Using the Internet and the Library's Public Computers
- Library computer users must sign in and sign out at the main desk each time they use a computer and must agree to follow the rules stated here.
- The library's public computers allow users to search a variety of electronic resources. Internet computers provide information beyond the confines of the library's collection, as well as access to word processing. A library catalog computer is coming soon.
- Because nothing personal may be stored on any library computer, patrons are encouraged to bring their own personal flash drives on which to store files created and information collected while using a library computer.
- Use all library computers in accordance with this policy and the Athena Public Library's B24 Behavior Rules. A printed copy of these guidelines and policies is available to read at the library's main service desk.
Access to Internet resources
Athena Public Library (APL) is committed to providing access to informational, educational, recreational and cultural resources for library users of all ages and backgrounds. Throughout its history, APL has made information available in a variety of formats: audio, print, audiovisual and, in recent years, electronic. The library's computer system provides the opportunity to integrate electronic resources from information networks around the world with the library's other resources. The library strives to balance the rights of users to access information resources with the rights of users to work in a public environment free from sounds and images intended to harass other library users or library staff.
The library's goal in providing Internet access is to enhance its existing collection in size and depth and, as a public access agency, to give anyone who wishes to use the Internet the chance to do so.
Posted on this website are specific starting points for Internet searches that are appropriate to the library's mission and service roles. The Library4U pages have been provided to assist users in finding age- and topic-appropriate sites.
Upon request, library staff and volunteers will help you use the computers to find the information you need, as well as help you learn to use search tools on the Internet computers. However, they cannot provide extensive one-on-one instruction. From time to time, the library may host a beginning computer class, so watch the Library News page for news of upcoming classes.
As a rule, users must be at least 14 years old to access the Internet on a library computer. APL does not currently have any computers dedicated to the use of younger children. The child's parent or guardian marks on the child's library card application the way(s) the child may use the Internet.
Parents and children should read the information on NetSmatz.org from the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. The website of ConnectSafely also offers useful online safety tips and advice for parents and teens.
The Internet offers access to a wealth of material that is personally, professionally and culturally enriching to individuals of all ages. However, it also enables access to some material that may be offensive, disturbing, illegal, inaccurate or incomplete. Users are encouraged to evaluate the validity and appropriateness of information accessed via the Internet.
Library computers are protected with anti-virus software and a program that deletes everything downloaded by patrons during the day. If you wish to save any information or files, you must download them to a portable drive.
Time and other limits
To use a library computer, a patron must log in and out on the list at the librarian's desk, marking the time of sign-in and sign-out. Each individual will be limited to one session of up to 90 minutes of Internet access per day. Failure to log in may result in losing your computer privilege for the remainder of the day.
The library's computers are set up for use by a single individual. A maximum of two persons may sit/work together at any one computer, except in special cases, such as teen groups in the teen room, or when a parent/guardian is with children. Adults accompanied by children under six years of age may not leave them unattended in order to use a computer unless the child is able to sit quietly.
Because the library's computers are in public areas, we cannot prevent other library users from seeing what you are viewing. Others may be involuntarily exposed to what you are viewing. The library asks that you remain sensitive to the fact that you are working in a public environment shared by people of all ages.
If you wish to listen to music or other audio while using a computer, please request and use earphones to minimize noise in the library.
You are responsible for complying with copyright law, licensing agreements and the policies of individual websites that you view.
Notice: Warning of Copyright Restrictions
As a patron, your ability to post or link to copyrighted material is governed by United States copyright law. The library reserves the right to delete or disable any post or link that, in the judgment of library staff, violates copyright law. In accordance with 17 USC S 512 (i)(1)(A), the library may terminate a patron’s access to the system or network for disrespect of the intellectual property rights of others, or for repeat infringements of copyright. The library has adopted this policy and will make all reasonable effort to enforce it in appropriate circumstances.
Software and other files downloaded from the Internet may contain viruses or spyware that may infect other computers.
Rules governing use of library computers
Failure to comply with the following rules may result in loss of computer privileges, loss of library privileges and prosecution.
- Sign up for an Internet computer before using it and promptly give up the computer when your time has elapsed.
- Promptly give up the computer if requested by staff.
- You may download files using supported media. The library is not responsible for damage to your media or for corruption of your data, including damage caused by mechanical malfunction or corruption caused by virus or spyware infection while using library computers. Do not attempt to run or execute programs or applications from personal storage media.
- There is a charge for printing from public computers: 25 cents per page to cover the cost of toner and paper. You must pay before taking possession of the pages. You may request to have the printing fee charged to your library account. However, if adding the printing fees pushes your total fines and fees over the $5 limit, your library privileges will be suspended and you will not be allowed to take the pages until the total owed is less than $5. If non-payment becomes a long-standing or recurring problem, your computer privileges will be suspended.
- Stop viewing any site that creates a hostile environment for other library users and staff if a staff member asks you to stop, and do not view similar sites when others are present.
- Use headphones when listening to audio content, and keep volume low so you do not disturb others.
- As a courtesy to others, log off completely when you are finished with your session. This also protects the privacy of your search. To do this, close all windows and return to the opening screen.
- Do not gather around computers when doing so may obstruct others or create noise that distracts others.
- Do not sign in with another person's name in an attempt to gain more computer time beyond the 90 minutes allowed per day.
- Do not misuse computer equipment or software.
Misuse includes but is not limited to:
- Viewing material that violates federal, state or local laws or regulations, including those regarding accessing, viewing, printing and distributing obscenity or child pornography
- Hacking into the library computer system or any other computer system
- Mishandling, damaging or attempting to damage computer equipment or software; tampering with computer settings
- Interfering with system operations, integrity or security
- Attempting to gain or gaining access to another person's files or authorization code
- Engaging in any activity that is deliberately offensive or creates an intimidating or hostile environment
- Telnetting to outside locations on a Library Resource Computer (What is telnetting?)
- Violating copyright laws and software licensing agreements or the policies of the individual websites that you view
- Failing to pay for all the pages you print
- Refusing or ignoring a staff person's request to give up a computer
- Using an Internet computer without signing in, or using another person's name when signing in.
- Failing to comply with time limits
- Any other violation of this Acceptable Use of the Internet and Library Public Computers statement