Computer Use Policy

Policy Number: 135, Computer Use Policy

Rights of Users

Although the library does not individually monitor the use of computers or the Internet by patrons and respects the privacy of individual patrons, patrons should note that security is technically difficult to achieve and that electronic communications and files are safest when they are treated by the patron as if they were public.  The library makes no assurances of privacy or confidentiality with regard to the use of computer equipment, or a transmission, receipt or storage of information with this equipment.

Obligations of Users

As a member of the Butler County Federated Library System (BCFLS), Cranberry Public Library accepts and complies with BCFLS Policy #100: Internet Acceptable Use.

All users of electronic information resources are expected to use the computers responsibly, consistent with the educational and informational purposes for which they are provided.

1.  Privileges

  • Only one person may use the computer at a time.  Only one observer or tutor is permitted to be present.
  • Computers are available on a first come, first serve basis.  The library is not responsible for any interruption or inability to use the computer equipment as a result of power failure, computer malfunction, upkeep, or any other reasons.
  • For Butler County library card holders, there is no charge for the use of the computers.  Effective March 9, 2021, individuals without library cards no longer have to pay a guest computer use fee.  
  • Printing fees of 10 cents per page for black and white, and 50 cents per page for color, is charged.
  • Computer use may be limited to 1 hour per day, per person, based upon demand.
  • Cardholders with fines in excess of $10.00 will not be granted computer access.
  • The Library requires that parents or guardians, just as with books, videos, or other formats, assume responsibility for monitoring their children’s use of and access to information.  The signature of a parent/legal guardian for a child’s library card indicates and pledges that the parent/legal guardian take full responsibility for monitoring that child’s access to all library materials and services, including the Internet.  
  • Parent or guardian will remain onsite for all minors under the age of 12.  Parental approval is required for staff members to disable the filter for minors at each visit.

2.  Library Staff

The library staff is available to give a brief orientation on the menu being used but may not be familiar with every application.  Due to scheduling restraints there may not be a trained computer staff person on duty at all times.

3.  Legal Issues

Misuse or abuse of computers or of Internet access, or any violation of this policy, will result in suspension of library privileges. When applicable, law enforcement agencies may be involved.  In addition, the user shall be obligated to reimburse the library for any damage to the computer equipment caused by negligence or vandalism.

The computer may not be used for any purpose which would violate any state or federal laws, regulations or ordinances, including but not limited to those concerning obscenity, harassment or copyrights.  Minors are not permitted to view or download explicit sexual materials as defined in 18 Pennsylvania Code of Statutes 5903.  Any illegal activity involving the Library’s computer/Internet resources or equipment will be subject to prosecution by the appropriate authorities.

Violations of the policies and regulations that govern use of the Library’s computer resources may result in suspension or loss of the privilege to use these resources.

 4.  Computer/Printer/Hardware/Software

  • Patrons may not alter or attach equipment to the library's computer hardware.
  • Patrons may not store files, documents, or information on the library's computers.  Any such information stored or received shall be deleted from the computer by the library.
  • The library assumes no responsibility for any loss of or damage to any documents, work product, files or disks as a result of the use of the library computer.
  • Patrons may not install or load their own software application programs.
  • FAX software use is not permitted.

 5.  Internet Safety

Because the Internet is a vast, unregulated medium, the Library has no control of the Internet resources, and assumes no responsibility for the content, quality, accuracy, or currency of any Internet resource.  Information accessed through the Internet may contain material that is incorrect, inauthentic, unreliable, illegal, obscene, or sexually explicit and may fit the legal definition recorded by the Pennsylvania Obscenity Statue as being “harmful to minors.”

“Harmful to minors” involves material or performances that involve explicit sexual materials that depict nudity, sexual conduct, or sadomasochistic abuse and appeal predominantly to prurient, shameful or morbid interest of minors, is offensive to prevailing standards in the adult community, and taken as a whole lacks serious, literary, artistic, political, educational or scientific value for minors (Pennsylvania Obscenity Statue – 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. Sec. 5903).

Patrons viewing such material will be told that they must comply with the law.  Repeat offenders will be banned from using the Library’s computers.

The library will not serve as a host for electronic mail, chat rooms, instant messaging, list-servers, online bulletin boards or other online communications.

 6. CIPA Compliance

The Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) is a federal law that requires all computers in a public library to be filtered if that library accepts any federal funds for Internet access or computers used for Internet access (Supreme Court Decision: United States v. American Library Association Inc., No. 02-361 (June 23, 2003)).

Cranberry Public Library complies with the requirements of the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA).  

All of the public access computers at Cranberry Public Library are filtered with software provided by the Butler County Federated Library System (BCFLS).  It is important to be aware that filters are unreliable, at times blocking sites of legitimate information or educational value, or allowing access to sites are illegal, obscene, or sexually explicit within the meaning of 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. Sec. 5903.

Parents or legal guardians, not the library staff, are responsible for monitoring their children’s use of the Internet.  Responsibility for decisions about appropriateness in usage rests solely with parents or legal guardians.  The Library strongly encourages parents/legal guardians to supervise their children’s Internet use and to provide them with guidelines about acceptable use.

  • Under CIPA, Library staff should disable a filter for adults (17 years of age or older) when requested.
  • Under CIPA, Library staff may disable a filter for a minor (age 16 years or younger) in the event that a filter erroneously blocks access to an internet site with legitimate informational value.

Cranberry Public Library is not responsible for any patron’s unauthorized use of a computer with a disabled filter.

Any patron who wishes to file a complaint about the filtering software on the Library’s computers may do so within thirty (30) days of use to:

  • The Library Director and/or the Library Board President
  • The Federal Communications Commission

 7.  Wireless Internet Access

Cranberry Public Library provides free wireless access, via Armstrong Cable, to the Internet for patrons wishing to use personal laptops in the library.

All patrons using wireless access in the Library are bound to comply with the rules as outlined in this policy.

Effective Date: 06/17/2002.  This Internet Safety Policy was adopted by the Board of the Cranberry Public Library at a public meeting, following public notice, on June 17, 2002.

Revision Date: 10/21/2010