Internet Usage at APL

Use of one of APL's internet workstations is first come, first served. Users may use the workstations for a maximum of two hours daily with their library card. Signups for internet workstations are accepted in person up to three days in advance. Patrons may be asked to provide proof of consent at the time of signup.

A 15-minute workstation is also available to all patrons over the age of 11. Please stop by the Adult Services Information Desk to register your library card in our system and begin using a workstation. If you are not eligible for a library card at APL, you may receive a guest pass for one hour.

The Internet is a vast collection of electronic resources. It contains a wide variety of material and opinions with varied points of view from all over the world. Many web sites contain valuable and timely information; however, patrons should be aware that some information sources on the web are more authoritative than others. Many websites contain material that is inaccurate, defamatory, or illegal. Patrons should therefore never accept that information is true simply because they find it on the Internet.

Presently, it is not possible to apply the same selection criteria to Internet resources which are applied to other Library materials. Consequently, the Alexandrian Public Library Board of Trustees and the library staff are not responsible for the information that is accessed/obtained while using library equipment. In offering the Internet to the community, library staff cannot control access points, which often change unpredictably and rapidly. Therefore, library patrons access and use the Internet at their own risk. Patrons are hereby notified that they, not the Alexandrian Public Library, are responsible for the access points they reach on the Internet.

The use of Alexandrian Public Library computer systems and public access Internet is open to the public. Anyone interested in using APL's workstations will be required to enter their library card barcode number to access a terminal. Patron library cards must be in good standing in order to access the terminals. Guest passes will be available for use for non-residents.

In keeping with the provisions of the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) the library employs filtering on all of its computers with Internet access. The purpose of these filters is to guard against accessing, inadvertently or otherwise, visual depictions that are obscene, child pornography, or harmful to minors.

No filter, however, can protect against all such depictions, and often filters will inadvertently block access to forms of expression that are legal and constitutionally protected. Therefore:
1. Parents should monitor their children's use of the Internet just as they monitor their children's use of APL's other collections.
2. In order to allow an adult user to use the Internet for bona fide research or other lawful purposes, the Library may turn off the filter without significant delay upon request of the adult user. Once the filter is turned off, the adult user continues to access and use the Internet at their own risk.

Since filters can, as mentioned above, block sites on the Internet that contain forms of expression that are constitutionally protected, the library reserves the right to unblock sites at the request of Internet users of all ages, after a reasonable determination has been made that the site is not obscene, does not contain child pornography, and is not harmful to minors.

Conversely, Internet users of all ages may occasionally access sites which contain images that they believed would be filtered, and may request that the library block this site. If, after a determination has been made by the library that the site is obscene, or does contain child pornography, or is harmful to minors, the library reserves the right to block the site from future filtered access.

Either one of the above concerns can be addressed to the library by Internet users through the completion of a Request for Internet Review form.

As with the use of all Library materials, it is the responsibility of parents and guardians to monitor and guide their children in the use of Library computers and the Internet. Parents and children are encouraged to read/view and discuss the resources that APL has available regarding safe and appropriate use of the Internet by minors. Parents who do not want their children to access the Internet using library computers may fill out an Internet Exclusion Form at the Circulation Desk. No child under the age of eleven may use a computer unattended; children under the age of eleven may sit at a workstation as long as a parent (or legal guardian) is seated next to them at the terminal. Library cards connected to patrons under the age of eleven are unable to be activated for computer usage, but children of any age may use the "games computers" without having to enter a library card number. Guest passes may only be purchased by patrons eleven years old and older.

Patrons are also advised to use discretion and caution while using the direct electronic communication aspects of the Internet, such as e-mail and instant messaging (IM). Due to the anonymous nature of the forum, use of chat rooms are not allowed on the Library's Internet workstations.

The Alexandrian Public Library will not disclose personally identifying information of its patrons to any outside organization, and hereby warns patrons that the unauthorized disclosure of personally identifying information of minors is forbidden.

The library strongly recommends that users of the Internet not reveal their personal address, telephone number, credit card number, bank account number, social security number, or any other financial or personal information. The library assumes no liability for the performance or quality of any products purchased over the Internet, and cannot guarantee the confidentiality of personal and credit card information transmitted over the Internet.

The Alexandrian Public Library makes no warranties of any kind, neither expressed nor implied, for the Internet access it is providing. The Library is not responsible for the accuracy, nature, or quality of information gathered through Library-provided Internet access, nor will the library be liable, in any event, for actual, incidental, or consequential damages in connection with, or arising from, the use of any equipment, programs, or other library materials.

The Alexandrian Public Library will not provide headphones and burnable CDs for use at public internet stations. Patrons may bring their own diskettes, flash drives, CDs or headphones for use on public internet stations. Patrons may also purchase burnable CDs from the circulation desk for $1.00, or a set of headphones for $4.00.

In consideration of the Alexandrian Public Library providing patrons with access to the Internet, patrons agree to hold the Library harmless and agree to indemnify the Library for any and all liability. The Library will retain personal information associated with Internet use only as long as necessary to compile statistical information, and will destroy all Internet sign-up logs weekly.

The use of Library computing resources is a privilege and is subject to the following rules and restrictions. The following intentional actions are considered unacceptable and may result in loss of computer resource privileges, library privileges, and/or prosecution by local, state, and federal authorities.

1. Accessing, transmitting, uploading, downloading, or distributing material in violation of local, state or federal law, such as obscene material, child pornography, and material harmful to minors;
2. Developing, transmitting, or distributing material that is intended to annoy, harass, or alarm another person, or material that insults, or potentially defames, slanders, or libels another person;
3. Engaging in any illegal activities using library computers or networks;
4. Vandalizing, damaging, modifying or disabling library computers, networks, software, electronic resources, or any library property, or violating or attempting to violate a computer's security system;
5. Attempting to gain unauthorized access to, or to distribute, any of APL's confidential personal information, computing information, or other private information;
6. Unauthorized copying of copywritten or other protected material;
7. Using chat rooms;
8. Attempting to obtain from another Internet user, or to provide another Internet user with, personally identifying information about a minor;
9. Violation of another person's privacy;
10. Disrupting others' use of computer resources in any way.

The Alexandrian Public Library Board of Trustees reserves the right to:

  • Implement a fee structure in accordance with use of the Internet and to change the fees as necessary
  • Require the use of a library card for anyone using the Internet at the Library
  • Modify this policy at any time