Policy 2.21: Moorpark City Library Internet and Computer Use and Patron Agreement

1. Introduction 

The Moorpark City Library (Library) provides the opportunity for public access to the Internet, which allows individuals of all ages the freedom to explore and expand their knowledge beyond the traditional “walls” of the Library.

The following policy governs the use of public computer resources in the Library, including public Internet access, library workstations and library laptop computers, non-Internet applications, wireless access (Wi-Fi), and remote use of the library’s technology offerings.

Before using any public workstation at the Library, patrons agree to abide to this “Moorpark City Library Internet and Computer Use Policy and Patron Agreement”.  By signing for a library card for their children under the age of 18, parents or legal guardians acknowledge that their children will be allowed access to the Internet. 

Library patrons that access the City’s wireless network (Wi-Fi) while using their own wireless capable devices will be required to affirmatively acknowledge a wireless user agreement prior to each use. 

2. Internet Content 

The Internet is an unregulated, global resource that contains materials that some persons may find offensive.  While the City will take precautions to regulate internet access by minors on the City’s library computers, the City is not responsible for anything that any library user may see or read while in the Library that the user or, in the case of minors, the user’s parents or legal guardian, may find offensive.  The City is not responsible for a minor that brings into the library a wireless capable device that permits access to Wi-Fi, which is unfiltered and unsecured. The City urges parents or legal guardians to accompany their children while visiting the Library to ensure that their children are safe at all times.

3. Internet Users 

Internet users are expected to act in a responsible, ethical, and legal manner. Users may not use Library computers to access Internet sites that depict or transmit material that violates state or federal law.  The Library is not responsible for the content of retrieved information.  Library users are responsible for critically evaluating the quality and accuracy of material obtained from the Internet.  Internet filter software is not infallible and even when using filtering tools minors may be exposed to explicit material.

The Library expressly disclaims and shall have no liability for any direct, indirect, or consequential damages related to information obtained from the Internet.  All users shall expressly assume the risk of receiving incorrect, inaccurate, defective, fraudulent, or unlawful information while accessing the Internet through any equipment or service offered by the City of Moorpark.

Wireless Internet users must agree to the wireless network user agreement, the wording of which shall be approved by the City Manager or his/her designee, before accessing the Library’s network with their own wireless capable devices.

To protect their privacy, Internet users are advised to log off at the end of their session.

4. Internet Access 

Access on most of the Library computers is filtered as to sexually explicit content.  Adult patrons, by default, have unfiltered access for themselves.  A parent or legal guardian for children under the age of 18 shall designate, upon completing and signing the library card application in the presence of Library staff, whether they authorize unfiltered access to the Internet.  Without this authorization, no minor shall be issued a card with unfiltered Internet access.

Users whose conduct while using public computer systems is disruptive or interferes with the use of the Library by others, will be asked to modify their behavior or, if unable to modify their behavior, will be asked to leave the Library.

The City Library reserves the right to revoke or suspend computer privileges in the case of failure to comply with this policy or the violation of local, state, or federal law.  The Library may suspend privileges by a minor without notification to the parent or legal guardian.  In addition, unlawful activities will be reported to the Ventura County Sheriff’s department and dealt with appropriately.

5. Disclaimer for Assistance with Patron Owned Devices 

Library staff may provide verbal guidance about using a mobile or other personal device.  By requesting help or assistance with operating a patron’s personal cellular phone, eReader, tablet, laptop or other personal device, patrons agree to the following terms and conditions:

• The Library makes no warranty or guarantee of any kind regarding any technology assistance provided.

• The guidance could involve certain risks to the device and any data stored on the device and personal information stored on the Internet.

• It is the patron’s responsibility to back up all software, data, and files on the mobile device.

• Library Staff are neither responsible nor liable for any damage to the device and/or loss, damage, alteration or corruption of any software, data operating system or files that may result from Library staff guidance.

• Given the complex and changing nature of computer and information technology, there may be omissions or inaccuracies in the information provided by Library staff.

6. Wireless Network (Wi-Fi) Security Warning and Disclaimer 

A. The Library cannot guarantee the safety of data transmitted across its Wi-Fi.

B. The Library assumes no responsibility for the configurations, security, or changes to personal data files resulting from a connection to the Wi-Fi; the safety of equipment (patrons should keep equipment with them at all times); nor the availability of a wireless connection (there is no guarantee that users will be able to make a wireless connection).

C. Library staff may provide limited verbal guidance to patrons wishing to access the City’s wireless network. Technical assistance of does not include Library staff touching patron’s personal electronic devices or equipment.

D. The City’s Wireless Internet Network Policy (City Council Policy 2.14) applies to the Library use. All users with portable computers or devices capable of receiving wireless signals will be required to acknowledge they have read the City’s wireless network user agreement prior to each use.  

7. Rules of Conduct for Internet and Computer Use 

A. Library workstations are available for one hour per day per user.  Sessions may be extended if no other patrons are waiting for workstations.  Library staff may designate one or more computers for use as online homework tutoring stations and may allow an exemption from the one-hour rule on any such computer for this use between the hours of 3:00 p.m. and closing Monday through Thursday.

B. One workstation will be designated as the “express” computer terminal.  This computer will be specifically for quick use and limited to 15 minutes at a time. 

C. Use of a workstation is on a first-come/first-served basis.

D. Users can sign up to use a workstation on a next-available basis.  Requests for specific computers cannot be honored.

E. Only one person at a time may use a workstation.  Exceptions may be made at the discretion of Library staff.

F. Printing may not be available at all public internet access computers.  The printing fee shall be set by resolution of the City Council, and customers are not permitted to supply their own paper.  Printers may not be moved or attached to other computers or patron personal devices. Printing from patron personal devices may be made available to patrons via a wireless printing system and coin vending system.

G. Library laptop usage and procedures shall be at the discretion of Library staff and the City Representative and may change at any time.

H. Users are prohibited from interfering with the performance of the network.  Users must not reconfigure workstations, “hack” passwords, gain entry to closed areas of the network, or introduce computer viruses.  Users are responsible for any hardware or software damage they cause.  Tampering with hardware or software is considered vandalism and may result in legal action (violation of California Penal Code Section 502 et. seq.).

I. Users may not use the workstation or laptops for illegal activity, including violating copyright laws or software license agreements.  

J. Users may not install their own software programs or attach personal hardware to Library computers other than a Universal Serial Bus (USB) for saving documents.

K. Users must not interfere with the work of others and must respect  privacy rights of all Library patrons.

L. The Library upholds the right of confidentiality and privacy for all users; however, the Library reserves the right to monitor the use of its Internet services and review any electronic data generated from use of the Library’s computers as may be needed to maintain the City’s computer network.  Daily sign-in logs for Internet use are considered temporary records and are not retained.

M. Absolute privacy for patrons using electronic resources in the Library cannot be guaranteed.  There exists a possibility of inadvertent viewing by other patrons, either by watching the user’s screen or because a user may leave the screen unattended. 

N. The Library does not provide individual e-mail accounts to users; however, users with existing e-mail accounts may access their accounts or users may register for free e-mail services available on the Internet.  The Library assumes no responsibility and shall have no liability for any claim or damage resulting from the provision of such Internet access to users.

O. Use of the Library’s computers is a privilege.  Users must end their sessions, log out, and leave the workstations or laptops when asked to do so by Library staff.

8. Supervising Computer Use by Children 

The Library does not serve in loco parentis (in the place of a parent).  Librarians cannot provide supervision of children as they explore the Internet.  The responsibility for what minors read or view on the Internet rests with parents or legal guardians.

The following are recommended guidelines for parents and legal guardians to ensure that children have positive online experiences, whether at home or at the Library.

A. Use the Internet as a family.  Join your children in Internet exploration.

B. Explore the wide range of available information and tell your children about sites you consider inappropriate for them.

C. Provide guidelines for your children on the amount of time they spend online, just as for television viewing.

D. Instruct children NEVER to give out personal information (name, address, password, telephone number, credit card number) online.

E. Teach children to be good online consumers. As with print information, consider the source, date and accuracy of online information.

F. Parents or legal guardians and children are encouraged to read "Child Safety on the Information Highway" and “Teen Safety on the Information Highway” available free at any library location or at www.safekids.com and www.safeteens.com.

9. Policy May Be Revised 

The City of Moorpark reserves the right to revise this policy from time to time.  If revised, a copy of the current policy will be available online at moorparklibrary.org, at the Library Circulation Desk and in the City Clerk’s office.  All patron use of the Library Internet workstations must be in compliance with the current policy whether or not a patron has read the revised policy.