The Rockville Public Library offers Internet access to its patrons as part of its mission to serve the community by providing free access to a diversity of ideas and information. It is within this context that the Rockville Public Library offers access to the Internet and acknowledges the Library’s endorsement of the Library Bill of Rights and Freedom to Read applies to electronic information. Your access to the Internet is completely at the discretion of the Rockville Public Library, and your access to the Internet may be blocked, suspended, or terminated at any time for any reason including, but not limited to, violation of this policy, actions that may lead to liability for the Rockville Public Library, disruption of access to other Users or networks, and violation of applicable laws or regulations.

Internet Use Policy

The Rockville Public Library does not monitor Internet use, has no control over what is accessed, and cannot be held accountable for the content, quality, or accuracy of information gathered from this resource. Users are cautioned that ideas, points of view, and images can be found on the Internet that may be considered controversial, divergent, and/or inflammatory. The provision of access does not imply that the library endorses the content or point of view of material found on the Internet. The library assumes no responsibility for any damages arising from its connection to the Internet (for example if software downloaded from the Internet contains a virus). The library prohibits users from downloading and adding programs to the public access computer from the Internet.

Library staff will not oversee or supervise the use of the Internet. However, the library reserves the right to ask individuals to discontinue the display of material that may cause a disruption of normal library activities. Users of the Internet must be aware of and respectful of the rights of others (especially children) not to be exposed to material that may be considered unsuitable (for example, sexually explicit websites). This includes electronic mail of objectionable content that is knowingly received by a patron on a library computer.

Patrons are expected to have a basic level of computer knowledge. Library staff is only able to provide brief help on basic computer use. Lengthy one on one tutorials are not possible due to staff constraints.

The Rockville Public Library’s policy is that parents or legal guardians are responsible for deciding what library resources are appropriate for their minor children. As with other library resources, supervision or restriction of a child’s access to the Internet remains the responsibility of a parent or guardian. For children under the age of 18, a signed parental permission slip is required before Internet access will be made available.

Security and Access

Internet users are cautioned that security cannot be guaranteed on the Internet, so all transactions and files are vulnerable to unauthorized access and use. It is likely that the number of Internet terminals will never equal demand.

Access restrictions and time limits are essential for equitable and orderly use. The library reserves the right to enforce time limits (two hours per day in the Adult and Teen departments, one hour in the Children’s Department), to limit the number of users per terminal and to charge for printing (15 cents per page for black/white and 30 cents per page for color). Due to the location and configuration of terminals, patrons’ privacy cannot be ensured. Patrons may only access the internet with their own card-use of another person’s card will result in a 30-day internet block on the user and the card they used. Repeated violations will result in a permanent block.

Wireless Access

The Library established wireless access to the Internet for laptop users to enhance and expand access to this important tool in the library. Laptop users with a wireless network connection can use the Library’s wireless access to browse the Internet. Wireless users are expected to adhere to the Library’s Internet Use Policy and violations of our policy will result in the loss of library and computer privileges. The Library does not monitor the use of the Internet by laptop users. Parents need to be aware that wireless access is free and unrestricted. Please view the complete acceptable use policy here.

User Responsibilities

Internet users are expected to use this resource in a manner consistent with the purposes for which it is provided and to follow all Internet-related rules, regulations, and procedures established for its use. Responsible, courteous use of the Internet includes:

Recognizing that the Internet, like all of the library’s information sources, must be shared and used in a manner that respects the rights of others and refrains from activity that prevents others from using it.

Using the library’s Internet resources for educational, informational, and recreational purposes only.

Refraining from downloading and adding programs to the public access computer from the Internet.

Refraining from using the library’s Internet resources to conduct a business or engage in commercial enterprise.

Refraining from illegal or unethical use of the Internet.

Respecting intellectual property rights by making only authorized copies of copyrighted, licensed, or otherwise controlled software or data residing on the Internet.

U. S. copyright law (Title 17, U. S. Code) prohibits the unauthorized reproduction or distribution of copyrighted materials, except as permitted by the principles of “fair use.” Users may not copy or distribute electronic material (including electronic mail, text, images, programs, or data) without the explicit permission of the copyright holder. Any responsibility for any consequences of copyright infringement lies with the user; the library expressly disclaims any liability or responsibility resulting from such use.

Respecting the privacy of others by not misrepresenting oneself as another user, by not attempting to modify or gain access to files, passwords, or data belonging to others, and by not seeking disallowed access to any computer system via the Internet.

Refraining from damaging or altering the setup of the equipment used to access the Internet at the library, or software or data residing on the Internet.

Refraining from the deliberate propagation of computer worms or viruses.

Refraining from the transmission of threatening, harassing, or abusive language or images.

Refraining from using or installing software from outside the library

Penalties for Violation

Violation of the policies and regulations governing the use of Internet resources may result in suspension or loss of the privilege to use these resources. Illegal activity involving the library’s resources will be subject to prosecution by the appropriate authorities.

If library staff becomes aware that a patron is viewing objectionable material as defined in the Internet Use Policy, they will request that the patron removes such content from the screen. An internet block of 30 days will be placed on the Library Card of the offender. Continued viewing of the objectionable material on that occasion or a second violation of the policy on another occasion will result in an immediate suspension of the patron’s ability to use the library’s Internet resources for a period of six months.

After reinstatement of privileges following the six-month suspension for a violation, a subsequent violation will result in a permanent suspension of the patron’s ability to use the library’s Internet resources.