Public Internet and Technology Policy

Scope

Richmond Public Library provides access to the internet, public computer stations, and other electronic devices to:

  • Support both individual and self-conducted education as well as formal education at all levels.
  • Ensure access for citizens to all sorts of community information.
  • Facilitate the development of information and computer literacy skills.

from UNESCO Public Library Manifesto

Richmond Public Library’s Public Internet & Technology Policy applies to all types of computers and mobile devices, both owned by the Library and used on the Library’s premises or network.

Richmond Public Library reserves the right to modify these policies and guidelines when and where appropriate.

Content

As the Internet is an unregulated, worldwide environment, the library takes no responsibility for the content or quality of information. Customers should be aware that the Internet is not a secure medium and that third parties may be able to obtain information about customers’ activities.

The library does not manage or filter the content of the information accessed on the internet on its public workstations or Wi-Fi network, with the exception of designated children’s workstations. This policy is in keeping with the library’s long-standing tradition of providing a safe and welcoming environment for children where they may find materials that are both age-appropriate and of interest to them. However, the library assumes no responsibility for the accuracy and effectiveness of any installed filter. Unfiltered internet access will continue to be provided in other areas of the Library, and the library will not limit children’s access to these stations. Parents and guardians are reminded that the restriction of a child’s use of a Library computer, including internet and wireless access, is their responsibility.

Responsibilities

The library provides access to the internet, computers, and other electronic devices because of their overwhelming value to the community. Safe, effective use of the Internet is best achieved when the Library and Library members co-operate in providing a learning environment that is safe and comfortable for all. Both the library and internet/technology customers have responsibilities in this regard.

The Library will:

  • Make available an open Wi-Fi network, as well as public workstations for Internet access, word processing, and other public information needs.
  • Provide a booking system for workstation use that ensures equitable access to the Internet and efficient use of resources
  • Provide a safe, welcoming environment for all its members
  • Protect the privacy of user and ensure confidentiality of legitimate use
  • Protect the security of library computers, devices, and customers by blocking the installation of any additional software, including browser add-ons and plugins.
  • Train library staff in the effective, safe use of the Internet, how to provide effective Internet orientation training programs for the public; and how to effectively carry out this Public Internet & Technology Policy.
  • Promote public awareness of the Public Internet & Technology Policy.

Customers will:

  • Recognize that the Internet contains a wide variety of resources, including those that some may consider controversial or offensive. Respect the sensibilities of others when accessing sites that may reasonably be offensive to others.
  • Be knowledgeable of what the Internet contains and develop skills in navigating the Internet to ensure they are accessing the sites they want.
  • Exercise caution when sending personal and financial information via the Internet.
  • Assume responsibility for supervising their child’s access to the Internet and ensure that the child is educated on Internet safety and navigating skills.
  • Assume responsibility for saving their work and protecting their privacy by logging out at the end of their session.
  • Be aware that use of the Internet for illegal purposes, including copyright violation, is prohibited and may result in prosecution.

Rules of Acceptable Use

Account Policies

  • You must have a Richmond Public Library card to use the computers.
  • Library cards are non-transferrable – you must use your own card to log in.
  • Same Day Computer Access is for short term use by visitors from out of BC only; ID is required.
  • Library cards with fines in excess of $25 and/or outstanding billed items must be paid at the Library Cards & Accounts desk in advance of computer use.
  • To maintain a safe computer environment, the library retains web logs and log in information for identification purposes in case of misuse.

Bookings and Time Extensions

  • Initial computer booking sessions are 120 minutes each (exceptions: scanner and internet stations are 60 minutes, as well as Cambie branch and Steveston branch).
  • You have a maximum of 180 minutes of computer use per day.
  • Depending on availability of computers, additional time may be allowed at the discretion of staff.
  • There are no time extensions on weekends due to high demand.

Improper Use

  • Food and drink is not allowed at computer stations.
  • Improper use of computers will result in suspension of library privileges. Examples of improper use include but not limited to:
    • Accessing sites or transmitting materials that violate any Canadian federal or provincial law, such as defamatory, discriminatory, or obscene materials.
    • Viewing sexually explicit materials.
    • Sending fraudulent, harassing, or obscene email messages.
    • Violating the privacy of another library user.
    • Swearing and/or offensive language.
    • Making excessive noise.
    • Using other people’s library cards.

Equipment

  • For hygienic reasons the library does not lend headphones; headphones can be purchased for $3.
  • Sound cannot be on without the use of headphones or ear buds.
  • The Library accepts no responsibility for loss of your work or for damage to CDs, DVDs, flash drives, or disks caused by library computers or software.
  • Non-alcoholic beverages in covered containers are allowed, but food is not.

Save Your Work!

  • You will receive warnings at 10 minutes, 5 minutes and 1 minute before the end of your session. Work that is not saved or printed before the end of your session will be lost. Files cannot be saved onto the hard drive of this computer.

Protect Your Privacy!

  • If you have finished your work before the end of your allotted time, log off before leaving the computer to protect your privacy. The computer will automatically log you off at the end of your session