Computer Policies

Computer Policies of the Daphne Public Library


1) General Use of Computers

2) Quick Computer Rules

3) iMac – Connecting Military Families

1.  General Use of Computers

The Daphne Public Library aims to develop collections, resources and services that meet the cultural, informational, recreational and educational needs of the community.  In order to meet this goal, free computer use, as well as free WiFi and Internet access, are provided to supplement other reference and research sources available within the Library.

Access to Library computers is on a first-come, first-served basis. Reservations may be made for group use of the Computer Lab.

Reservations  for group use must be made well in advance (2 weeks+) and with approval of the Library Director or Computer Technician.  Time limits for reservations must be previously approved by the Library Director or Computer Technician.  Reservations will be posted and public use of the lab will be denied during these training and/or presentation periods.

At the time of initial use of the equipment, individuals will be required to either register for a library card account at the Front Desk or obtain a guest pass.  Patrons must also read Daphne Public Library’s Computer ‘policies and procedures’ and agree to abide by the requirements in order to gain computer access. (Records of policy acceptance will be kept in a Computer Log File.)

Picture ID is required to obtain a guest pass.

Patrons may not unplug, turn on, turn off, remove, modify, or damage computer equipment.  Users may not reconfigure or attempt to reconfigure the computer or system.  Users may not remove equipment from the booths or Lab.

To ensure the equitable delivery of all Library resources, the amount of time that Staff has to provide instruction on demand is limited.  Staff members will help access programs and explain basic usage but cannot offer individual training except during scheduled training sessions.  There are a number of informative materials available in the Library, and patrons are encouraged to investigate free formal educational programs offered in the Library Computer Lab or other local facilities.

Computer Lab training is free but due to limited space, patrons may be required to sign up to reserve their space in the class.  Training sessions will be posted on the Library website, bulletin boards, and at the Lab entrance.  Sign-up sheets are available near the Computer Lab of the Library.

Patrons may use personal laptops and other devices in the Library and surrounding area if used in accordance with Library policies.  WiFi is filtered by Library equipment.  The Library is not responsible for any damages or malfunctions of personal laptops used in the library area.  Staff members will not make adjustments and/or repairs to laptops.

Patrons may not use their own software programs, paper, ink, or other computer supplies on Library equipment.  If a patron wishes to save files, they must use a USB flash drive.  Temporary storage is available on the computer hard drive for the same session work is saved.  All work should be SAVED to a flash drive since patron sessions can end abruptly and unsaved work WILL BE LOST; however, for privacy, files saved to the hard drive will no longer be available the next session.

Although virus protection software is used on all Library computers, this will not completely protect against a virus.  The Library is not responsible for damage to a patron’s flash drive or computer, or for any loss of data, damage or liability that may occur from a patron’s use of Library computers.

Downloading of files is not allowed.  Downloading of software is not allowed.  Free software may be requested and may be loaded by Staff at a later date following evaluation.  The IPRISM allows patrons to email the computer staff to request pages that are blocked.  Once deemed appropriate, access may be allowed.

It is important to conserve bandwidth.  Downloading streaming audio and video may result in reduced bandwidth for other patrons and should be avoided.

Due to consideration of privacy and system management, the functions of e-mail, “chat” and ftp (file transfer) are not available through the Library’s Internet service provider.  You may log onto your own email account through the Internet, but we are not part of the service provided.

Patrons may not use Library computer workstations or personal laptops to access obscene or pornographic sites in the Library or surrounding area.  An obscene site is considered to be one with generally socially unacceptable language or displays, or sites which expressly encourage violence or hatred.  If such a site is accessed inadvertently, it should be exited immediately.

Patrons may not gather around a computer in a disruptive manner or in a way that obstructs other users.  Two people may work together.  As with any other Library use, patrons who engage in illegal, unacceptable, loud, or disruptive behavior, or who violate Library policies or procedures, may have their computer and/or Library privileges terminated or suspended, or may be asked to leave the Library immediately.  The Library reserves the right to terminate a patron’s computer use at any time and without notice.

Cell phones must be set to silent while in the Computer Lab and calls must be taken to the lobby so the Lab can remain a quiet work-space for other patrons.  No talking on cell phones inside other areas of the Library.

The Internet is currently an unregulated medium and not controlled by any advisory committee.  The information available therein includes much that is personally, professionally and culturally enriching.  The Internet also provides access to material that may be offensive to some, as well as access to information that may be factually incorrect and/or illegal.  The Library complies with all Federal and State laws governing the use of computers in libraries, including the guidelines established by the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA).  Although the Library provides filtering to keep children safe, the Library has no control over the information accessed through the Internet and specifically disclaims any warranty as to the information’s accuracy, authoritativeness, timeliness, usefulness and fitness for a particular purpose.  The user must determine whether the information is accurate, useful, and trustworthy.  Misuse should be reported to staff.

As with other Library materials, guidelines for a young person’s access to the Internet is the responsibility of the parent/legal guardian.  Prior written authorization is required for all computer users under the age of 18.  Written authorization for a minor must be signed in the presence of a Librarian and will be kept on file at the Library.  Again, the Library complies with all federal, state, and municipal laws governing the use of computers in libraries, including the guidelines established by the Children’s internet Protection Act (CIPA) in order to be compliant and to be eligible for grants.

Headphones are available and may be checked out with a library card or Driver’s license from the front desk for use in the computer lab.

As with all formats of information, patrons must respect copyright laws and licensing agreements and abide by general rules of acceptable Internet conduct.  Acts or behavior not in compliance with the Library’s Computer Policies will result in revocation of the user’s computer privileges.

Due to the emerging nature of these services, policies are subject to change without notice and at the Library’s discretion.

2) Quick Computer Procedures

1.    All persons using Library equipment must have a current Baldwin County Library card or receive a visitor’s pass at the Front Desk or Help Desk.
2.    First time users may register for a Library Card at the Circulation Desk.
3.    The period of USE is four hours per day, in two hour increments.  After one two-hour session, a user must wait IF all computers are busy before the system will allow them to log on to use the remainder of their daily time allowance.  If computers are available, use will continue through the second session.  Special requests for longer time limits for testing, job applications, or college applications may be made at the Computer Lab or Front Desk.
4.    There is no charge for use of the computer equipment.  Charges for print jobs and other services will be regularly updated and posted.  Patrons should PREVIEW jobs prior to printing and must pay for the prints at the print vending station.  No refunds will be made unless the machine is malfunctioning.
5.    Only Staff members are authorized to turn computers on and off.  Patrons should request assistance from Library Staff when experiencing computer difficulties.
6.    No more than two people may work at one computer station at any given time unless given special permission by the Library Staff.
7.    Patrons should request assistance from a Staff member if they have questions about programs or equipment.
8.    Access for those under 18 is limited.  Prior written parental authorization is required for all users under age 18.
9.    Library patrons are not authorized to change the setup of any machine or programs while using computers, or to remove any equipment from the booths and/or Lab, or log off the homepage.
10.    Patrons may not access obscene, hate or pornographic sites.
11.    Personal USB flash drives may be used only for saving user data and not for running programs or transferring files to computers.
12.     When patrons complete computer sessions, they should end their SAM (time management system) Session. Patrons should NOT shut down computers nor log off windows.
13.    Use of computers will end fifteen minutes before closing time each day.  Computers are set to automatically shut down and Staff cannot change this procedure.

3.  iMAC – Connecting Military Families

The Library received an iMAC computer with webcam, microphone and speakers through a special grant from the Alabama Public Library Service.  This computer’s use is reserved for videoconferencing using Skype.  Users must have their own Skype account.  Appropriate uses include distance learning, military family communications, contacting family members who are far away or out of the county, or exam proctoring.  All users should make an appointment ahead of time with the Reference Librarian or Library Director.  Members of the military and their families have priority and they must show identification.  Non-military users must have a library card from a Baldwin County public library.  Use may be reserved in increments up to two hours.  When the maximum of two hours is reached, users must log out.  All policies regarding library computers and the Internet apply to this station as well.