Policy for Public Access to Computers & Internet

The Westborough Public Library in its role as a community information resource provides public access to the Internet. The library does not control and does not monitor any information accessed through the internet for either accuracy or content. The individual user is the ultimate judge of the value of accessed information. In the case of minors, responsibility rests with their parents or legal guardians.


Acceptable Use

Access to and use of the library’s computers and internet connections is a privilege and should be treated as such by all users of the system. The Westborough Public Library’s electronic information resources are to be used in a responsible manner consistent with the educational and informational purposes for which they are provided. The following purposeful, illegal and/or criminal activities constitute unacceptable use:

  • Attempting to gain unauthorized access to the resources of the library’s computers
  • Disrupting the intended use of library computers
  • Wasting resources (staff time, equipment capacity, supplies) through such actions
  • Destroying the integrity of information on library computers
  • Compromising the privacy of users
  • Deliberately displaying obscene images (a violation of Massachusetts General Law)
  • Engaging in communications which are libelous or slanderous
  • Committing fraud
  • Violating copyright law or software licenses
  • Developing or using computer programs which infiltrate, or attempt to infiltrate, a computer or computer system, and/or damage or alter the software components, of a local or remote computer or computer system

Availability

Both long and short-term Internet workstations are available at the Westborough Public Library. Long term workstations require a C/W Mars Library card to log in. Short-term computers are available for fifteen (15) minutes at a time with a maximum of no more than thirty (30) minutes if no one else is waiting. Long-term computers may be used for one 60-minute session per day. Library staff will assure that all patrons have an opportunity to use computers by enforcing, as necessary, time limits on public computers.


Wireless Access

Wi-fi access is available to the public at the Westborough Public Library. We provide open, unsecured access to anyone with a wireless-enabled device. The library makes no guarantees as to the compatibility of the user’s equipment with our network. The library is not responsible for any personal information that is compromised, or for any damage caused to a user’s hardware or software due to security issues or consequences caused by viruses or hacking. Users should not transmit personal information, including but not limited to, banking information, over any unsecured network. Use of the Westborough Public Library’s wireless internet access is governed by the library’s Acceptable Use Internet Policy.


Filtering or Blocking Software

The Westborough Public Library subscribes to the position adopted by the American Library Association that the use of filtering software on library internet workstations blocks constitutionally-protected speech and is inconsistent with the United States Constitution and federal law.


Misuse

Anyone discovered attempting to damage the library’s equipment or software, attempting to change files or reset configurations, or otherwise violating this policy will immediately lose the right to use those resources. Illegal acts involving library computing resources may also be subject to prosecution by local, state or federal authorities. Users are responsible for any damage to hardware, software or furniture.


Printing

Printing is available from public workstations and patrons’ wireless devices. Printing fees are posted at the printer.


Reservations

While walk-ins are welcomed on both short-term and long-term Internet workstations, patrons may reserve up to one hour of computer time on the long-term Internet computer only, either in person or by phone. These reservations may be made for same day use only. Users arriving more that five minutes late for their reserved time may forfeit their reservation.


Shut Down

To facilitate closing procedures, software will shut down workstations fifteen minutes before the library closes.


User Limits

Users may be accompanied by only one other person at the workstation.


Validity

Internet users are cautioned to examine carefully the validity and accuracy of any information obtained over the Internet as well as the validity of its source.


Access by Minors

Parents or guardians must assume responsibility for deciding which library resources are appropriate for their own children. Parents/guardians must provide guidance to their own children for the safe usage of email, social media, and other forms of direct electronic communication. It is the responsibility of the parent/guardian to ensure that their child does not access sites that may be inappropriate or potentially harmful to the child.

The following safety guidelines will be posted at computers in the Children’s Room:

  • Never give out information about yourself, such as home address, school name, or telephone number, to anyone without permission from your parents or guardians
  • Never arrange a face-to-face meeting with someone via the computer without your parents’ or guardians’ approval
  • Never respond to messages that are suggestive, obscene, threatening, or make you uncomfortable. Show any messages like this to a parent, guardian, teacher or other adult
  • Never post messages or send emails that are suggestive, obscene, threatening, or would make someone else uncomfortable
  • Remember that people online may not be who they say they are
  • Never open attachments or click links in emails from people you don’t know. They could lead to inappropriate websites or contain viruses
  • Remember that everything you read online may not be true.