Policies: Computer & Internet Use
The Internet is a vast resource that offers access to a wealth of information that can be personally, professionally, and culturally enriching to users of all ages. Because it is unregulated, it is possible to find some sites that can be considered inaccurate or offensive to some users or inappropriate for viewing by minors. The Library cannot be responsible for the content or accuracy of the information on the Internet or the statements, views, and opinions expressed there.
Because this library receives federal funding for public Internet access, federal law requires the library to install blocking software on the library’s Internet computers. Adults 17 and over have the option of choosing unfiltered access at the time they sign on for an Internet session. An adult choosing unfiltered access to the Internet must declare that it is for lawful purposes.
Computers in the Children’s Departments of the libraries will remain filtered regardless of the access level of the user. Computers in other areas of the libraries may remain filtered as well. No filter is totally effective and should not be relied on for complete protection, as it may not entirely prevent access to sites that parents may consider inappropriate for their children. Parents are therefore strongly encouraged to supervise their children’s use of the Internet. MINORS UNDER 17 MUST HAVE PARENTAL PERMISSION TO USE THE INTERNET. Before allowing a child to use the Internet, parents should learn as much as possible about it. A good resource, produced by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, is their website at www.missingkids.org.
Users of the Internet are expected to obey all local, state and federal laws and the Computer Access and Internet Safety Policy of the Cobb County Public Library. Display of objectionable material or failure to abide by these laws and policies may result in loss of Internet privileges and/or expulsion from the Library and notification of law enforcement agencies.
It is illegal under any circumstance to access any sites that violate the laws of the State of Georgia. There is a compelling State interest in restricting access to sites that promote obscenity or child pornography as defined in O.C.G.A 16-12-80 and O.C.G.A 16-12-100.2 or which are harmful to minors as defined in O.C.G.A 16-12-100.1.
Public access computers are provided primarily for reference and research use. They are not intended to serve in the place of a personal computer. Time limits are necessary in order to allocate computer time fairly.
POLICY ON USE OF LIBRARY COMPUTERS AND THE INTERNET
1. Users must abide by all local, state and federal laws, including, but not limited to, those pertaining to obscenity (O.C.G.A. 16-12-80) and child pornography (O.C.G.A. 16-12-100.2) and information harmful to minors (O.C.G.A. 16-12-100.1).
2. Other prohibited uses include, but are not limited to:
Violation of these prohibited uses may result in loss of Internet privileges and/or expulsion from the Library and notification of law enforcement agencies
3. All computers in the libraries are filtered for inappropriately sexual or violent content. Those in the Children’s Departments and some in other areas will remain filtered regardless of level of access allowed on a user’s card. Any computer will be automatically filtered when accessed by a child under 17.
4. Adults 17 and over may choose unfiltered access when signing on to use an Internet computer and must declare that the use is for lawful purposes.
5. Minors under 17 must have parental permission to use the Internet, including email and chat rooms.
6. “CobbCat Only” and “Licensed Database Only” computers do not require parental permission as they are restricted to only those sites and do not have full access to the Internet. Young children should always be supervised by a parent or other responsible adult when using any library computer.
7. A Cobb County Public Library borrower’s card and PIN are required for signing up for and use of the Internet. Courtesy access is available for one 30-minute period per day for adults 17 and over that live outside the County. Name identification is required. Courtesy accounts are not permanent and are deleted after 30 days. Any money remaining on the account will be forfeited. Courtesy accounts can be renewed for an additional 30 days.
8. Library card holders may use computers for 30-minute or one-hour sessions depending on the demand at each library. Additional concurrent sessions may be allowed if no one is waiting, up to a total of two hours daily. Otherwise, the user must get on the waiting list for an available computer. Persons taking online tests, completing applications, or make use of computers for other special tasks that may require extended time should make their needs known to staff before they log on. Accommodations may be made for one day only, depending on demand at the time.
9. Some computers may be designated as “CobbCat Only” or restricted to GALILEO and other licensed reference databases and may not be used for other access to the Internet. “CobbCat Only” computers do not require signup.
10. Information may be printed at a cost of 15¢ per page, with the exception of “CobbCat Only” computers, which have free printing.
11. All printing must be pre-paid.
12. All personal external storage devices must be scanned for viruses prior to use.
13. No more than two people may use an individual workstation at any one time.
WIRELESS NETWORK ACCESS
Computers with specialized software and scanners may be available at various locations. This software helps patrons with certain disabilities to use the Internet and other Library Resources. A scanner is provided so that patrons can make full use of the assistive software. The scanner can also be used for routine scanning jobs.
Priorities for use of this specialized computer:
Other patrons may use this computer, subject to normal library policy, until it is needed by someone in the priority group. This computer can be booked in advance for use of the assistive software or to take an exam.
Approved by Library Board of Trustees, June 24, 2002
Revised July 22, 2002, February 24, 2003, July 28, 2003, May 23, 2005, August 22, 2005; May 22, 2006; March 27, 2007, August 25, 2008, January 25, 2010, andJanuary 23, 2012.
Link to PDF Printable Computer Access and Internet Safety Policy »