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Shepherd Public Library Computer / Internet Use Policy

In support of its role as an Independent Learning Center, the Shepherd Public Library provides computers for public use. These computers will be standard PCs, equipped with basic software programs, and when possible by grants or funding, the most up-to-date operating system. As part of the Library's mission to provide a broad range of information in a variety of formats, the computers will also have access to the Internet via a broadband connection.

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The Shepherd Public Library does not attempt to have the latest software programs. Programs are updated when funding allows, or grants are obtained. Programs are basic, and generally will not include specialized programs for graphics work or other technical-related work.

The Shepherd Public Library does not censor access to the Internet, and some sites may be offensive to some users. Therefore, parents or legal guardians, not the Library staff, are responsible for the Internet information selected and/or accessed by their children. Parents are advised to supervise their children's Internet sessions. The Library will not monitor use, restrict access, or block sites. Blocking access to sites is impractical, filters out valuable information along with the potentially objectionable, and can easily be circumvented by experienced computer users.

Patrons may not use the Internet connection for any activity prohibited by federal or state law or local ordinance. Viewing of any pornographic material is in violation of Texas Penal Code, section 43.24 and will result in the immediate loss of present and possible future use of the computers at the Library.
Users may not copy or distribute electronic materials, except as permitted by the Fair Use regulation without permission of the copyright owner.

The Shepherd Public Library is responsible only for the information provided on its home page about the library and its services – SPL has no responsibility for links to other websites and the information provided therein.

The Shepherd Public Library is not liable for any breach of account information caused by patrons that do not log off accounts. Patrons must be aware that not logging off personal accounts, such as email and banking, when on a public computer can sometimes cause a breach of security, allowing other patrons using the same computer access to said accounts. The Shepherd Public Library is not liable for any damage, monetary or otherwise, and by clicking to accept this agreement, a patron accepts this statement.

Library staff cannot provide in-depth training concerning the Internet or computer use. Staff may be able to answer questions, but will not stay at computers with patrons for teaching or training purposes.

Computer / Internet Rules and Procedures

By signing in to use one of the Library computers, you are stating that you have a working knowledge of the computer and are able to use it by yourself without the help of the staff or another person. You are also stating that, should you decide to use the Internet, you understand how to navigate the Internet by yourself, without the help of the staff or another person.

Patrons are not allowed to save any work to the hard drive. No programs are to be loaded onto the computer. Patrons are not permitted to change, delete, or restructure the computer, its programs, the Internet browser, or the operating system in any way. This includes, but is not limited to, changing the home page of the browser and clicking YES or OK to popups on the Internet that will have a changing effect on the computer. Patrons may save work to a floppy disk, CD, DVD or flash drive. Patrons downloading files are responsible for verifying that they are free of viruses to protect their own computers.

Any damage caused to the computer or software through negligence or lack of knowledge will result in financial restitution being paid to the library for replacement cost or repair of damaged items.

Children under 12 years old must be accompanied by a parent/legal guardian at all times while on the computer or Internet. Unsupervised access will be determined by the parent/legal guardian for children between 12 and 17 years old. Should a parent choose to let a child aged 12-17 have unsupervised access on the computer/Internet, the parent must sign a form for the child which will be kept on file in the Library.
Patrons may use the computer for one hour. The only exception to this will be testing, online course work or job searching.

Use of the computers is limited to what is allowable by the network. Playing games, chatting, distance education and other Internet arenas are allowable as long as they are browser-based, and do not require downloading anything to the computer. The computers are networked to the Library's main server, therefore the security is maximum, and things that are not allowed will not work on the public access computers. Patrons may not request that programs be added or deleted from computers.

Printing is available through the network printer. Patrons need to be aware that one page on the Internet is not necessarily one page of printing. Charges for printing will be established on a cost-recovery basis, payable at time of printing. Printing costs will be shown to the patron after the print button is clicked. Any patron not paying for printouts will have computer privileges revoked until charges are paid. The print jobs will not be printed until released by the admin panel on the circulation desk computer.

There is to be one person only per computer. Having a second person on a computer means violating the privacy and space of the person on the adjoining computer. Any user signed in to use a computer that has a second person with them will have their session terminated.

Cell phone use at the computer is permitted if the patron is quiet and brief. Loud talking and long conversations are not permitted.

The patron computers are controlled by the program PCCop/DigiNet. This is a time and print management software. Patrons not adhering to the rules will have their sessions terminated by the front desk.

10. Any patron failing to comply with the policies and procedures set forth in this document may have computer privileges revoked. The standard procedures for non- compliance are as follows:

First infraction of rules: Verbal warning, or message sent to computer via PCCop.
Second infraction: One week suspension from computer.
Third infraction: Six month suspension from computer.
Infractions incurred after the third time will be given a suspension at the discretion of the library Director and/or Library Board.