La Crosse Public Library Computer Use Policy
The La Crosse Public Library offers access to electronic information and services, including the Internet. The Internet, as an information resource, enables the library to provide information beyond its own collection. Internet use in the library means using the library's network to access the Internet either on library workstations or devices or through a wireless connection.
Public access to the Internet is integral to the La Crosse Public Library’s role as a provider of current resources for lifelong learning, social connection, and entertainment.
Public access to the Internet allows patrons to:
- Access online resources and services
- Communicate and engage with others
- Create content
- Complete transactions with public, nonprofit, and private entities
Parents and guardians play critical roles in helping children learn to use this tool. The library does not serve in loco parentis (in place of a parent). Library staff 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 parents or guardians.
Internet guidelines, along with filtering, will be used together to make Internet use at this Library as safe and enjoyable as possible for patrons of all ages. Patrons may request staff to unblock an Internet site that meets acceptable criteria noted below.
La Crosse Public Library provides public access to the Internet in accordance with state and federal laws and the policies of the La Crosse Library Board.
The library expects its patrons to use the Internet responsibly and to respect the rights of others. Those who fail to do so risk losing library Internet and/or library privileges. When using library Internet access, patrons must adhere to all copyright laws and may not copy or distribute materials (e.g., file sharing software) without the owner's permission. Patrons who do so may be subject to criminal and civil liability.
Library patrons may not:
- Use the library's Internet access to view, print, distribute, display, send or receive images, or graphics of material that violates laws relating to child pornography
- Knowingly exhibit or display any material that is harmful to minors in its content or material that is obscene in any place of public accommodation where minors are or may be present, and where minors are able to view the material
- Engage in any activity that is deliberately offensive or creates an intimidating, disruptive or hostile environment for other patrons or staff.
- Invade the privacy of individuals.
- Degrade, alter or disrupt equipment or system performance.
- Plug in devices that require software or driver installation.
- Gain unauthorized access to resources or entities.
Failure to follow this policy may result in eviction from the library and may include a trespass order or arrest. Violation of state and federal laws will be referred to the proper authorities for legal action.
Library staff may impose restrictions, such as time limits or types of use, on library equipment as needed. Also, all computer users are expected to use the electronic resources of the Library in a responsible manner that includes, but is not limited to, the following:
- Each computer user must log in with their own WRLS library card or a Guest Pass obtained from a staff member.
- Patrons must surrender their use of a Library computer when requested by staff.
The library makes reasonable attempts to protect patrons' rights to privacy and confidentiality. However, in general, electronic communication is not absolutely secure and networks are sometimes susceptible to outside intervention. In addition, there exists a possibility of inadvertent viewing of computer activity by nearby computer users. Absolute privacy in using the Internet in the library cannot be guaranteed. Internally, network administrators may monitor a person’s Internet use as a part of normal system maintenance. Collection, retention, handing, and disclosing of patron data is covered under the Privacy of Library Records.
The library assumes no liability for any loss or damage to users' data or devices, nor for any personal damage or injury whatsoever incurred because of using the library's electronic resources. This includes damage or injury sustained from invasions of the user's privacy.
Violation of Library policy or regulations that govern the use of computer and Internet resources may result in suspension or loss of the privilege to use these resources. Any illegal activity involving Library resources will be subject to prosecution by the appropriate authorities.