A user should never select [Remember me] or any other username/password saving function.
- A user will respect the legal protection provided by copyright and license to programs and data.
- Users may not attempt to circumvent user authentication or security of any host, network, or account. This includes, but is not limited to accessing data not intended for the user, logging into a server or account the user is not expressly authorized to access, probing the security of other networks, either manually or by artificial means, or attempting to gain shell access to the Monroe County Library System’s servers.
- Users are prohibited from excessive consumption of resources, including, but not limited to CPU time, memory, disk space, and network bandwidth.
- Due to bandwidth resource considerations and potential copyright infringement, the library system does not support peer-to-peer file sharing networks.
- Internet access through the Monroe County Library System shall only be for personal, noncommercial purposes.
- Users are explicitly prohibited from sending unsolicited bulk mail messages ('junk mail' or 'spam'). This includes, but is not limited to bulk-mailing of commercial advertising, informational announcements, and political tracts.
In the event of a complaint or other indication of a violation of this policy, a user may be asked to exit a particular site, may have Internet privileges withdrawn, or may be prosecuted. Prior to termination of access, a user shall have an opportunity to justify or correct the questioned activities.
If it comes to the attention of the Library that the Internet is being used for illegal or criminal activity of any kind, the Library will cooperate with law enforcement officials in any manner authorized by state or federal statute.
Accessing the Internet
The Library provides Internet Access through designated workstations and computers as well as public wireless access located in its branches throughout Monroe County.
Each branch of the library system presently has at least one computer with graphical interface to the Internet. Internet use may be limited in terms of the use, length of time, or time of day in order to accommodate other patrons and library services. Patrons using library computers must first sign in and acknowledge acceptance of this policy in order to log onto the Internet. Where available, patrons may use SAM enabled computers for up to three hours a day in one-hour sessions. Patrons must log on again after each one-hour session ends. Staff may extend time so patrons should consult with a staff member regarding computer time extension.
Patrons may use their SAM account to pre-pay for computer printouts. Contact branch staff to see if SAM is available at the library branch. Except in the case of printer malfunction, MCLS does not refund money placed on a patron’s account. SAM accounts cannot exceed a $5.00 balance. Patrons should check the total number of pages before hitting [print now]. Patrons will not be refunded for blank sheets that are printed.
Printers are available at most locations and the library reserves the right to charge for copies in excess of 10 (black and white) pages per day. Color copies, where available, are not included in the ten free copies a day. Library printers only accommodate 8 ½ by 11 paper. Special paper, labels or envelopes cannot be used in library printers or copiers.
The Library will provide free wireless Internet connectivity for users with portable computers or devices capable of receiving wireless signals, during normal library business hours. Signal strength may vary in the building.
Library staff will provide general information on the settings necessary to access the Internet via these connections, but are not responsible for any changes made to the user’s computer’s settings and cannot guarantee that hardware will work with the library’s wireless connection.
If a user has problems accessing the Internet over these connections, staff will verify the library’s connections are up and running, but cannot assist in making changes to the user’s network settings or perform any troubleshooting on the user’s own computer. Users should refer to owner’s manuals or other support services offered by the device manufacturer.
As with most public wireless connections, the library’s wireless connection is not secure. Any information being sent or received could potentially be intercepted by another wireless user. Cautious and informed wireless users should choose not to transmit their credit card information, passwords and any other sensitive personal information while using any wireless connection. Users are encouraged to take appropriate precautions when using this service.
The library will not be responsible for any information (i.e. credit card) that is compromised, or for any damage caused to hardware or software due to electric surges, security issues or consequences caused by viruses or hacking. All wireless access users should have up-to-date virus protection on their notebook computer or wireless device.
Printers are not available via the wireless connection at this time. It is suggested that documents that need to be printed be sent to email, then using a wired library workstation, jobs can be sent to the public printer.
Use of the wireless connection is governed by our Acceptable Use Policy and by using this service users agree to abide by it. All users are expected to use the library’s wireless access in a legal and responsible manner consistent with the educational and informational purposes for which it is provided. As stated in the library’s acceptable use policy, users may not violate federal, state or local laws, including the transmission or receiving of child pornography or harmful material, fraud, or downloading copyrighted material. Our policy is to not allow the use of wireless devices in children’s or youth areas of the library.
Small study rooms:
Some small study rooms in library branches are wired for Internet access. Individuals wishing to connect to the Internet in those small study rooms must ask staff to activate the connection. To comply with section 397.606 of the Michigan Compiled Laws, when minors are using a connection in a small study room, the room may be entered from time to time by staff to insure compliance with the library system’s Acceptable Use Policy.
Access to printers from these small study rooms is not available.
Network and Workstation Security:
To provide safe and reliable computer and network access in the libraries, the Monroe County Library System utilizes security measures to secure its network and workstations. As a result of these security measures, the Library guarantees only the use of software installed on workstations by the Monroe County Library System and basic web browsing. The Library is unable to accommodate for all software and web services that are available on the Internet and available for download.
Some personal devices such as audio players and cameras may be able to be connected to workstations in the library, however installation of drivers for these devices is not supported. A device may not work as intended on a library workstation.
Network security also applies to the Library’s wireless access, and certain websites and web services may not work properly on a user’s personal device as a result of these security measures.
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