Internet Policies

internet-policyThis is the Reading Public Library Internet Policy document. This policy covers all Reading Public Library locations including all departments of the Main Library, all branches and the Reading City Bookmobile

This Reading Public Library Internet Policy was revised June 16, 2014.

Purpose:  Internet access at the Reading Public Library enables the library to provide information beyond the confines of its own collection thus extending the library’s commitment to meeting the community information needs.

Disclaimer:  The Reading Public Library is not responsible for the content, accuracy or availability of information on the Internet. Information found on the Internet may be out of date, inaccurate, unreliable or incomplete. Patrons need to exercise judgment and discretion in the use of information received from the Internet. The Library Board and its employees assume no responsibility for damages of any type arising from the use of any information, software or data obtained from the Internet. The Library Board and its employees are not responsible for damages to patron owned equipment including but not limited to laptops, PDA, gaming and other devices using the library’s wireless Internet connection. This includes but is not limited to, damage caused by configuration changes, viruses, spyware or other malicious code received via the library’s wireless connection. The library is not responsible for insuring the privacy of any information on a patron’s electronic device or data sent or received while using the library’s wireless Internet connection.

Patrons wishing to use the internet to access federal government information are not bound to present identification, nor are they required to sign up for a library card.

Terms of Use:

Patrons must have a library card in good standing and sign the Internet users agreement to use the library’s Internet workstations. Parents must sign an Internet agreement at the library for a child under the age of eighteen (18). A parent or guardian must accompany children under the age of nine (9) while using the Internet. All patrons using the library’s wireless Internet connection must agree to the Internet Use Policy.

Each adult patron using a library Internet workstation is allotted one hour (total) of Internet use per day, one half hour of Internet use for children and teens. Patrons must close their work and leave the computer workstation when requested by staff. There is no time limit for patrons using the wireless network, but the library does reserve the right to change the policy in the future should it become necessary.

Visitors and non-residents of Berks County may use Internet computers when they present an acceptable form of photo ID and sign an Internet agreement card.

Patrons may not use the library’s Internet workstations or the wireless Internet connection to transmit threatening or harassing material or engage in any activity that is deliberately offensive or creates an intimidating or hostile environment. Loud or disruptive behavior is prohibited.

Hacking (purposely violating computer or network security) or the dissemination of viruses, harmful computer code, hoaxes, or deceptions is prohibited. Violations of copyright or software licensing agreements are prohibited. The proper authorities will be notified of any violations.

Patrons may not damage, alter, or degrade computer equipment, peripherals, software, or operating configurations. Installation of software applications or directly accessing or altering computer hard drive files is not permitted. Patrons may not shut down computer workstations.

Patrons may not view, print, distribute, display, send or receive images or graphics of obscene or pornographic materials or material that violates laws relating to child pornography while using library workstations or using the wireless Internet connection.

The library reserves the right to limit the number of people at each workstation. This is usually limited to two patrons at a workstation at any one time.

Due to copyright laws some protocols such as bittorrent, limewire and Kazaa are not allowed at library Internet workstations or through the library’s wireless Internet Connection.

Filtering:  

The library is required to filter the Internet.  An adult patron may request that the filter be removed, but the filter will not be removed in cases in violation of our Internet Policy.  Filters cannot be be removed from any personal device using RPL’s wireless connection.  Library staff is not permitted to touch a patron’s equipment.

Printing and Downloading:
 
Downloading is available to floppy discs and flash drives. Both are available for purchase. Patrons are responsible for paying for everything they print. Printing is not available through the library’s wireless connection.

Use of the Internet by Children:

Librarians do not serve in the place of parents and cannot act in place of parents in providing supervision of children as they explore the Internet. The responsibility for what minor children read or view on the Internet rests with parents or guardians. The library reserves the right to restrict Internet use by children to the Internet workstations located in the Children’s Department at the Main Library and designated workstations at library branches. The library reserves the right to restrict Internet use by teenagers to the Internet workstations in the Teen Department at the Main Library and designated workstations at library branches. All Internet rules apply to the use of the Internet at workstations located in all departments and branch locations.

Violations:

The library staff reserves the right to terminate any Internet session, including wireless Internet sessions at any time. Patrons violating this Internet Policy may lose their Internet privileges. An official warning is given for the first offense; the second offense results in the loss of Internet privileges for 30 days in all Reading Public Library departments and branches; and the third offense results in permanent loss of Internet privileges at all Reading Public Library departments and branches.

Staff Assistance:
    
Library staff can offer basic instruction as time permits on how to navigate the Internet. However, the time available for instruction may be limited and patrons must be willing to explore and search the Internet on their own. If you encounter any problems, or if another patron is engaged in offensive behavior, please let us know. Staff may not give assistance to patrons configuring their personal equipment including laptops, PDA, gaming and other devices to connect to the library’s wireless Internet.

Close of Day:

The Library staff closes down the Internet workstations and the wireless Internet connection ten (10) minutes before the Library closes.