Internet Policy

Computer and Internet Usage Policy

Acceptable Usage Policy of the Library’s Internet Computers and Wireless Access Network   

1. The Lewistown Public Library offers Internet access with the proviso that the user agrees to be socially responsible in what they view.  Viewing sexually explicit material, illegal or obscene material on the Internet is prohibited. Pursuant to Montana Code Annotated Section 45-8-201a person commits the criminal offense of obscenity when, with the knowledge of the obscene nature thereof, s/he purposely or knowingly exhibits or otherwise makes available anything obscene to anyone to anyone under the age of 18.  A person convicted of the offense of obscenity shall be fined at least $500 but not more than $1,000 or imprisoned in the county jail for a term not to exceed 6 months, or both. VIOLATORS OF THIS LAW WILL BE PROSECUTED!

The individual user, in signing up to use a computer with Internet access accepts this responsibility, agreeing to be socially responsible in its use within the public library setting. 

2. A patron is prohibited from interfering with the work of other users, maliciously, harassing or intimidating others, concealing or misrepresenting their name or affiliation to mask irresponsible or offensive behavior, sending abusive or patently offensive or unwanted material to others from Library owned computers, devices and systems on the Library’s network, World Wide Web sites or other non-specified computer or wireless network resources managed by the Library.

3. Library users are prohibited from violating copyright law, theft, file theft, violating other’s privacy, deliberately crashing Library or other’s workstations or computer systems, modifying files without authorization, altering data, disrupting network services, introducing viruses or other computer damaging material, penetration or harm to operating system, reselling bandwidth, or an other illegal acts promulgated from or targeting the Library’s computers or wireless network or other Library systems.

4. If abuse of computers or network systems occurs those responsible for such abuse will be held legally accountable.  Misuse of library computer or network resources may constitute trespass or disruptive behavior, both that carry legal consequences under the Ordinances of the City of Lewistown and Montana State Law.

5. The Lewistown Public Library does not allow any downloading of programs, web pages, or using any offered services from the Internet on to the hard drive, for security reasons and virus protection. If in rare cases a patron needs to download something from the Internet onto a disk, staff must be consulted.  In most instances, because of Library security this will not be allowed.  Through the wireless network, only downloads under 100mgb will be allowed.

6. The Library upholds and affirms the right of each individual to have access to constitutionally protected material.  The Library assumes no control over the content of the Internet.  If a site offends you, for whatever reason, leave the site and/or do not go there.  If someone else’s viewing of a site offends you, leave the area.

7. The Library also affirms the right and responsibility of parents to determine and monitor their children’s use of Library materials and resources. The Library staff does not act “in loco parentis” and will not monitor a juvenile’s access to the Internet except within the parameters stated in the terms of use.

8. By use of the Library’s systems the user agrees that the Library assumes no liability for any loss or damage to the user’s data and software or hardware or for any other liability for damage or injury arising from the Library’s provision of the service or consequence arising therefrom.  Users indemnify and hold harmless the Lewistown Public Library, the City of Lewistown and Fergus County against any liability for damage or loss arising from use or misuse of the services provided by or through the Library.

2. Electronic Access Availability: 

1. The Internet, as an information resource, enables the Library to provide information beyond the confines of its own collection.  The Lewistown Public Library’s access to the Internet is a way of enhancing the collection in size and depth and providing public access to any citizen who wishes to access the Internet.

2. The Internet allows access to ideas, information and commentary from around the globe.  It is an unregulated medium.  As such, while it offers access to a wealth of material that is personally, professionally, and culturally enriching to individuals of all ages, it also enables access to some material that may be offensive, disturbing and/or illegal. The Library cannot control or monitor other materials that may be accessible from Internet sources.  It is not possible to apply the same selection criteria that are used for other library materials.

3. Not all sources on the Internet provide accurate, complete or current information.  Patrons must exercise judgment and evaluate for themselves the value of the information found online. Starting points for searches on the Internet are found on the Library’s Homepage.

4. Library staff is able to instruct patrons on the basic use of the Library’s own computers only.  Advanced Internet training may be held periodically at the Library.  Lists of useful sites may be found in the Internet Notebook by the computers. The Library takes no responsibility for sites listed in the Notebook and they may be changed or deleted at any time.

5. There are several sites on the Internet that allow free e-mail accounts. The Library does not maintain this in any way.  Patrons using these services need to be aware that confidentiality of these sites is questionable.  E-mail is not secure in any form.

6. Patrons are allowed to print pages from the Internet at a cost of $.15 per page regardless of length.   There is often no concrete way of determining actual length of a print job, and the patron is responsible for all printed material from their site. The staff may be able to assist you with print access.  Print access from the wireless network is not available.  A patron may save to a disk and then take it to a printer accessible computer and print from there at .15 per page.


In an effort to ensure that the use of this medium is consistent with the Mission of the Lewistown Public Library the following regulations shall apply.

1. Internet access on public access machines will be limited to a 1/2-hour time limit appointment per day.  If a work station is free (not signed up for) beyond that time the patron may use it longer, with the understanding that they will be asked to move if another signs up for that particular work station in that half hour block.

1a. Wireless access with your own computer is available. for one hour blocks of time and then will be booted out.  A patron using this service may log in again when the system allows.

2. Some database access may require more than a half hour usage.  Staff approval must be sought in such cases for both the Library’s public access machines.. It is encouraged to time this for a low usage time, this request will not be honored between the hours of 3 pm through 5:30 pm.

3. Only one person per workstation is allowed in the Circulation Area, because of space and noise  constraints.  In the Youth Services Lab two persons are allowed to share a computer work station.

4. No food or drink is allowed by the computers. Containers must be placed on the floor or away from the computer tables.

5. Failure to use the Internet stations appropriately and socially responsibly may result in revocation of Internet use privileges.  The first violation will result in a verbal warning to stop such action as demeaned socially unacceptable or illegal.  The second violation will result in terminating the use of the Internet for that day to those individual/s that are involved at that time.  A third violation may warrant denying Internet access for a determined period of time or intervention of the Lewistown Police Department.

6. The Library reserves the right to require anyone violating these rules to leave the Library and may withdraw permission for such a person/s to reenter the Library if the person/s continue to violate the rules.  The patron may appeal the Library’s decision to the Library Board in writing and their decision is final.


1. Word processing access is on a first come, first serve basis.  While a definite time limit is not put on the equipment, if other patrons are waiting to use it for the same purposes, the patron that has been on the program the longest beyond an hour will be asked to finish up.   If an extended period of time is needed, staff approval needs to be sought before the equipment is used.

2. Personal word processing documents are not to be saved on the hard drive of the computer.  If you desire to save your material, please use a disc. There is no security to prevent others from accessing your file.  The files may also be deleted at any time.  Discs may be purchased from the Library (nominal fee) and be used for storing personal data.

3. If material is printed, the cost is $.15 per page from the designated printer, payment is to be made at the front desk.

4. Personal CDs may not be downloaded on to the Library’s computers.  But CD ROMs that don’t load on to hard drives may be used with appropriate headphones only.

5. The Library has certain educational CD-ROM programs that are available for in-library use.  Some require downloading assistance please contact staff to use these.

Adopted by the Library Board April 1996; Revised 10/98
Adopted by the Library Board  11/98; Revised by Board 4/2002, 10/2002, 6/2005