Computer Use Policy

(Adopted by Library Board October 13, 1999; amended November 19, 2001; January 29, 2003; November 17, 2003, May 21, 2007, May 18, 2009; amended July 20, 2015.)

The St. Louis County Library offers public computers at all locations that may be used for electronic communication, database searching, record creation and/or Internet access. The Internet provides a means to access a wealth of local, national and international information far beyond the library's own collection. While much of the information accessed can be valuable and enlightening, the user may also find materials that are unreliable, personally offensive, or illegal. The library cannot police a global network and each individual user must take responsibility for his or her own activities on the Internet and for the activities of his or her minor children. Monitoring a minor's access to the library's wireless network is the sole responsibility of the parent or guardian.

By federal law, all public access computers at St. Louis County Library must be filtered.  Anyone age 18 or older (proof of age required) may request that the filter be turned off to enable access for bona fide research or other lawful purposes.

This policy governs the use of the library's computers and personal electronic devices accessing the library's wireless network. Patrons may not:
  1. Display images or materials which may reasonably be construed as obscene under federal or Missouri law;
  2. If a minor, display images or materials that are harmful to minors or pornographic for minors under federal or Missouri law;
  3. Engage in any activity that constitutes gambling;
  4. Use the Internet for unauthorized access or any illegal activity, including but not limited to hacking and the illegal downloading of copyright protected material;
  5. Engage in any activity that is harassing or defamatory;
  6. Engage in any activity that disrupts the normal operations of the library network;
  7. Engage in any activity that causes a disturbance in the library;
  8. Damage computer equipment or software.

Patrons will be asked to leave if their use violates this policy. Violations of this policy may also result in loss of access and/or privileges. Repeat offenders will be denied use of computers and Internet access at all St. Louis County Library locations for a period of time per the library's Code of Conduct.

Patrons use library computers at their own discretion.  The library assumes no responsibility for any damages, direct or indirect, arising from the use of its computer equipment, network, phone lines, wireless service or Internet connection. The library does not accept responsibility for electronic financial transactions, nor is it responsible for data that is corrupted or lost while using the computers. 

The library does not control and assumes no responsibility over the information accessed through the Internet. Internet sites should be evaluated by patrons for their content, accuracy and availability. Selected resources may be offensive to some.

Software and hardware, including some media players and plug-ins, cannot be installed on the library's computers. Library staff is unable to install software and hardware that has not been approved or purchased by the library with the purpose of being installed on the public computers. In addition, personal computing devices may only connect via the wireless network.  The library does not provide a physical network connection for any personal computing devices. The library does not provide a bypass for web filtering on its wireless network. A patron who believes that a site is incorrectly filtered may submit a request for it to be unblocked and the site will be reviewed to determine if access is appropriate. Tampering with library hardware or attempting to disable security software will result in a loss of library computer privileges.

Patrons agree to indemnify and hold harmless the St. Louis County Library, its employees and agents from any claim, demand, liability, cause of action, suit, judgment or expense (including attorney's fees) arising out of any use of the library's computer equipment, network, phone lines, wireless service or Internet connection.

Public computers are located in all library branches. Patrons wishing to use a library computer must have a current St. Louis County Library card in good standing. Those not eligible for a free library card may have a guest pass, which offers limited computer access, after providing appropriate identification. Some computers are available only to children under age 12 and provide access to selected resources, including filtered Internet access. Other computers are reserved for teens ages 12 to 18.

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