The West End Library offers free access to Internet-linked desktop computers.  Any adult who wishes to use a public computer must read the library’s computer use policy and sign the Computer Use Agreement.  In addition, computer users must present a valid UCLS library card and register at the library’s circulation desk each time to be assigned a machine.

Computer Use Agreement

The West End Library’s public computers are available to all people who enter our doors.  In order to make computer access comfortable for all users, we have rules for acceptable use.

General Rules

  • All users must register with a library staff member before using a computer.
  • Computers are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • There is a two-hour time limit for use of all Internet computers, and a one-hour limit if there are people waiting.
  • Computers may be reserved for staff use and may, therefore, not be available for public use.
  • All computers will be turned off 15 minutes before the library closes for the day.
  • Computer users are responsible for damage to the equipment they are using.  Replacement costs will be charged to the user registered on the computer at the time of the damage.
  • Print-outs cost 20 cents each for black-and-white pages and 25 cents for color pages regardless of whether the computer user supplies the paper.  The cost is for the printer cartridge.  To avoid printing unwanted pages, use the “Print preview” option under the “File” button on the top toolbar.
  • Computer users may not download anything to the machine’s hard drive (C:).
  • Computer users may download to a floppy disc, CD, or portable drive.  Floppy discs are available at the main desk for $1 each.

Internet Provisions

The Internet is an essential medium for obtaining and transmitting information of all types.  Public access to the Internet is an important part of the library’s mission.  In accordance with the federal Children’s Internet Protection Act, all computers connected to the Internet are filtered.  Since no filter is entirely reliable, the library affirms the right and responsibility of parents/guardians, not library staff members, to determine and monitor their minor children’s use of the Internet.

  • Unacceptable uses of library computers include the following:

1) Uses that violate the law or encourage others to violate the law:  Transmitting of offensive or harassing messages; offering for sale or use any substance the possession or use of which is prohibited by law; viewing, transmitting, or downloading pornographic materials or materials that encourage others to violate the law –  Title 18 Penna. Crime Code – Sect. 5903 – “No person, knowing the obscene character of the material or performances involved, shall display or cause, or permit the display of any explicit sexual materials as defined in Subsection C… in any public thoroughfare where minors, as a part of the general public or otherwise, are or will probably be exposed to view all or part of such materials…”; downloading or transmitting confidential, trade-secret information, or copyrighted materials.  Even if materials on the networks are not marked with the copyright symbol, computer users should assume that all materials are protected unless there is explicit permission on the materials to use them.

2) Uses that cause harm to others or damage to their property.  Engaging in defamation (harming another’s reputation by lies), uploading a “worm,” “virus,” “Trojan horse,” or other harmful form of programming or vandalism, participating in “hacking” activities or any form of unauthorized access to other computers, networks, or information systems.

3) Uses that compromise the safety and security of minors when using e-mail and other forms of direct electronic communications.  For minors under age 18 this includes: giving others private information about one’s self or others, including credit card numbers and social security numbers; or arranging a face-to-face meeting with someone “met” on the computer network or Internet without a parent’s permission.

Software Provisions

  • Only Web-based e-mail programs can be used on the library’s computers.  Some examples are Hotmail, Yahoo, G-mail, or the website of an Internet service provider.
  • Users are not allowed to install software, including games, on the library’s computers.
  • Chat rooms, Instant Messenger, and online games are not allowed.

Parental Supervision

  • Computer users under the age of 18 must have a parent’s or legal guardian’s signature on the Computer Use Agreement form before they will be able to use the library’s computers.
  • Children under the age of 10 must have a parent seated next to them in order to access the Internet.
  • Violations of any of the rules listed above will result in the loss of compter privileges.
  • Unlawful activities will be dealt with in a serious and appropriate manner.

Copyright Law

U.S. copyright law (Title 17, U.S. Code) prohibits the unauthorized reproduction or distribution of copyrighted materials, except as permitted by the principles of “fair use.”  Computer users may not copy or distribute electronic materials (including text, images, programs, or data) without permission from the copyright holder.  Responsibility for consequences of copyright infringement lies with the user.  Neither the West End Library nor any other of the libraries in the Union County Library System is liable.