Public Computer Use Guidelines

The Huntley Area Public Library District offers valid Illinois library cardholders free access to the public computer network, including the Internet, the library’s subscription databases, and the library’s computer software. Out-of-district visitors may apply for a temporary visitor pass by showing valid picture identification at the Circulation Desk. This service is offered as a way to enhance the library’s existing collections with computer resources and information networks from around the world.

About the Internet

The Internet is a global network of computer networks linked together to form the World Wide Web. As such it is an unregulated medium. No single agency owns or monitors the information passing through the Internet. The library has no control over and is not responsible for the content on the Internet. Library patrons, who use the Internet, do so at their own risk. While the Internet offers access to a diverse number of topics, not all the information is complete, accurate, or current. Some of the materials may be considered inappropriate, offensive, disturbing, and/or illegal. Library patrons should question the validity of information provided and evaluate Internet sources just like printed publications.

Guidelines for Use

Library patrons will be asked to type in a valid library card number in order to use a computer workstation for a task other than using the library catalog. Prior to the first-time use of the library’s computer stations, with the exception of the library catalogs, the library’s public computer use guidelines must be read and agreed to. Children under the age of 18 must have a parent or guardian sign an agreement designating filtered or unfiltered access for their child. Adults will choose for themselves whether to use filtered or unfiltered access. Library patron records will be marked accordingly. A responsible adult must accompany children under the age of seven when using computer equipment.

Failure to comply with the library’s public computer use guidelines or use of the Internet or library computers which is illegal or contrary to library policy may result in the loss of library computer privileges. When library employees observe that a computer user is not in compliance with these guidelines or other library policies, they are authorized to request the user to terminate his/her computer session.


The library has implemented filtering in order to ensure that the Internet is used responsibly and in compliance with library policy. The library filters SOME sites on all public computers, including but not limited to: child pornography, pornography, peer-to-peer file sharing, and spyware/ phishing/ malicious code. The library filters the following sites for the computers designated as children’s computers: alcohol, chat, criminal skills, cults, drugs, gambling, hate and discrimination, obscene/tasteless, and R-rated. Other computers may be filtered, using the children’s computer filter settings, according to the agreement signed by the patron or parent/guardian. The library catalog stations are restricted to catalog use only.

Library patrons should note that no filter blocks all materials that they might find offensive or harmful. With or without filtering software, children who use the Internet without parental guidance may encounter material that is beyond their maturity level or otherwise unsuitable. Parents are strongly advised to instruct their children in online safety. Parents may wish to supervise their children’s Internet sessions. As with other library materials, restriction of a child’s access to the Internet is the responsibility of the parent/guardian.

Scheduling Computer Use

  • Use of the catalog only computer stations is on a first-come, first-served basis. If others are waiting, usage is limited to 15 minutes.
  • Use of most children’s and adult computer stations is on a first-come, first-served basis. During peak times, session times are automatically limited to 30 minutes on children’s computers and one hour on adult computers.
  • Reservations for Internet and applications computers with scanners may be made up to 24 hours in advance. Patrons who are more than 10 minutes late will forfeit the use of the reserved computer for that hour if someone else is waiting to use it.
  • Group use of computers should not disturb others in the library. If needed, reference staff may ask patrons to use computers for individual use only.
  • Equipment or service maintenance or failure may result in a rescheduling of time or access to alternative sources of information.

Downloading & Printing Patrons may download information from the computer on preformatted diskettes and CDs or on personal flash drives; diskettes and CDs may be purchased at the library’s reference desk. The library is not responsible for any loss or damage to diskettes, CDs, and flash drives during downloading. Small non-executable personal files may be saved temporarily to the t drive for current session use only. No personal files may be saved to the desktop or c drive. Printers will be available for patron use. A fee schedule for printing and purchasing diskettes and CDs is available in the library’s fine and fee schedule policy. For more information on printing, downloading or fees, please ask at the Reference Desk.

Making or distributing a copy of a creative work may be subject to copyright law, including printed material, sound and video recordings, visual artwork, and software. Any patron who willfully disregards copyright laws does so at his/her own risk and assumes all liability.

Only computer equipment and software owned and installed by the library may be used on the library’s public computer network. The library does not allow plugging laptops or similar devices into the library’s wired network or installing personal software on the library’s computers. Intentionally damaging software or equipment may result in prosecution and liability for costs associated with the damage.

Staff Assistance

Staff is available to provide basic instruction on using computer stations and troubleshooting library equipment and software. The library staff chooses links for the library home page in order to facilitate use of the Internet. Users should recognize that the library is not responsible for changes to the content of linked sites or for the content of sources accessed through secondary links. For those who need more assistance with computer software programs or Internet use, print materials are available in the library collection.

Additional Notices:

1. The library disclaims all liability and responsibility for any local, regional or global problems with its communications network, and also with respect to interruptions caused by strikes, labor disturbances, lockout, riot, fire, flood, electrical failure, telecommunications facilities failure, computer virus, act of God, the public enemy, or any other cause, whether like or unlike the foregoing, beyond the reasonable efforts of the library to control.

2. No library patron is permitted to take any of the following actions, nor to allow any other library patron to do so:

  • a) to use the library’s Internet access for any unlawful, immoral, harmful, fraudulent or obscene purpose;
    b) to alter, damage, abuse, or sabotage computer equipment or software, alter configurations, install any software, or to create or send any computer virus or harmful code to any third party;
    c) to attempt to violate, or to break into or violate, the security of any computer file, database or network, or to violate another person’s privacy or access, or to alter, steal, corrupt or destroy any data;
    d) to interfere with the use of the library’s Internet access by any other person, or to alter, tamper with, repair or circumvent any aspect of the library’s Internet access; or
    e) to make unauthorized representations or claims regarding the library’s Internet access.

3. If a library patron violates any of the foregoing prohibitions, the library expressly reserves the right to immediately suspend or terminate the patron’s use of the library’s Internet access. In addition, such library patron agrees to indemnify and hold the library harmless from and against any and all damages, expenses, judgments, settlements, claims, liabilities, losses and costs of civil or criminal defense, including reasonable attorneys’ fees, that arise out of such violation, whether incurred by the library directly or owed, paid or payable by the library to a third party.

4. The library hereby specifically disclaims all warranties, express, implied or statutory, including without limitation, any warranty of fitness for a particular purpose, merchantability, title, noninfringement or any other warranty arising out of custom, course of performance, or trade. Furthermore, the library patron acknowledges that he or she has not relied on any such warranty and that none are made by the library. The library patron assumes the entire risk as to the results and performance of the library’s computer and Internet access.

5. To the maximum extent permitted by law, in no event will be the library be liable to any library patron or to any third party for any incidental, indirect, special or consequential damages or loss (including, without limitation, damages for loss of business, loss of profits, business interruption, loss business information, or other pecuniary loss) based on breach of agreement, tort (including negligence), product liability, or otherwise, arising out of the use or inability to use the library’s computer and Internet access, whether or not the possibility or cause of such damages was known to the library. In any event, the library’s aggregate liability for any such loss shall not exceed $100.00.

6. The library reserves the right to delete patrons’ computer use accounts associated with library card numbers that are invalid, inactive, expired, lost or stolen, or do not indicate acceptance of these public computer use guidelines.

7. In consideration of being allowed to use the library’s computer and Internet access, the library patron agrees to indemnify, hold harmless and defend the library and its Trustees, officers, employees and agents, at the library patron’s sole expense, against any and all losses, liabilities, judgments, awards and costs (including reasonable legal fees and expenses), arising from or relating to any violations of, or any breach of default of the library patron’s obligations under, these guidelines and the library’s policies, or arising from any negligent act or omission, or willful misconduct by the library patron.

Adopted: October 18, 2006