Computer Use Policy
The Washington County Public Library makes computers and Internet access available in support of the library’s role as a provider of current resources for lifelong learning, social exchange and entertainment.
WCPL cannot control the nature or content of information accessed on the Internet, nor can the Library protect users from information they might find offensive. Not all information on the Internet is accurate, current, or complete. Library users are encouraged to be critical consumers and to evaluate the validity of information carefully. If a user has concerns about the quality or content of a site, he should contact the original producer/developer of that site. Users are responsible for the access points they reach. Parents of minor children are responsible for their children’s use of the Internet.
Any use of WCPL computers and/or Internet service that interferes with activities of the Library, its users or its network is strictly prohibited. Prohibited behaviors include, but are not limited to:
- accessing obscenity and pornography
- accessing material harmful to minors
- harassing, bullying, libeling, or slandering
- using the Internet for any other illegal or unethical purpose
- damaging equipment
- altering computer hardware or software, including screen settings
- disrupting electronic communications
- violating copyright or software licensing
- violating another user’s privacy
The possession and distribution of obscene materials (see, Code of Virginia section 18.2-372, et seq.) and child pornography (see, Code of Virginia section 18.2-374.1, et seq. ) are illegal in the Commonwealth of Virginia. State law has mandated that library computers may not be used to access illegal material or to access materials deemed harmful to juveniles, as defined in Code of Virginia section 18.2-390. In compliance with Section 42.1-36.1 of the Code of Virginia, WCPL has installed filtering software to block Internet access to child pornography, obscenity, and materials deemed harmful to juveniles. Upon request by a WCPL patron or employee, specially-designated WCPL staff may disable the filter to allow bona fide research or for other lawful purposes. The determination of purpose of the request and whether to disable the filter is at the sole discretion of designated WCPL staff.
In some libraries within the WCPL system there are areas designated for computer use by children. Computers in these areas do not have Internet access. Children are allowed to use computers in these areas without prior authorization.
The standards of intellectual freedom and confidentiality endorsed by the American Library Association and incorporated into WCPL policies for traditional media shall apply also to the use of electronic media, including the Internet.
Washington County Public Library cannot guarantee viewing privacy, nor can the library guarantee the privacy of information sent or received over the Internet.
Library staff are responsible for ensuring this policy is enforced. The use of computers will be monitored by Library staff. Violations of this policy can result in loss of Internet privileges and may be subject to prosecution by local, state, or federal authorities.
Authorized Computer Users
To use library computers, one must have a valid WCPL borrower’s card.
- Any person over age 8 may use the Internet.
- A person under age 18 must have parental permission to use the Internet.
- Children under age 8 may not use the Internet unless they are under the direct supervision of a parent or guardian who has signed in for an Internet session.
- Non-resident temporary visitors may register as a guest upon presentation of a current photo ID. If visitors require more than five guest passes a calendar year, they must obtain a non-resident borrower’s card.
In order to make these popular resources available, use of public computers and the Internet are limited by the duration and number of daily sessions. Availability is subject to change in response to demand for the resources. The time available for each session is displayed on the computer desktop once the patron logs in to the computer.
All public access computers will shut down automatically thirty (30) minutes before closing time.
Printing and Downloading
Users may print electronic files or copy them to a personal portable storage device.
- The charge for printouts is displayed during the printing process and is subject to change.
- The library may offer portable storage devices for sale and the cost is subject to change.
Users should be aware that downloaded files may contain viruses. WCPL is not responsible for damage which may result from files downloaded from the Internet. Users must adhere to copyright and software licensing when downloading.
WCPL staff will assist patrons with Internet use as time permits but cannot offer personal instruction. Formal instruction or information on the Internet may be offered by the library at designated times. Current books, periodicals and videos on the Internet are available in the library’s collection.
By registering to use the Internet at WCPL, the patron agrees to abide by the terms of the Acceptable Use Policy and Procedures.
While the Internet can provide valuable information on some topics, it is not always the best place to find the information sought. We invite users to enjoy exploring the Internet, and to remember that they can often find the specific information they need elsewhere in the library, in books, magazines, and other materials.
APPROVED BY THE WASHINGTON COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY BOARD OF TRUSTEES ON: July 1996; Revised: October 23, 2003; Revised: December 16, 2003; Revised: January 24, 2006
Revision Approved: January 24, 2006; Revised: June 27, 2007; Revised: September 25, 2007; Revised: August 26, 2008
END OF POLICY