Computer and Internet Use Policy

approved2-27-14

Computer and Internet Use Policy

1)      Background

a)      The Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library is committed to the principles of intellectual freedom and the freedom to access information from a variety of sources.

b)      The Internet is an information resource that enables Library customers to access a diverse variety of information on public access computers beyond that contained in the library’s own collection.

c)       Some Internet content may offend or may be illegal under the laws of the State of Kansas.

d)      This Policy also serves to restrict access to materials that are child pornography[i], harmful to minors[ii] or obscene[iii].

2)      Library Responsibilities

a)      The Library uses Internet filtering software on all of its Internet access computers to block content that is child pornography, harmful to minors or obscene.

b)      The Library provides access to recommended, age-appropriate sites through its website.

3)      Customer Responsibilities

a)      As stated in the Unattended Child Policy, “The Library does not act in loco parentis (in place of parents) and Library staff does not have the authority to take responsibility for your child.”

b)      Customer may:

i)        Download files from a website directly to any supported portable storage media.

c)       Customer shall:

i)        Respect the legal protection provided by copyright license to software, books, articles and other electronic files.

ii)       Respect the privacy of others.

d)      Customer shall not:

i)        Access illegal Internet websites as defined by applicable state or federal law.

ii)       Regardless of age, access to web pages or websites that contain visual depictions that are child pornography or obscene, provided however, that customers age 18 and older may request an authorized Library staff member to unlock a filtered website or to disable a filter when using a Library computer for legitimate research or other lawful purpose.

iii)     If younger than age 18, access web pages or web sites that contain visual depictions that are pornography, harmful to minors, or obscene.

iv)     It will be considered a violation of this Policy if a customer clearly demonstrates the intent to violate the Policy even if no violation occurs.

v)      Gain or try to gain unauthorized access to restricted resources or entities.

vi)     “Hack into or interfere” with other users, system operations, integrity or security of the Library computer network or any computer system.

vii)   Attempt to gain access to another person’s files or passwords

viii)  Intentionally obtain copies or modify files, passwords, or data that belong to the Library or its users.

ix)     Harass others with messages, prints, images or software programs.

x)      Load or run any software other than that which resides on the Library’s Public Access computers.

xi)     Tamper with, mishandle, damage or attempt to damage computer hardware.

xii)   Interfere with, deliberately attempt to circumvent, or tamper with the filtering software.

4)      Printing

a)      The Library makes available at a nominal charge printing from public access computers.

5)      Limitation of Liability

a)      The Library assumes no liability for loss or damage to the user’s data, the user’s portable storage media or for any damage or injury arising from invasion of the user’s privacy or from viruses that may infect the user’s portable storage media or files.

b)      The Library cannot guarantee that Internet filters will block offensive and /or illegal materials.

6)      Enforcement and consequences for violating policy

a)      The Library electronically monitors all of its computers for violations of this Policy through Internet filtering software, the observations of Library staff and other customers, and other means.

b)      Staff is authorized to take immediate action to protect the security of computers and the network or to enforce any part of this Policy, including but not limited to confiscating disks, requiring a user to leave the computer or the premises, and contacting law enforcement authorities.

c)       The Library considers violations of this Policy as a violation of the Customer Code of Conduct.  Penalties imposed under the Customer Code of Conduct may be imposed for any violation of this Policy.

7)      Use of the Library’s computers constitutes agreement with this Policy.

8)      Procedures for the submission of complaints

a)      Customers desiring to submit complaints about the standards, rules and regulations and the enforcement thereof, or observed customer behavior have been adopted and are available pursuant to the Customer Conduct Policy on the Library website.

9)      Policy review.

This Policy shall be reviewed at least once every three years by the Library Board of Trustees.



[i] Means a visual depiction of a minor shown or heard engaging in sexually explicit conduct with intent to arouse or  satisfy the sexual desires or appeal to the prurient interest of the offender or any other person

[ii] Has the same meaning as that term is defined in K.S.A. 21-6402

[iii] Has the same meaning as that term is defined in K.S.A. 21-6401

Approved: December 21/2000
Amended: June 20/2002
Approved: February 16/2006
Amended: April 17/2008
Amended: November 20/2008
Approved:  January 19, 2012
Revised:  February 27, 2014

Board of Trustees
Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library