Computer/Internet Policy

The library offers computer use and Internet access for its members. Any member wanting to use public computers must show their library card.  Non-members may show their driver’s license. The computers available have word-processing capabilities, and except for the children’s computers, Internet access. While the library is pleased to offer such technology to all its members, due to the expense of the equipment and the nature of the Internet, the Etowah Carnegie Library has established guidelines for the use of such technology, and these guidelines must be agreed to by all those who wish to use it. Below is a copy of the Computer/Internet Agreement Policy. 

To maximize availability to this resource, and to insure fair accessibility for all, please familiarize yourself and/or your child with this policy, which includes procedures, rules, and user agreement.

In response to advances in technology and the changing needs of the community, the Etowah Carnegie Public Library endeavors to develop collections, resources, and services that meet the cultural, informational, recreational, and educational needs of our community. It is within this context that the Etowah Carnegie Public Library offers computer and Internet/Wi-Fi access.

The Etowah Carnegie Public Library is not responsible for the information accessed through the Internet and cannot be held responsible for its content. The Internet is a worldwide community with a highly diverse user population and it is your responsibility to use this resource wisely.

Content: Internet resources accessible through the Library are provided equally to all library users. Parents or guardians, not the Library or its staff are responsible for the Internet information selected and/or accessed by their children. The computers are equipped with filtering software but that does not guarantee 100% blocking capabilities of inappropriate sites.

To be more specific:

The Etowah Carnegie Public Library cannot be responsible for monitoring or protecting you from material you may find offensive. The Internet is a global entity with sexually explicit material and other information resources, which you may personally find controversial or inappropriate. It is up to individuals and parents/guardians to ensure there is no access to information that has been decided upon in advance as inappropriate. 

Not all sources on the Internet provide accurate, complete, or current information. You need to be a good information consumer, questioning the validity of the information you find.

Staff Assistance: Library staff cannot provide in-depth training concerning Internet computer jargon or personal computer use.  Using the resources available to us we will assist to the best of our abilities and use whatever resources available to us to aid in your and our understanding. 

Availability: The computers and Internet Access are normally available, subject to periodic maintenance, during regular library hours. Computers are checked out on a first-come, first-serve basis for one hour. If no one is waiting you may continue longer than one hour. 

Patrons wanting access to the computers must provide their library card.  If a patron’s library card is delinquent, the patron must resolve the account before being granted access to the computers.  Visitors will need to provide a current driver’s license or picture ID. 

By using a public computer workstation, each patron agrees to the following rules and regulations and those already outlined above: 

  • The user shall assume the full responsibility of learning to use the computers and software on their own.

  • The user agrees to take proper care of all hardware, software, documentation and all equipment that are the property of the library. At no time will the user change software settings, Window setups, and move or delete icons or attempt access to the setup or configuration of any software or hardware. When there is any fault with any equipment or materials, the user will immediately report any difficulty or problem to a staff member and not try to "fix" any problem.  The user agrees not to install software programs on the Library computers; use only the software applications provided by the library; agrees to refrain from uses that cause harm to others or damage to their property; engage in defamation (harming another's reputation by lies); upload a worm, virus, "Trojan horse," "time bomb" or other harmful form of program or vandalism; participate in "hacking" activities or any form of unauthorized access to other computers, networks, or information systems. 

  • The user agrees not to use these resources for unauthorized, illegal, or unethical purposes, which includes (but is not limited to) making unauthorized copies of copyrighted or licensed software or data.  

  • The user agrees not to violate the law or encourage others to violate the law; transmit offensive or harassing messages; offer for sale or use any substance the possession or use of which is prohibited by law; view, transmit or download pornographic materials or materials that encourage others to violate the law; download or transmit confidential, trade secret information, or copyrighted materials and/or transmit messages which threaten, harass and/or verbally assault others. Even if materials on the networks are not marked with the copyright symbol, users should assume that all materials are protected unless there is explicit permission on the materials to use them.

  • The user agrees not to jeopardize the security of access of the computer network or other networks on the Internet; disclose or share the user's password with others; impersonate another user; use one's own software programs on the library's computers; alter the Library's computer settings; damage or modify computer equipment or software. 

  • Users are prohibited from engaging in activity that compromises the safety and security of minors when using e-mail, chat rooms and other forms of direct electronic communications as listed below: 

Minors under age 17: Giving others private information about one's self or others, including credit card numbers, social security numbers, names and/or addresses; entering chat rooms and/or social networking sites and/or engaging in communications on such sites without a parent or guardian’s express permission; arranging a face-to-face meeting with someone one has "met" on the computer network or Internet without a parent's permission; viewing materials that are obscene, pornographic, sexually explicit and/or adult oriented. 

Adults at or over the age of 18: Viewing materials that are obscene, pornographic, sexually explicit and/or adult oriented and/or permitting a minor to view such; accessing, viewing, importing, sharing and/or obtaining child pornography. Use of Library computers for anything whatsoever related to child pornography will be immediately reported to law enforcement authorities and shall subject the user to arrest, detention and conviction of a State and/or Federal crime. In addition, the user’s computer privileges will be suspended indefinitely. The term "harmful to minors" is defined by the Communications Act of 1934 (47 USC Section 254 [h][7]), as meaning any picture, image, graphic image file, or other visual depiction that taken as a whole and with respect to minors, appeals to a prurient interest in nudity, sex, or excretion; depicts, describes, or represents, in a patently offensive way with respect to what is suitable for minors, an actual or simulated sexual act or sexual contact, actual or simulated normal or perverted sexual acts, or a lewd exhibition of the genitals; taken as a whole lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value as to minors.

  • User must respect the privacy of others by: not misrepresenting themselves as another user; not attempting to modify or gain access to files, passwords, or data belonging to others.

  • User agrees to pay $.25 a page for printed material.

  • User agrees to refrain from sending, receiving, or displaying text or graphics which may be reasonably construed as obscene.

  • User agrees to be responsible for any hardware or software damage or Internet costs related to their actions.

  • User may send and receive e-mail but no e-mail address will be provided.

The librarian conducts regular site checks.

Misuse or abuse of computer or Internet access will result in suspension of computer workstation and Internet access privileges.

The Computer and Internet Policy will be enforced by the staff and may be subject to change at the discretion of the Library Director and Library Board.

Personally identifiable information about users may not be disclosed or used in any way, except to law enforcement authorities as provided in the law (see below). Users should be aware, however, that due to the technical difficulties involved in providing absolute security, transactions and files may become public and the user expressly assumes this risk. Users should be aware that there is no right to privacy with respect to the use of Library computers. When websites and/or other materials are accessed, Internet addresses are recorded and/or stored. Messages, comments and/or communications are not anonymous and any electronic information and/or communications sent or received may be stored, maintained and/or retrieved by other users. Users should be aware that Library computers are accessible to other users and the Library cannot and shall not guarantee the privacy of any information and/or communications.

2017 Tennessee Code Title 10 – Public Libraries, Archives, and Records, Chapter 8 – Confidentiality of Library Records § 10-8-102. Disclosure prohibited – Exceptions: 

  • (a) Except as provided in subsection (b), no employee of a library shall disclose any library record that identifies a person as having requested or obtained specific materials, information, or services or as having otherwise used such library. Such library records shall be considered an exception to § 10-7-503.

  • (b) Library records may be disclosed under the following circumstances:

    • (1) Upon the written consent of the library user;

    • (2) Pursuant to the order of a court of competent jurisdiction; or

    • (3) When used to seek reimbursement for or the return of lost, stolen, misplaced or otherwise overdue library materials.