The Mercer County Library System offers internet access as a 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.
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.
As time permits, a brief introduction to the use of the terminal will be provided. Library staff is not available to offer extensive hands-on assistance to each internet user, but will attempt to give limited assistance when possible. The library offers classes and special programs, including one-on-one tutorials, as well as offering an online contact form, for patrons requiring more in- depth help. Patrons may find these classes listed on the library’s website, www.mcl.org or in the printed branch calendars.
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 in relation to family values and boundaries with their children and to monitor their children’s use of the internet. 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 here. Also, parents may find information on the website of the American Library Association, Great Websites for Kids.
Internet stations are filtered based on the location of the PC. PCs located in the designated Children’s sections are filtered using a CIPA (Child Internet Protection Act) compliant filter.
Inappropriate use of the public access computers of the Mercer County Library System includes, but is not limited to:
Patrons must use their own barcode to log-on. The use of a barcode other than their own will result in a suspension of PC privileges, and may be subject to criminal prosecution.
The library reserves the right to terminate an internet session at any time. Staff can only provide limited assistance with internet searching and word processing.
If patrons wish to save a copy of their work, they may bring a flash drive for downloading. Information can be saved to the hard drive temporarily, but will be deleted when the patron logs-off.
Patrons are responsible for logging off properly by using the “end session” button. Failure to do so may result in the temporary retention of personal information. Patrons should ask staff if they are unsure how to properly sign out of a session. To protect privacy, anything saved on the PCs will be deleted once the session ends. This includes files, passwords or website history. The software the library uses does not track internet activity.
Black and white printing cost $.10 per page. Color printing is $.50 per page. All printing may be paid 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 a patron experiences difficulty in using a computer they should notify staff immediately. They should not attempt to shut-off or reboot the computer; the PC will automatically reboot when a patron logs-off or their time expires.
Personal email accounts are not offered by the library. Patrons can register on-line for a free account if they wish.
Library cardholders and Internet-Only cardholders will be allowed a standard allotment of 120 minutes of PC time per day. Patrons can use their allotted time all in one session, or in any increments the patron wishes, but patrons must have a minimum of 10 minutes of time remaining in order to log-on.
Guest Use. For individuals who are visiting the library to use our PC or internet stations for a one-time visit, guest passes are available for a standard allotment of 60 minutes of PC time per day.
Internet users will need one of three cards to access the internet:
The library system takes seriously its obligation to provide an environment that is amenable to the information needs of many types of patrons, as well as their confidentiality. Patrons may request the use of a privacy screen at any time, and a screen will be provided by staff contingent upon the availability of a screen. If a staff member, at any time, believes that material displayed on a screen may distract or interfere with other patrons, the staff member may, in his or her sole discretion, direct the patron viewing such material to place a privacy screen on the computer screen.
Failure to comply with such a directive may result in termination of a patron’s computer session.