Computer and Internet Use Policy
Everett Public Library is committed to its role in connecting the community and all its members to resources and services that inform, educate, and entertain. Everett Public Library provides free access to Internet-enabled devices and wireless Internet access (Wi-Fi). These provide customers with access to a vast array of electronic resources that supplement the Library's print collection and are also available for educational, informational and entertainment purposes.
Everett Public Library complies with the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA). This enables the Library to continue to be eligible for certain federal funding. CIPA states that all Library-owned computers with Internet access must be equipped with technology protection measures, i.e. filters, to protect against visual depictions of obscenity, child pornography and for those under age 17, material defined as harmful to minors.
Everett Public Library staff will work with the public to ensure compliance with the policy, guidelines and procedures for responsible computer and Internet use.
Due to limited computing resources, the Library reserves the right to limit the amount of time of computer usage. Patrons are reminded that the Library's computers are in public areas shared with people of all ages, backgrounds and beliefs. Individuals are expected to consider this diversity and respect the rights of others when accessing potentially offensive information or images.
To achieve a welcoming atmosphere conducive to the best use of its resources, the Library has developed the following guidelines for the use of public computers and Wi-Fi:
- Patrons must be courteous and respectful when using computers and conform to the Rules of Conduct.
- Patrons must use their own library card (or guest pass) to sign on to a computer.
- Patrons are responsible for logging into a new session each time they use a computer and for closing all applications and logging out when they are done using their computers. Sessions are logged off automatically after their assigned time has expired. This ensures that each patron’s privacy is protected.
- Computer users are responsible for bringing their own headphones if they wish to listen to audio and their own flash drives or other devices for saving their work.
- Computers may be used by two or more people when their behavior is not disruptive.
- Users of Everett Public Library computing devices and Wi-Fi are asked to use resources appropriately and respect the privacy of others.
- The Everett Public Library is not responsible for equipment malfunction, loss of data, any damages to the user's data or electronic transactions of any type which are related to the public use of library computer resources.
Everett Public Library upholds the right of individuals to have access to constitutionally protected material. However, Everett Public Library prohibits any unlawful use of the Internet by staff or users. Users are expected to comply with such laws, including but not limited to those related to copyright, computer hacking and child pornography. Users who engage in unlawful use of the Internet on library devices and property, or who harass other users, may be prosecuted and may lose Internet and/or Library privileges.
Everett Public Library Prohibits the following:
- Using Everett Public Library computers or Wi-Fi for illegal activity.
- Activities that disrupt the library or violate the Rules of Conduct.
- Using Everett Public Library computers or Wi-Fi to access material that is legally defined as obscenity, child pornography or, in the case of persons under the age of 17, material that is harmful to minors.
- Actions that compromise Everett Public Library computer or network security or would alter, damage, disable, vandalize or otherwise harm computer equipment, hardware, software or networks.
- Loading or downloading software from the internet or using personal software programs on the library's computers.
- Using any device to attempt to redistribute, share or boost the Library’s Wi-Fi signal.
- Using the network for unauthorized access or "hacking" into any systems, services or resources.
- Unauthorized disclosure, use and dissemination of personal identification information regarding minors.
- Invading the privacy of others by misrepresenting oneself as another user or attempting to modify or gain access to files, passwords or data belonging to others.
- Downloading copyrighted materials in violation of any copyright protection laws.
Not all sources on the internet provide information that is accurate, complete, current, legal, or philosophically acceptable to all people. Everett Public Library does not monitor, has no control over, and does not accept responsibility for material in other sources on the Internet. Library users access the Internet at their own discretion, are responsible for the results of their searches and should exercise caution and follow safety measures.
The Library has taken certain measures to assist in the safe and effective use of the Internet, including filtering. All Library computers with Internet access are equipped with filtering software that blocks visual depictions of obscenity, child pornography and sites that contain illegal content or are a threat to the security of the computer or network. Computers with Internet access located in or near the children's area are equipped with filtering software that also blocks access to material that is harmful to minors.
Library users age 17 and older may access unfiltered internet content on computers in the adult area. If a user age 17 and older wishes to opt out of filtering, they may request this of an Everett Public Library staff member. The staff member may temporarily provide access to a site or change the patron’s card status to allow unfiltered access. Library staff may request proof of age. Unfiltered access still has basic filtering to restrict access to illegal content or sites that pose a threat to the Library’s networks or computers.
Everett Public Library cannot control access to the resources on the Internet even with filtering software as no Internet filter is 100% effective. Patrons may report sites that they feel should potentially be blocked or unblocked to an Everett Public Library staff member or may fill out this online form (link to form).
As with all library materials, programs, and services, the responsibility for what minors read or view on the Internet rests with a parent or legal guardian. Library staff is available to assist customers in selecting or suggesting the best mix of information resources to meet their needs. Parents and caregivers are responsible for supervising their children's computer access and are encouraged to learn about the Internet and help their children use it wisely. Below are Everett Public Library’s suggestions when patrons encounter the following:
Direct Electronic Communications. Educate your child about the importance of keeping personal information private. Monitor your child's participation with email accounts, chat rooms and discussion groups.
Social Networking. Encourage your child to be honest about their age when signing up for social networking sites (e.g., Facebook, or Twitter) or blogs. These sites and services often have minimum age requirements and may not be appropriate for all children.
Unauthorized Disclosure. Users should be aware that the Internet is not a secure medium and that third parties may be able to obtain information regarding users' activities. However, Everett Public Library will not release information on the use of specific Internet resources except as required by law.
- Everett Public Library has taken certain measures to assist in the safe and effective use of these resources by all minors (age 16 and under). The Library is proactive by:
- Developing and maintaining an “Internet Use Q&A” on our website for parents and caregivers.
- Developing and maintaining age-appropriate sections on our website for children and teens.
- Installing and maintaining free educational and recreational programs and databases that help users safely and effectively search and navigate the Internet.
- Providing training programs and computer classes.
Everett Public Library champions the protection of personal privacy. The Library will keep confidential all such information that it collects to the fullest extent permitted by federal, state and local law.
- Everett Public Library does not monitor an individual's use of the Internet. Computer stations are programmed to delete the history of a user's Internet session once the session is ended.
- Computer reservation history is deleted daily. Browsing and use history is deleted every time a computer is restarted.
- Library laptops are programmed to delete personal data after a user logs out.
- Everett Public Library does not provide information about patrons' library records, use of Library materials, or use of the Internet to law enforcement officials without an appropriate court order.
Users should be aware that the Internet is not a secure medium and that third parties may be able to obtain information regarding users' activities. The library is not responsible for the misuse of personal information entered on websites, nor can it guarantee that library computers will access any purchased internet content.
Wi-Fi and Hotspots:
Use of Everett Public Library Wi-Fi/hotspot networks implies an understanding of and an agreement with the Computer and Internet Use Policy. The user is responsible for verifying compatibility of equipment with the library’s wireless network. The library does not guarantee wireless access at any specific library facility at any specific time or with any specific equipment. Service disruptions may occur, and some wireless equipment may not be compatible with the library’s wireless network.
Library staff are not able to provide technical assistance with personal wireless devices or connections.
Library Wi-Fi and hotspots access the Internet via an open, unsecured public access network. The privacy of information transferred over that network or over the Internet is not guaranteed. Virus protection and the security of information stored on or transmitted by personal wireless devices is the user’s responsibility.
The Library assumes no responsibility for damage, theft or loss of a patron's equipment, software, data or other personal property brought into or used within Library facilities.
Failure to comply with the Computer and Internet Use Policy may be cause for a temporary or permanent prohibition from future use of library equipment or facilities. Illegal activities may be reported to law enforcement.
Approved by the Library Board of Trustees
November 16, 2021