302. Internet Use Policy

Originally adopted November 2007. Current version adopted April 2021. Next review, April 2024.

Section 1. Purpose
Public libraries strive to provide a wide variety of information on multiple subjects for the pursuit and enlightenment of the communities they serve. Today, providing free access to the Internet is a critical piece in accomplishing this goal. As such, the Marshall-Lyon County Library implements Internet services in two primary ways: through Library-owned equipment, such as desktop computers, and wireless access points that enable customers to use their own devices. This Policy lays out the principles and limits of these services.

Section 2. Library Responsibilities
The Library uses software that prevents browser history from being collected or personal information entered into websites or applications from being retained. Likewise, customer computer use and reservation records are not permanently maintained. The Library will not reveal any personal data or related internet usage or browsing unless required by law or court order.
Children are allowed to use Library-owned computers and may freely access the wireless with their own devices. As the Library cannot act in loco parentis, parents must be aware of and monitor their own children’s Internet access and usage.

To aid compliance with Minnesota and Federal obscenity laws, the Library does filter Internet access on Library-owned computers and the wireless points using a personal device. Filtering software works to block access to information and materials that are child pornography or considered obscene or harmful to minors. The Library does not guarantee that such software will block all material under these categories; likewise, such information and websites that do not fall under these categories may inadvertently be blocked. Customers may request the staff unblock a site if this happens.

Section 3. Library Disclaimers
Providing access to information available on the Internet does not constitute endorsement of the content by the Library. Further, the Library Board expressly disclaims any liability or responsibility arising from access to or use of information obtained through the Internet.
The Library assumes no liability for loss or damage to user’s information, data or portable storage devices, or for any damage or injury that results from viruses or invasion of privacy from using Library-owned equipment or wireless access points.

Section 4. Customer Responsibilities

  • Parents/guardians and/or caregivers are responsible for what their minor children access on the Internet.
  • Customers handling financial transactions or other activities that require confidentiality do so at their own risk. The Internet is not a private environment and security of electronic communication cannot be guaranteed.
  • Customers are urged to respect the sensibilities of others when accessing images that may reasonably be offensive to someone else. Privacy while using the Internet in the Library cannot be guaranteed. There exists a possibility of inadvertent viewing by others.
  • Each user is responsible for complying with copyright law and adhering to software licensing agreements, as well as all Minnesota and Federal laws including, but not limited to, those concerning hacking, fraud, privacy, or obscenity.
  • Use of the Library’s Internet connection in an illegal, disruptive or destructive manner may result in the loss of Internet or Library privileges.
  • Security for personal wireless devices rests solely with the owner. Library staff may provide guidance for accessing Library materials and services with privately-owned devices, but they do not provide technical support.
  • Customers shall not hack or interfere with other users’ devices, system operations and the integrity or security of the Library network or computer system.
  • Customers will not attempt to access another person’s files or passwords.
  • Customers will not use another person’s Library card to use Library-owned computers unless they have explicit permission; Library staff may check with the card owner on whether permission has been granted.
  • Users of Library equipment or wireless will not harass, stalk or bully others with messages, prints, images or software.
  • No customer will tamper with, hack or damage in any way Library equipment, filtering software or any other software or device meant to protect the Library’s network and security systems.

Section 5. Agreement and Enforcement
A customer’s use of Library equipment or the wireless service to access the Internet constitutes agreement with this Policy. Any questions, concerns or feedback about this Policy or the Guidelines Governing Public Computer Use should be directed to staff.

Both software and Library staff monitor customers’ use of the Internet. Library staff may request that individuals cease to view or listen to works that disturb or threaten the safe and comfortable environment of the Library, or interfere with the conduct of Library business. Furthermore, any violations of this Policy are considered a violation of the Customer Code of Conduct Policy and as such, penalties imposed under that Policy may be imposed for any violation under this Policy.