Internet Use Policy

Introduction

The Mercer County Library System offers Internet access as part of its mission to be the gateway to the growing universe of information by developing and providing open access to services and resources which are responsive to, and representative of, the diverse recreational, cultural and educational interests of the community. The Mercer County Library System takes pride in offering state-of-the-art information retrieval from all types of media to its patrons.

The Internet is a global electronic network. Resources available on the Internet supplement and complement the collections of the Mercer County Library System.

Accuracy & Availability of Information

The Internet and its available resources may contain controversial material. The Mercer County Library System has no control over the information accessed through the Internet and cannot be held responsible for its content. Library users access the Internet at their own discretion and are individually and totally responsible for any access points they reach.

The Library staff cannot control the availability of information links, which often change rapidly and unpredictably. Not all sources on the Internet provide accurate, complete or current information. Users need to be good information consumers, questioning the validity of the information they find on the Internet. Users may seek help from Professional Librarians to verify information.

Staff Assistance

Inappropriate use of the Internet from computers of the Mercer County Library System includes, but is not limited to:

  • Interfere, alter or damage any Library computer program, including disabling either their physical or electronic filters.
  • Use of the Internet workstation to gain unauthorized access to the Library’s computer system or any other network or computer system.
  • Violate the security system of the Library’s computers or any other network computer system.
  • Use any Library workstation for illegal or criminal purpose.
  • Violate copyright laws or software licenses or agreements.
  • Employ the Library’s computers for libel, slander, forgery, fraud or to transmit threatening or harassing material.
  • Display, send, receive or print text, images or graphics of obscene material or materials harmful to minors.
  • Display, send, receive or print text, images or graphics that violate laws relating to child pornography.
  • Engage in activity that is deliberately offensive or creates an intimidating or hostile environment for library staff and patrons.

Users are limited to two hours of PC use per day. You may use only your own barcode to access PCs. The use of a barcode other than your own will result in a suspension of PC privileges. Using dedicated library catalogs to access the Internet is prohibited.

Inappropriate Use of the Internet

Inappropriate use of the Internet from computers of the Mercer County Library System includes, but is not limited to:

  • Interfere, alter or damage any Library computer program, including disabling either their physical or electronic filters.
  • Use of the Internet workstation to gain unauthorized access to the Library’s computer system or any other network or computer system.
  • Violate the security system of the Library’s computers or any other network computer system.
  • Use any Library workstation for illegal or criminal purpose.
  • Violate copyright laws or software licenses or agreements.
  • Employ the Library’s computers for libel, slander, forgery, fraud or to transmit threatening or harassing material.
  • Display, send, receive or print text, images or graphics of obscene material or materials harmful to minors.
  • Display, send, receive or print text, images or graphics that violate laws relating to child pornography.
  • Engage in activity that is deliberately offensive or creates an intimidating or hostile environment for library staff and patrons

Users are limited to two hours of PC use per day. You may use only your own barcode to access PCs. The use of a barcode other than your own will result in a suspension of PC privileges. Using dedicated library catalogs to access the Internet is prohibited.

Child Safety on the Internet

Parents or guardians are responsible for the Internet information selected and/or accessed by their children. Children who use the Internet unsupervised may be exposed to inappropriate or disturbing information and images. Parents are encouraged to discuss the use of the Internet with their children and to monitor their access. To assist parents, the Library has available online and in print the pamphlet, Child Safety on the Internet Information Highway published by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. The website for additionally updated information is: Introduction to Internet Safety. Patrons may also find information on the website of the American Library Association, Great Web Sites for Kids Selection Criteria.

Rights & Responsibilities of Users

  • Many library computers on which the public can access the Internet are located in public areas that must be shared by library users of all ages, backgrounds and sensibilities. Individuals are asked to consider this point when accessing potentially controversial information and images.
  • The Internet is filtered based on the location of the PC. PCs located in or near a designated Children’s or Young Adult area will be filtered at all times to ensure a comfortable and safe environment for children and parents using those areas.
  • Library personnel do not monitor Internet access except for the length of time of use. If Internet use results in disruption of library services, or if patron behavior when using Internet resources becomes inappropriate for a library setting, the library reserves the right to end the session.
  • Viewing illegal materials, such as child pornography, or using the Internet so as to cause harm to others or engage in illegal activity are considered inappropriate uses of our resources. Library patrons observed using the Internet inappropriately will have their Internet session terminated. The Library reserves the right to revoke or suspend the library privileges or seek legal prosecution of patrons viewing illegal or inappropriate materials.

Printing & Downloading

Users may bring their own diskettes or flash drives for downloading. Information saved to the hard drive is erased once the patron’s session is ended. Printing costs .10 per page—please pay at the reference desk. The Library cannot be held responsible for any damage incurred to a patron’s disk or any virus contracted through computer use.

If you experience difficulty using the computer, please notify staff immediately.

Please do not shut off or attempt to reboot the computer yourself.

  • Personal email accounts are not offered by the Library, but you can register online for a free account.
  • The Library reserves the right to terminate an Internet session at any time.
  • Staff can provide only limited assistance with internet searching and word processing.

EnvisionWare Registration Software

EnvisionWare is a PC and Internet Registration software product that runs on public access computers in academic and public libraries.

For each computer session, the software prompts you to type in your library barcode number. The software validates the barcode number against a database of authorized users.

You may use only your own barcode and you are limited to two hours of PC use per day. The use of a barcode other than your own will result in a suspension of internet privileges.

Internet users will need one of three cards to access the Internet:

  • A Mercer County Library System Library Card: Patrons with a library card are all set to log on!
  • Internet Only Card: Patrons not eligible for a traditional library card, but who reside in a non-participating municipality in Mercer County, will be required to apply for an Internet Only Card. An Internet Only Card is also issued to those who do not reside in Mercer County but use our public PCs on a regular basis. This card will only allow use of PC stations; you will not be able to check out library materials. There is an annual fee of $2.00 for an Internet Only Card and valid ID, with a current address, is required.
  • Guest Cards: Patrons visiting from out of the area who need access to the Internet during a brief stay will be issued a Guest Card. You may register for a Guest Card three times in a six month period during one calendar year. Valid ID, with a current address, is required.

Patron Confidentiality

The Mercer County Library System is committed to the confidentiality of our patrons. We do not use your personal information for any other reason than to statistically monitor the use of our resources. We do act in accordance with NJ Confidentiality of Library Records Law (NJSA 18A:73-43.1), which prohibits us from disclosing library records unless directed to do so through a court order or subpoena. We also act in accordance with the USA PATRIOT Act, which was created by President Bush and Congressional leaders to respond to the legitimate concerns of national security.

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