Computing Policy

Purpose Statement

Fulfilling its mission as the gateway to lifelong learning opportunities and experiences that inspire, inform, and entertain, the Everett Public Library (EPLS) provides public Internet access and computers with a variety of software.

Internet Disclaimer

The Internet and online environment consists of information on a wide range of topics provided by millions of individuals and organizations around the world.

Not all information found on the Internet is accurate, complete, up-to-date, legal or philosophically acceptable to all individuals. While EPLS can sometimes suggest Internet sites:

  • EPLS does not monitor or control the content of the material accessed through the Internet and cannot be held responsible for its contents.

  • Internet users are responsible for evaluating the accuracy of material found on the Internet.
  • With the exception of known security risks, EPLS does not employ filtering software on computers designed to be used by adults and minors so authorized by their parent or guardian.
  • EPLS employs Internet filtering software on computers designed to be used by those under the age of 18.
  • EPLS does not and cannot assume liability for damages from use of Internet information.
  • EPLS employs antivirus software and other technology protection measures, but it cannot warrant that its web site, server, or any other web site accessed by Internet users is free of viruses or other harmful components.

For further guidance, EPLS collections include reference and circulating resources on navigating and evaluating web sites.

Privacy

 EPLS champions the protection of personal privacy. EPLS will keep confidential all such information that it purposefully or inadvertently collects or maintains to the fullest extent permitted by federal state and local law, including the Washington Public Records Act and the USA PATRIOT Act.

  • The Internet is not a secure medium. Email is not necessarily secure against interception.

  • The 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; the Library employs the use of software that deletes public browsing and computer use history with every re-start.
  • Internet computers are equipped with privacy screens. In accessing content from various Internet sites, please be conscious of others in your vicinity, particularly children.
  • EPLS does not provide information about patrons' library records, use of other EPLS materials, or use of the Internet to law enforcement officials without an appropriate court order. However, law enforcement officers may take action on their own if they observe illegal activity in plain view. Internet users are reminded that illegal use of the Internet is prohibited by State and Federal laws, and by EPLS policy.

Network and Computer Security

EPLS uses electronic tools to maintain network security and provide equitable service for all library users. . Use of the EPLS network and computers expressly consents to such monitoring. Except for the above purposes, no other attempts are made to identify library users or their web activity.

EPLS employs measures designed to prevent access to sites or functions that would compromise EPLS computer or network security or would alter, damage, disable, vandalize or otherwise harm computer equipment, hardware, software or networks.

EPLS computers provide basic software and the ability to transfer content to portable storage. EPLS is not responsible for data that may be lost or damaged while using library computers.

EPLS’s Wi-Fi is an open, unsecured public access network. EPLS advises users not to transmit personal information (e.g., credit card numbers, social security numbers, passwords and any other sensitive information) while using any wireless access point. Furthermore, EPLS advises Wi-Fi users to take appropriate precautions when using this service, and to have up-to-date virus protection on their devices.

EPLS is not responsible for any compromised information or damages to hardware or software caused by network security issues.

For security and network maintenance purposes, EPLS may monitor individual equipment or Wi-Fi network traffic at any time. EPLS has the authority to disconnect any device from the Wi-Fi network that violates the practices set forth in this policy or any other related policy.

When using library computers or accessing the Wi-Fi network, individuals are expected to use the Internet in a manner consistent with the purpose of the library and with respect and consideration for other library members.

Violation of this or any related policy may be cause for a temporary or permanent prohibition from future use of library equipment or facilities. Illegal activities can be reported to law enforcement.

Rules and Responsibilities for the Public

Use of EPLS’s equipment for the transmission, dissemination, and/or duplication of information must comply with federal and state laws. EPLS expects all users to comply with such laws, including but not limited to those related to copyright, computer hacking, and child pornography.

Computer users will also refrain from any activity that unreasonably interferes with EPLS patron/staff comfort, safety, use or quiet and peaceful enjoyment of the library, in accordance with the Library’s Rules of Conduct.

Additionally, EPLS expects computer users to refrain from harming EPLS computers or systems through the use of viruses or other malicious acts, and to refrain from installing or copying software to EPLS computers.

Persons who violate these Rules may receive a warning from EPLS staff and/or an opportunity to cease the violation or leave the Library. Illegal activity, as well as any willful or repeated violations of the Rules of Conduct or other posted EPLS regulations, may result in removal from the facility and/or suspension of EPLS privileges. Violation of law may result in arrest and prosecution. In addition, where authorized by Federal, State or local law, violations of these Rules and Responsibilities may also result in arrest.

For information on the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, visit the United States Copyright Office Web site (http://lcweb.loc.gov/copyright/).

Computer Use by Children and Teens

As with other library materials, restricting a child or teen’s access to the Internet is the responsibility of the parent or legal guardian. It is recommended that parents or guardians discuss safe Internet practices with their children.

Number of Persons Per Computer

Librarians may, at their discretion, limit use of single computer terminals to one or two patrons as needed to ensure the comfort, safety, or quiet and peaceful enjoyment of the Library for all Library users and staff. Patrons may be allowed to work collaboratively, if their behavior causes no disruption.

EPLS Computer Help

Staff Assistance

Staff will assist library users in getting started with using our computers and resources. We offer limited assistance with basic Internet and word processing tasks; however, EPLS cannot guarantee that staff trained in all aspects of Internet or word processing are available to assist users at all times. Staff is not able to offer extensive explanations about the Internet or personal computer use or provide in-depth training. Time permitting, staff will try to answer specific questions about the Internet and offer suggestions for effective searching.

Staff is expressly prohibited from recommending any specific commercial site over another or performing commercial transactions for patrons.

Library staff cannot be held responsible for any problems encountered when assisting library users with users’ personal devices.

Librarians may direct Library users to a variety of books on Internet and computer related topics and free EPLS computer classes.

Approved by the Library Board of Trustees September 22, 2015