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 INTERNET ACCESS

The Midland County Public Library provides access to the Internet as one means of fulfilling its mission. All Internet resources accessible through the Library are provided equally to all users, with the understanding that it is the individual user's responsibility to demonstrate judgment, respect for others, and appropriate conduct while using the public library's resources and facilities. All minors need adult permission and a chaperon to access the Internet. (See Internet Policy below)

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Minors under the age of 18 must have permission on record with the library to use the Internet.

Minors under 13 MUST HAVE a parent or guardian with them while they are using the Internet.
Otherwise, minors are welcome to use the computers located in the Children's department at the Downtown library.  
For more Information, e-mail periodicals@co.midland.tx or call, 742-7421.

 

The library subscribes to several information databases both on its own and through the Texas State Library.
These data bases provide the most current and up-to-date information possible.
Insofar as it is financially possible the library will continue to provide these services to the library users.

 

 

Internet Use Policy

  
 
  • Users must have a valid photo ID or Midland County Public Library card.
    The ID/card must be presented at the time the Internet computer is to be used. 
 
  • Internet computers are available 10 minutes after the library opens,
    and are turned off 10 minutes before the library closes. 
 
  • Internet computers are available to qualified users on a first-come, first serve basis. 
 
  • Internet computers can be used for 120 minutes a day.
    Additional time may be added at the librarian’s discretion. 
 
  • Internet computers can be used for educational informational and
    recreational purposes only; not for unauthorized, illegal, or unethical purposes. 
 
  • Users may not misrepresent themself as another user by attempting to
    modify or gain access to files, passwords, or data belonging to others. 
 
  • Users may not send, receive or display text or graphics displaying threatening,
    harassing or abusive language and/or images or which may reasonably be considered as pornographic.
    (Users may request that the filter be turned off, if it is blocking access to legitimate sites). 
 
  • Users may not access the computer operating system or make any modifications
    to the hardware or software installed on the computers, nor install or download software to the computers. 
 
  • Printouts are $0.10 per page (black & white only). 
 
  • Library staff will assist patrons with computers as time permits, but may not be familiar with
    every application that a person might wish to use. Because of the many different applications available,
    we cannot provide complete technical support. 
 
  • Two people may work together at an Internet computer provided the second user
    has the permission of the person who has signed up. 
 
  • Violation of internet policies will result in loss of internet privileges.
 
  • For a full list of library internet policies, ask at help/reference desk. 
 
 
   
INTERNET SAFETY
 

The Midland County Public Library provides access to the Internet as one means of fulfilling its mission. All Internet resources accessible through the Library are provided equally to all users, with the understanding that it is the individual user's responsibility to demonstrate judgment, respect for others, and appropriate conduct while using the public library's resources and facilities. Minors are required to have an adult nearby while they access the Internet. All minors need the responsible adult’s permission to access the Internet. 

Internet computers will not be used by anyone, including minors, for illegal activity, to access illegal materials, or to access materials that by local community standards would be inappropriate.  Library employees are authorized to take prompt and appropriate actions to enforce the Rules of Conduct, and / or to prohibit use by individuals who fail to comply with the Internet Safety Policy as stated or implied herein.  Parents are responsible for their minor children's use of the Library's resources and facilities.  Parents who believe that their minor children cannot responsibly use the Library's internet access are requested to monitor their children's internet use. 

The County of Midland has installed a filtering software product on all internet access computers.  The installation of such a product is the library's means to comply with specific federal legislation.  The Public Library uses federal funds in a manner identified in Title XVII: The Children's Internet Protection Act requiring compliance with regulations specified in that legislation.  Compliance includes the installation and enforcement of a technology protection measure to prohibit access by ANY user to graphic depictions of illegal materials as defined by US Code Title 18.  The legislation also includes specific language prohibiting access by minors to materials considered "Harmful to minors".  The filtering software product, which is not under the control of the library, may restrict access to sites that could be deemed objectionable, but may also restrict access to sites that have legitimate research value.  No filtering system is completely effective or efficient.  Users are warned that objectionable and / or illegal materials may still be accessible through filtering software.  Users are reminded that they are responsible for acting in accordance with "The Rules of Conduct".  Disabling the technology protection measure for adult users for the purpose of bona fide research is acceptable.  The determination of "Harmful to minors" and bona fide research is the responsibility of the Library Administration.

 

Neither the Midland county library nor the county of Midland, its officers, directors, or employees shall be liable for any damages (direct or consequential), including lost profits, for any information obtained or provided on the internet.

 
Users who use the computers assume responsibility for the hardware and software during their use. Software and personal belongings should not be left unattended. The Midland County Library will not be responsible for damages to possessions resulting from computer use.
 
 

Rules of conduct

Internet computers will not be used for illegal activity, to access illegal materials, or to access materials that by local community standards would be objectionable.  Illegal materials include, but are not limited to, obscenity and child pornography as defined in US Code Title 18 and State Penal Code Chapters 42 and 43. Access by minors to materials deemed "Harmful to minors" is prohibited.  Library Administration reserves the right to determine, based on community standards, materials considered to be "Harmful to minors". 

Installation, attempting to download to the hard drive, or modification of software is prohibited. Downloading information is acceptable only onto a disk or flash memory.

Users will respect copyright laws and licensing agreements.  Materials obtained or copied on the Internet may be subject to laws that govern making reproductions of copyrighted works.  A work protected by copyright may not be copied without permission of the copyright owner unless the proposed used falls within the definition of "Fair Use". Customers are responsible for compliance with all international, national and state laws governing copyrighted materials.

Users will not make any attempt to misuse the computer.  Misuse includes, but is not limited to, using the computer for illegal activities, hacking into the library computer system or any other computer system, damaging or attempting to damage computer equipment or software, interfering with systems operations, integrity or security, gaining unauthorized access to another person's files, sending harassing messages to other computer users, altering or attempting to alter the library's computer settings, and violating copyright laws and software licensing agreements.  Misuse of the computer may result in the loss of all library computer privileges and possible prosecution.  Damages resulting from the misuse are the responsibility of the user or, in the case of minors, the parent or guardian. 

Prompt payment is required by users who incur charges for printing or authorized fees.

Users must sign up to use the Internet on a next-available-computer basis. Computers will not be reserved for persons who are not in the immediate vicinity when their name is called and telephone reservations will not be taken.

Access sessions will be limited to 120 minutes, unless otherwise authorized by the Librarian in Charge. 

Users will end their session and leave the computer when asked to do so by authorized library staff, even if they have not completed their access session.

Users will respect the privacy of other library users, and will refrain from attempting to view or read material being used by others.  Users are prohibited from the unauthorized disclosure, use, or dissemination of personal information of others.  Users are prohibited from misrepresenting themselves to others.  Users are warned that other individuals may obtain unauthorized access to personal information and / or may misrepresent themselves.

By mutual agreement, two persons may share an access session as long as their behavior or conversation does not disturb other users or library staff.

 
PRIVACY
 

The Midland County Public Library seeks to protect the First Amendment rights of its users and their individual right to privacy.  However, Internet users must be sensitive to the fact that workstations in public areas and, therefore, images on the screen are subject to view by a wide audience.  In order to protect the privacy of the user and the interests of other library users, the library will manage access to the Internet by use of privacy screens, judicious placement of the terminals, and other appropriate means. Users are urged to respect the sensibilities of others when accessing information that may reasonably be offensive to someone else. Absolute privacy for individuals using electronic resources in the library cannot be guaranteed.  There exists a possibility of inadvertent viewing by others, either by watching the user's screen, or because a user might leave the screen unattended.  The "Rules of Conduct" applies to the behavior of individuals using electronic equipment and resources.  Failure to follow this policy could result in the loss of computer privileges. 


Users are cautioned that the Internet is not a secure environment.  Personal information included in all transactions, files and communications may be subject to unauthorized access by third parties. 

The Midland County Public Library respects the confidentiality of those using its electronic resources and will release records only as required by law or for the library's operations.


Acceptable use
Internet access computers may be used to access a variety of electronic communications resources including email and chat rooms.  Although the library does not provide email accounts to users, Internet access computers may be used to access free email accounts available from a variety of sources.  Users, including minors, are warned that other individuals may obtain unauthorized access to personal information and/or may misrepresent themselves.  Users, including minors, are advised not to share personal identification information to unknown or otherwise unverified sources via electronic communication.

The library's internet access computers may not be used by any user to access inappropriate or illegal materials, including but not limited to materials of an obscene nature or child pornography.  In addition, minors are prohibited from accessing materials considered to be "Harmful to minors". 

The library's internet access computers may be used to access information, except as otherwise specified as unacceptable, from a variety of sources such as educational or commercial.  The user is the selector of the material accessed and is therefore the responsible party.  The user is responsible for complying with all restrictions governing access to specific sites.  Any fees are the responsibility of the user, not the library.  In the case of minors, fees are the responsibility of the parent or guardian.  In no event shall the Midland County Public Library have any liability for lost profits or for any direct or indirect special, punitive, or consequential damages, or any liability to a third party.

 Termination or prohibition of user access 
 

When library employees believe that the user has failed to comply with the Internet Safety Policy and/or the Rules of Conduct, they are authorized to terminate any user's access session or to prohibit a user from subsequent access sessions for up to two weeks from the date of informing the user of that action.  A library user may be permanently barred from internet access in the library by the Library Advisory Committee and or the Midland Commissioner’s Court. Users are advised that due process will be used to handle violations of an illegal nature, including criminal prosecution, if necessary.

Internet users whose access has been terminated or prohibited will be given information concerning the process to protest the action and / or request that internet access privileges be reinstated. 

Temporary or permanent denial of internet privileges at either the Midland County Public Library or the Centennial Branch is effective at both Public Library facilities. 

 
 

Guidance for supervising children's use 

 

The public library, unlike schools, does not serve in place of a parent.  Librarians cannot act in the place of parents in providing constant care and supervision of children as they explore the internet.  The responsibility for what minors read or view on the internet rests with the parent or guardian.

 

The following are recommended guidelines for parents and guardians to ensure that children have positive online experiences, whether at home or in the library.Use the internet as a family.  Join your children in internet exploration.
 

·        Explore the wide range of available information and tell your children about sites you consider appropriate for them

 

·        Encourage children to use sites recommended on the library's homepage and counsel them to avoid sites you consider unsuitable. 

 

·        Provide guidelines for your children on the amount of time they spend online just as for television viewing.

 

·        Instruct children never to give out personal information (name, address, password, telephone number, credit care number) online.  
 

Teach children to be good online consumers.  As with print information, consider the source, date, and accuracy of online information.