Electronic Resources and Equipment Policy

Integral to the Mission of the Amos Memorial Public Library is the provision of meeting the informational needs of the diverse population of its patrons. The Library endeavors to develop collections, resources and services to meet these needs. In response to changes in technology and the changing information needs of the community, the library provides access to a variety of electronic information, as well as equipment to support an electronic environment.

This document constitutes a Library system-wide policy for the management of computer data networks and the resources they make available, as well as stand-alone computers that are owned and administered by the Amos Memorial Public Library. The policy reflects the ethical principles of the Amos Memorial Public Library and indicates, in general, what privileges and responsibilities are characteristic of the Library computing environment.

Policies related to equipment and electronic information may change with time. The Library Board of Trustees maintains the responsibility and the right to make changes at any time and will advise patrons and library staff when changes occur.

External Networks

Members of the Library community who use networks or facilities not owned by the Library will adhere to the policies and procedures established by the administrators of these networks and facilities. (These can usually be obtained from the network information center of the network in question.) Use of Library computing resources must follow the guidelines of all of the networks traversed.

Confidentiality

In general, the Library will treat information stored on computers as confidential (whether or not that information is protected by the computer operating system). Requests for disclosure of information will be honored only under one of the following conditions:

  • when approved by the appropriate Library administrator;
  • when authorized by the owners of the information;
  • when required by local, state or federal law.


Except when inappropriate, computer users will receive prior notice of such disclosures. (Viewing or information in the course of normal system maintenance does not constitute disclosure.)

Responsibilities of Users

The user is responsible for correct and sufficient use of the tools available for maintaining the security of information stored on each computer system. The following precautions are strongly recommended: Computer accounts, passwords and other types of authorization that are assigned to individual users should not be shared with others.

The user should assign an obscure account password and change it frequently.

The user should understand the level of protection each computer system automatically applies to files and supplement it, if necessary, for sensitive information.

The microcomputer user should be aware of computer viruses and other destructive computer programs, and take steps to avoid being a victim or unwitting distributor of these processes.

Ultimate responsibility for resolution of problems related to the invasion of the user’s privacy or loss of data rests with the user. The Library assumes no liability for loss or damage to the user’s data or for any damage or injury arising from invasion of the user’s privacy.

Display/Dissemination of Sexually Explicit Materials

Use of Library OPLIN/Internet access stations to display or disseminate sexually explicit (obscene/pornographic) material in any Library building is neither appropriate nor acceptable.

Organizational Purposes

Library computing resources are to be used to advance the Library’s mission. Staff may use them only for purposes related to the discharge of their duties as employees, their official business with the Library, and other Library-sanctioned activities.

Legal Use

Computing resources may only be used for legal purposes by the public and staff. Examples of unacceptable purposes include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Harassment of other users;
  • Libeling or slandering other users;
  • Destruction of or damage to equipment, software, or data belonging to the Library or other users;
  • Disruption or unauthorized monitoring of electronic communications;
  • Unauthorized copying of copyright-protected material.

Ethical Use

Computing resources should be used in accordance with the ethical standards of the Library. Examples of unacceptable use (some of which may also have legal consequences) include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Violation of computer system security;
  • Unauthorized use of computer accounts, access codes, or network identification numbers assigned to others;
  • Use of computer communications facilities in ways that unnecessarily impede the computing activities of others (such as randomly initiating interactive electronic communications or e-mail exchanges, overuse of interactive network utilities, and so forth);
  • Violation of software license agreements;
  • Violation of network usage policies and regulations;
  • Violation of another user’s privacy.

Cooperative Use

Computing resource users can facilitate computing at the Library in many ways. The Library endorses the practice of cooperative computing. It includes:

  • Regular deletion of unneeded files from one’s accounts on shared computing resources;
  • Refraining from overuse of connect time, information storage space, printing facilities or processing capacity;
  • Refraining from overuse of interactive network utilities;
  • Refraining from use of sounds and visuals which might be disruptive to others;
  • Refraining from use of any computing resource in an irresponsible manner.

Sanctions

Violators of computing resources use policies may lose library privileges. (Staff will be subject to normal disciplinary procedures as well.) Violations of the policies described above for legal and ethical use of computing resources will be dealt with in a serious and appropriate manner. Illegal acts involving Library computing resources may also be subject to prosecution by local, state or federal authorities.