Policy: Computers and Internet – Public Use

As part of its mission to offer access to provide “free and open access to recorded knowledge,” the White Plains Public Library provides computers equipped with various software applications, database access and Internet access. The Library also provides a variety of instructional opportunities for the public to learn how to use these resources.

Library staff provides the following services to patrons:

  • Basic guidance in use of equipment and software and referrals to instructional resources.
  • Expert assistance with informational needs, utilizing both online and onsite resources.
  • Instructional sessions on a scheduled basis and information about these sessions.
  • Explanation and enforcement of Library rules and policies.

Yes, the Library:

  • abides by state law guaranteeing confidentiality of Library records.
  • endorses the American Library Association Bill of Rights.
  • is responsible (only) for the information provided on its own home page.
  • provides Internet workstations with limited, age-appropriate access in the The Trove Children’s Library.

No, the Library cannot:

  • monitor or control information accessed via the Internet or guarantee, through its technology or staff, that it can completely monitor or control information or images selected or accessed by children or young adults.
  • guarantee that information on the Internet is accurate.
  • be responsible for information on sites accessed from its home page.
  • guarantee privacy for individuals using its computers, which are in an open public environment.
  • be responsible for time or data lost due to hardware or software problems.

By using a public computer workstation at the White Plains Public Library, patrons agree to:

  • engage in responsible use of the Library’s equipment and electronic resources, consistent with the educational and informational purposes for which they are provided.
  • be responsible for their own use and that of their children.
  • abide by all applicable federal, state and local laws and be subject to Legal Guidelines (below).
  • abide by all Use Regulations and the Library’s Code of Conduct.
  • use only the library card issued to them to sign on to Library computers, not misrepresent themselves to other online users, engage in behavior that may jeopardize a source's or network's files, or seek unauthorized access to any computer system.
  • comply immediately and courteously with direction by Library staff to abide by Library policy and regulations.

Legal Guidelines

  • Patron actions that violate federal, state or local laws will be referred to the appropriate law enforcement agencies. Failure to abide by Library policies and regulations, including repeated actions that harass others or create a disturbance, may result in revocation of Internet use privileges, Library privileges, and /or criminal prosecution.
  • Patrons using the Internet may not display text or graphics defined in federal, state or local law as pornography or obscenity.
  • U.S. copyright law governs unauthorized use and distribution of copyrighted materials. Users may not copy or distribute electronic materials or software, except as permitted by the Fair Use regulation or other applicable legislation without permission of the copyright holder.

General Use Regulations

Computers are available on a first-come, first-served basis and are available during the Library’s regular hours until 10 minutes before the Library closes.

Users may reserve a computer up to seven days in advance. All computer session reservations are for 120 minutes. To make a reservation, an individual must use his/her own valid White Plains Public Library or Westchester Library System card.

Users who do not have a White Plains or Westchester Library System card, or whose card is not in good standing, can obtain a 60 minute computer session. These sessions are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

No more than two persons may use a computer at the same time.

Users may not turn off, reset or reboot computers, nor otherwise attempt to circumvent any security features that are installed on the Library computers.

Classes and workshops scheduled with prior notice by the Library sometimes result in the temporary closing of the CyberSpot and CyberKids.

Email is permitted on all adult workstations (with the exception of SMTP outbound email as noted below).

Certain forms of data transfer protocols such as Telnet, BitTorrent and outbound email via SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) are prohibited on all Library computers.

Information, text, or other data from the Internet may be printed or saved to a patron’s removable storage device, not to Library computers except temporarily for the purpose of transferring such files to removable storage. Patrons using the Library’s word processors may save their work on their own storage media, not to Library computers, again, except temporarily as previously noted. Patrons are responsible for deleting any files that they may have temporarily saved to a Library computer.. Patrons may bring in their own storage media, or they may purchase flash drives at the Check Out desk in the first floor lobby. Patrons who download or save files to their disks are responsible for verifying that these are free of computer viruses to protect their own and Library computers.

There is no charge to use Library computers. A per-page fee is charged for printing.

Library staff supervise the use of all computers and reserve the right to end any session for cause at any time.

Users must leave promptly when a session ends or when required by staff.

Additional Use Regulations

CyberSpot (Main Floor):
CyberSpot users must be in 7th grade or older. Children under 7th grade may use CyberSpot computers when working with parent or caregiver.

CyberPool (The Trove Children’s Library):
The CyberPool is reserved for children through grade 6. Parents and caregivers may use the CyberPool computers when working with their child.

As per the Library’s Code of Conduct, children under the age of eight must be accompanied by an adult.

The Library provides Internet workstations with limited, age-appropriate access in the CyberPool. Parents or guardians are responsible for use of all Library resources, including the Internet, by their children.

Library staff is available to provide limited assistance and to help identify useful sites for children exploring the Internet. In addition, the CyberPool is staffed on a scheduled basis. Printed guides and instruction books are always available. Parents, caretakers or guardians are encouraged to assist their children.

Approved by the White Plains Library Board of Trustees on 10/10/2012, last revision date 2/13/08

PDF Version: Computers_and_Internet Policy 2015.pdf