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Computer Use

Last Updated Date
Policy Type

Computer Usage Policy

Approved 08/16/11

The Bloomington Public Library provides both a wireless internet and dedicated computers to allow customers access to resources that reside both locally and remotely. The library employs the latest antivirus, monitoring, and filtering technology in order to provide an experience that is positive, productive, and safe for all customers. This document is meant as a guide to ensure that all customers have equal access to all the information that technology can provide.

Access and Areas

There are several different public computer access areas within the library. Each area has software and technology that is appropriate for each age group. To find which area has technology best suited for you or your children, please refer to the Bloomington Public Library age usage guide.

To ensure that everyone gets an opportunity to use the computers, the library utilizes reservation software. This software assigns an available time slot either immediately or at a future time when a computer will be available for use. The reservation system requires that you have a valid library card. If you do not have a card or are not eligible for a Bloomington Public Library card please consult with one of the librarians about getting a library card or Ecard.

The library also provides catalog computers. The catalog computers provide access to the BPL online catalog and a large collection of online databases to which the library subscribes. The catalog computers do not have time limits and are available to all library customers.

There are several printing stations located throughout the library. These stations allow customers to print on a per cost basis. Printing is available from any library computer regardless of location.

Filter and Monitoring

All computers connecting to the Bloomington Public Library network are filtered. This filter is designed to restrict access to materials that are not appropriate for a public place such as the library. No filter is able to block every offensive site and it is the expectation that if a customer finds themselves on an inappropriate site that they immediately close the window containing the offensive material. Failure to do so will result in loss or suspension of computer privileges.

The Library is committed to allowing its customers the ability to access the Internet in privacy. The library reserves the right to monitor general Internet traffic, PC status, and bandwidth usage to ensure the integrity of the BPL network. The reservation system records dates, times, and library card information and the library reserves the right to examine these logs to investigate damage, illegal, or other suspicious activity.

Computer Use and Expectations

Customers are encouraged to download media from both library provided resources and media to which the individual customer subscribes. Customers are expected to respect copyright holders’ rights and not download or distribute copyrighted material over the network.

Customers are prohibited from installing software that is disruptive or will monopolize network resources. These software packages include such things as peer to peer downloading (bit torrent, limewire, bear share, etc), port scanning, network mapping or any other software that attempts to indentify or exploit network components.

Customers are not required to have their physical card available in order to make a computer reservation or to access other online resources. However, using a stolen library card is prohibited; if it becomes apparent that a customer is using a stolen library card that library card will be confiscated and returned to the card holder at the address listed in the library system.

Customers using the computers are expected to use the computers and resources in a respectful manner in regards to both current and future users of the public computers. Customers need to refrain from making rude, lewd or loud noises that cause a distraction for others. Customers are not allowed to alter the computers in any manner that makes them unusable, unsafe or offensive to future customers, this includes installing recording software such as keystroke loggers or other mechanism to capture sensitive information about a future user.

This document is not intended to be an all-inclusive and the library reserves the right to classify any action, access, or operation involving library technology inappropriate and suspend its use. Illegal activities involving the use of library resources may be reported to state and federal authorities.

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