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Electronic Information Networks and Public Library Computers Use Policy

Article I: General Policy.

The Cook Memorial Public Library District (“Library”) endeavors to develop collections, resources, and services that meet the cultural, informational, recreational, and educational needs of patrons. It is within this context that the Library provides access to electronic information, databases, media, and the Internet (“Electronic Information Networks”). Patrons can access the Electronic Information Networks inside or outside of the Library using their own computer systems or personal devices. The Library also provides access to Electronic Information Networks on desktop and portable laptop computer equipment on the Library’s premises made available to the public (“Public Library Computers”). Providing access to Electronic Information Networks is intended primarily for use as an information resource tool and is consistent with the Library’s collection development policy, Wireless Internet Access Policy and mission statement. Electronic Information Networks and Public Library Computers will be collectively referred to as “Electronic Resources.”

Article II: Patron Rights, Responsibilities, and Risks.

Electronic Information Networks are dynamic, global resources that provide access to a wide variety of information. The Library does not have control over these resources and is not responsible for the content, availability, reliability, currency, accuracy or appropriateness of information accessed via their use. Library patrons use these resources at their own discretion and the Library is not responsible for any damages, indirect or direct, including but not limited to loss of data or any violation of privacy, arising from a Library patron’s use of Electronic Resources. Patrons using Electronic Resources agree that the Library may need to monitor computer use from time to time as an operational necessity. Furthermore, the Library may be required to disclose any information if directed to do so by a court of competent jurisdiction. The Library extends the protections of applicable confidentiality laws to all records of Internet activity maintained on Public Library Computers. The Library reserves the authority to reasonably regulate these resources to ensure the proper and efficient operation of the Library.


Library patrons have certain rights with respect to the use of Electronic Resources. Library patrons have the right to equitable access and the right to confidentiality and privacy in the use of Electronic Resources to the extent possible given certain constraints, such as proximity of other patrons and staff in public access settings. Patrons also have the right to access and read all patron related Library service policies, and discuss questions with the appropriate Library staff. This policy is part of the Library’s overall policy structure and should be interpreted in conjunction with other existing policies. Copies of all patron related Library policies are available upon request and on the Library’s website.


The Library recognizes that the Internet contains material that is inappropriate
for children and that may be objectionable to some adults. As such, the Library
provides the ability to filter sessions on all Public Library Computers.
Filtering software has been installed that has the ability to categorically block mature subject matter, such as pornography and hate content. The Library also recognizes that it is a parent’s responsibility and right to guide his/her minor child’s Library use. A parent or legal guardian who wishes to have unfiltered access for his/her minor child should notify a staff member as set forth in Article
III.C. below. The use of filtering software, however, cannot guarantee that all
sites a person might consider objectionable are blocked. Parents or legal guardians, not the Library or its staff, are responsible for information selected, transmitted, and/or accessed by their children. The Library encourages parents to monitor and supervise their children’s Internet use.

Article III: Rules and Guidelines for Use.

The following rules and procedures apply to all users of the Library’s Electronic

  1. In order to give assurance of privacy, access to the browser’s history files is
  2. Patrons will need to acknowledge the “Statement of Acceptable Use” (Article
    IV) at the start of each desktop computer session.
  3. Except as noted in Article III.F, adult library cards (ages 18 and up) default
    to unfiltered Internet access. All children’s/students’ library cards default
    to filtered Internet access. Patrons may request default changes at the
    Checkout Desk. Parents who wish to instruct the Library to provide unfiltered
    Internet access to their children under eighteen must do so in writing. For
    details, see a Library staff member at the Checkout Desk.
  4. The Library cannot guarantee that filtering will protect every Internet user from being offended by what is displayed at Internet stations. Conversely, patrons are advised that filtering software may block information that a patron might expect to be accessible on the Internet.
  5. Patrons using the unfiltered stations may be asked to show identification
    affirming that they are 18 years of age or older.
  6. Internet access via the Library’s portable laptop computers and Digital Studio
    computers is filtered for all users.

Article IV: Statement of Acceptable Use.

The Library provides access to electronic information, databases, media, and the
Internet (“Electronic Information Networks”) on public desktop and portable
laptop computer equipment on the Library’s premises (“Public Library
Computers”) as an information resource tool. Electronic Information Networks
and Public Library Computers will be collectively referred to as “Electronic
Resources.” All electronic traffic originating from library connections shall be in
accordance with the following guidelines. Failure to use Electronic Resources
within the guidelines of Acceptable Use may result in suspension of access
privileges, and/or loss of Library privileges.

  1. Destruction of, damage to, or alteration of Electronic Resources, software, or network security is prohibited. The Library will take necessary action against anyone violating this policy, including, but not limited to:
    1. Asking individuals to discontinue their display of information and images
      that may cause a disruption; and/or
    2. Terminating a Public Library Computer session; and/or
    3. Revoking a patron’s Library privileges.
  2. Users are expected to follow all federal, state, and municipal laws in their use of Electronic Resources. Illegal acts may be subject to prosecution by local, state or federal authorities.
  3. The Library cannot ensure the security of account or credit card numbers entered using Electronic Resources. Users are responsible to assume
    payment of fees for any fee-based services they incur.
  4. Prohibited uses include:
    1. Illegal Activity: Using Electronic Resources for any activity in violation
      of applicable local, state and federal laws and regulations, including, but not
      limited to, advertising, transmitting, or otherwise making available Ponzi
      schemes, pyramid schemes, fraudulently charging credit cards, pirating
      software, or making fraudulent offers to sell or buy products, items, or
      services. Users may not place any material on the Internet related to any
      illegal activity or constituting or encouraging conduct that would constitute a criminal offense or give rise to civil liability.
    2. Licensing Violations: Use of Electronic Resources in any way, which
      violates licensing agreements between the Library and network/database
      providers. Users may not violate software license agreements or engage
      in unauthorized duplication of copy protected software.
    3. Spamming: Sending of unsolicited bulk and/or commercial messages over
      the Internet using Electronic Resources.
    4. Intellectual Property Right Violations: Engaging in any activity that
      infringes or misappropriates the intellectual property rights of others,
      including, but not limited to, patents, copyrights, trademarks, service marks,
      trade secrets, or any other proprietary right of any third party.
    5. Obscene or Indecent Speech or Materials: Using Electronic Resources to
      advertise, solicit, transmit, store, post, display, or otherwise make available
      obscene images. The Library will notify and fully cooperate with law
      enforcement if it becomes aware of any use of Electronic Resources in
      any connection with child pornography or the solicitation of sex with minors.
    6. Forging of Headers: Forging or misrepresenting message headers, whether
      in whole or in part, to mask the originator of the message.
    7. Hacking: Accessing illegally or without authorization computers, accounts,
      equipment or networks belonging to another party, or attempting to penetrate
      security measures of another system. This includes any activity that may be
      used as a precursor to an attempted system penetration, including, but not
      limited to, port scans, stealth scans, or other information gathering activity.
    8. Distribution of Internet Viruses, Trojan Horses, or Other Destructive
      Activities: Distributing information regarding the creation of and sending
      Internet viruses, worms, Trojan Horses, pinging, flooding, mail-bombing, or
      denial of service attacks or like matters. Also, activities that disrupt the use
      of or interfere with the ability of others to effectively use the service or any
      connected network, system, service, or equipment.
    9. Facilitating a Violation of this Policy of Use: Advertising, transmitting, or
      otherwise making available any software product or service that is
      designed to violate this Policy, which includes the facilitation of the means
      to spam, initiation of pinging, flooding, mail-bombing, denial of service attacks, and piracy of software.
    10. Export Control Violations: The transfer of technology, software, or other
      materials in violation of applicable export laws and regulations, including,
      but not limited to, the U.S. Export Administration Regulations and
      Executive Orders.
    11. Resale: The sale, transfer, or rental of Electronic Resources to customers,
      clients or other third parties, either directly or as part of a service or product
      created for resale.
    12. Overuse: Users may not use computer equipment for longer than the allowed
      time periods which would deny access to other users.
    13. Installation of Software: Users may not install software on any Public Library Computer. Users will be held responsible for any damage to library software or hardware.


Adopted: 1/18/00
Revised: 3/20/01
Revised: 7/15/03
Revised: 3/20/07
Revised: 11/19/13
Revised: 12/16/14
Revised: 04/16/19