Computer & Internet Usage Policy

Erie County Public Library
Policy Manual

SECTION: INTERNET USE
NUMBER: 640
REVISED: April 19, 2018
EFFECTIVE DATE: July 21, 2011

In support of this mission of the Erie County Public Library, the Library provides access to the Internet as a source for current and historical information, communication and recreation.

To use a computer at the Erie County Public Library Erie County residents may:

  • Use their own current Erie County Public Library card
  • Use their own current PLEC Library (Albion, Corry, McCord, Rice Avenue, Union City or Waterford Library) card
  • With valid ID, request a guest pass

Non-Erie County residents have the following options:

  • Register for an ECPL card through the Access PA Program if a PA resident
  • With valid ID, request a guest pass

General Rules

  • ECPL uses Time Management Software in order to ensure the opportunity for access for as many patrons as possible.
  • Children age 12 and under must be accompanied by a parent or guardian while using the Internet.
  • FTP, Telnet or similar communication functions are not permitted.
  • Patrons are not permitted to download, install and/or save any software or files on library computers. Personal storage devices are allowable. The Library accepts no responsibility for damage to any personal disks, data or computer equipment or software.
  • Brief cell phone conversations are permitted in the Computer Lab, however phone use is subject to staff discretion.
  • There is a limit of two people at each computer; however, at some outlets, the limit will be one person per computer due to space limitations.
  • Listening devices’ volume must not be so loud as to distract other patrons.
  • Manipulating or bypassing any security features in use on the library’s public computers is prohibited and will result in the loss of the internet use.

Internet sites provide additional sources of information that supplement print and other electronic sources available in the library. Please be advised, however, that the Internet is unregulated and may contain material that is incorrect, outdated or personally offensive. The Library assumes no responsibility for contents found on the Internet. The user is solely responsible for selection of access and assumes all risk related to or arising out of such use, including the posting of personal and financial information. The availability of information on the Internet does not constitute endorsement by the Erie County Public Library.

Internet use is a privilege and carries with it the responsibility of using it in an appropriate manner. All patrons, including minors, must obey all Internet rules. Inappropriate behavior will result in termination of these privileges.

Inappropriate behavior includes, but is not limited to:

  • Violation of copyright or software license agreements
  • Viewing of texts, photos, movies or sound bites of an obscene or pornographic nature as defined in Pennsylvania Obscenity Statute – 18 Pa.C.S. 5903
  • Placing unlawful information on a system
  • Use which damages equipment and/or software
  • Any behavior that is disruptive to the operation of the Library

The Library will report illegal use to the appropriate local, state or federal law enforcement agency and cooperate fully with those authorities.

The Library reserves the right to use logging software to monitor use of library computers. Computer and Internet and/or other library privileges may be revoked for up to six months or longer depending on infraction.

The Library reserves the right to use filtering and/or blocking software to enforce this policy and any other applicable laws.

For legitimate research purposes, blocked web sites may be accessed upon the request of the patron provided the patron is over 17 years of age. Patrons are highly encouraged to try their research on our regular Internet PC’s before requesting unblocked access. A form to request access to a blocked web site is available if a patron feels that the library has incorrectly blocked a site.

Even though the Erie County Public Library employs a TPM or Technology Protective Measure, certain sites may slip through. No TPM is 100% effective.

The Erie County Public Library is in compliance with the federal Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) and the Pennsylvania Child Internet Protection Act.