Library Policies: Information Services

INF 1 – Priorities for Reference Service
INF 2 – Interlibrary Loan
INF 3 – Use of Library Computers and Network Resources
INF 4 – Limitations on Internet Access

INF 1 – Priorities for Reference Service
Reference services are an essential part of public library services. It is important that each individual who asks for assistance in finding information be treated with respect, that each question be taken seriously, and that these transactions be handled confidentially. Inquiries from patrons present in the Library are of greater priority than those inquiries received by telephone, email, or other electronic communications.

INF 2 – Interlibrary Loan
Patron requests for items not in the collection will normally be reviewed for purchase. When such items do not meet the Library’s selection criteria or are not in print, the Library will attempt to borrow the items from another library through interlibrary loan.

A patron must fill out an Interlibrary Loan form available the front desk. The patron will need to have as much information as possible about the item, and a staff member will work to verify the provided information in a centralized database. This same database will also list which libraries have that item in their collections.

The Library is generally unable to borrow:

  • Items published in the current year
  • Copies of bound periodicals (though photocopies can be requested)
  • Research material that is held with special collections

A patron will be charged a $3.00 fee for any fulfilled ILL request to cover the cost of shipping.

The Library will attempt to borrow from libraries that do not charge; however, some libraries charge a fee. These will be passed on to the patron.

The Library will not process interlibrary loans for patrons with fines on their cards until the fines are paid. When an interlibrary loan item is processed at the Library, the patron will be notified by telephone that it is ready to be picked up. The loan periods for interlibrary loan items are set by the loaning library and may vary greatly. A patron may request that an item be renewed. If that renewal is possible, the length of that renewal is determined by the lending library.

If a patron loses or damages an interlibrary loan item, they will be assessed the value of the item as set by the loaning library.

INF 3 – Use of Library Computers & Network Resources

Compliance with Policies Required
Patrons are required to comply with both the letter and spirit of these policies. Violations will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Violations may result in restriction or revocation of a patron’s computer and/or other library-user privileges.

Compliance with other Policies
Patrons must abide by the acceptable use policies of other networks.

Inappropriate Use
Use of Library computers and networks in a manner that precludes or significantly hampers its use by others is not allowed.

Compliance with Applicable Laws Required
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, illegal, or obscene material on the Internet is prohibited. Pursuant to Montana Code Annotated Section 45-8-201, a person commits the criminal offense of obscenity (as defined in Montana Code Annotated Section 45-8-201.3) when, with the knowledge of the obscene nature thereof, s/he purposely or knowingly exhibits or otherwise makes available anything obscene to anyone under the age of 18. Violators of the law will be prosecuted. A person convicted of the offense of obscenity shall be fined at least $500 but not more that $1,000 or imprisoned in the county jail for a term not to exceed 6 months, or both.

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.

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.

The Library affirms the right and responsibility of parents to determine and monitor their children’s use of the 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.

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 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 services provided by or through the Library.

Library users are prohibited from violating copyright law, theft, violating others privacy, deliberately crashing Library computer systems, modifying files without authorization, altering data, disrupting network services, introducing viruses or other damaging material or other illegal acts. If abuse of computers or network systems occurs those responsible will be held legally accountable. Misuse of library computer or network resources may constitute trespass or disruptive behavior, both of which carry legal consequence under the Ordinances of the City of Lewistown and Montana State Law.

Conditions and Terms of Internet use in the Library
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:

Internet access on public access machines will be limited to a 1-hour limit per day before 3:00 p.m. or a ½ hour time limit per day after 3:00 p.m. Patrons must sign up at the front desk. Only one person per workstation is allowed in the Circulation Area because of space and noise constraints. Two persons are allowed to share a computer workstation in the Youth Services Lab. No food or drink is allowed by the computers. Containers must be placed away from the computer tables.

To discourage disruptive and/or illegal behavior, the following procedure will be followed for patrons who do not use either the Library provided Wi-Fi or public access computers in an unacceptable way.

  1. If a patron views sexually explicit, illegal, and/or obscene material while using the Library Wi-Fi or using a Library computer that patron will be asked to clear all screens and leave the Library.
    a) A meeting with the Director will be scheduled
    b) A Behavior & Use Agreement form will be signed
    c) Computer/Device use at the Library will be revoked for a period of one month
  2. If the same patron views sexually explicit, illegal, and/or obscene materials while using the Library Wi-Fi or using a Library computer, for a second time, that patron will be asked to clear all screens and leave the Library.
    a) A meeting with the Director will be scheduled
    b) An updated Behavior & Use Agreement will be signed
    c) Computer/Device use at the Library will be revoked for a period of six months.
  3. If the same patron views sexually explicit, illegal, and/or obscene material while using the Library Wi-Fi or using a Library computer, for a third time, that patron will be asked to clear all screens and leave the Library.
    a) A Meeting with the Director will be scheduled
    b) Computer/Device use at the Library will be revoked completely

Internet Disclaimer

The Internet, as an information resource, enable the Lewistown Public Library to provide information beyond the confines of its own collection. It allows access it ideas, information, and commentary from around the globe and a vast array of tools and resources for different age levels and points of view. The Library does not endorse the viewpoints or vouch for the accuracy of information obtained through the Internet.

Equipment Failure
Data circuits and equipment are subject to failure which can cause services to become unavailable. Therefore, no guarantees for constant service are expressed or implied.

Patron Data
Ultimate responsibility for resolution of problems related to invasion of the patron’s privacy or loss of data rests with the patron. The Library assumes no liability for loss or damage to the patron’s data or for any damage or injury arising from invasion of the patron’s privacy.

Patrons Not to Introduce or Attempt to Eradicate Computer Viruses
Patrons may not introduce malicious programs such as viruses, worms, and Trojan horses to Internet stations. If a patron suspects the presence of a virus, he/she should immediately contact the Library staff for assistance.

Library Computer Security
Patrons shall not attempt to circumvent Library computer security. This includes, but is not limited to, access data not intended for the user, logging into a computer account the user is not expressly authorized to access or attempting to gain access to the Library’s servers.

Responsibility of the Users
The user is responsible for correct use of the tools available for maintaining the security of information on each computer system.

The following precautions are recommended:

  • Usernames, passwords, and other types of authorization that are assigned to individual patrons should not be shared with others.
  • Files saved on Library computing resources may not be totally secure.
  • The patron should be aware of computer viruses and other destructive computer programs and take steps to avoid being a victim or unwitting distributor of these processes.

Any misuse which compromises system security is prohibited.

Patrons are prohibited from excessive consumption of resources, including, but not limited to, CPU time and network bandwidth.

The Lewistown Public Library reserves the right to examine and delete any data stored on its hard drives.

INF 4 – Limitations on Internet Access

Assistance by Library Staff
Library staff may be available to offer assistance with searching but cannot monitor or control the materials which may be accessible from the Internet. Those who search are responsible for their own searches, the information found in them and the use of that information.

Wireless Access
The Library staff will provide general information on the settings necessary to access the Internet via these connections but are not responsible for any changes made to the user’s computer settings. If a user has problems accessing the Internet over these connections, staff will verify the library’s connections are up and running but cannot assist in making changes to the user’s network settings or troubleshoot on a computer not owned by the Library. Users should refer to owner’s manuals or other support services offered by the device manufacturer.

The Library’s wireless connection is not secure. Any information sent or received could potentially be intercepted by another wireless user. Cautious wireless users may choose not to transmit their credit card information, passwords, and any other sensitive personal information. Users are encouraged to take appropriate precautions when using this service.

The Library will not be responsible for information, e.g. credit card number, which is compromised, or for damage caused to hardware, software, or data files due to electric surges, security issues, or consequences caused by viruses or hacking. All wireless access users are encouraged to have up-to-date virus protection on their wireless device.

Use of the Library’s wireless internet access is governed by all provisions of the Library’s Use of Internet Services policy. Use of the service is understood to mean agreement to comply with all such provisions. All users are expected to use the Library’s wireless access in a legal and responsible manner consistent with the purposes for which it is provided.

Headphones are required for listening to any resource with an audio component. Users may purchase headphones from the Library or use their own.

Unacceptable Uses
A patron must comply with the following guidelines when using the Library’s Internet:

  • Threatening, Harassing, or Obscene Data Prohibited – It is not acceptable to use the Internet access to transmit threatening, obscene, or harassing materials, or to interfere with or disrupt network users, services or equipment. Disruptions include, but are not limited to: propagation
    of computer worms and viruses, and using the network to make unauthorized entry to any other network resource.
  • Private Information / Resources – It is not acceptable for an individual to use the Internet to access information or resources unless permission to do so has been granted by the owners of holders of rights to those resources or information.
  • External Networks – Patrons who access networks or facilities not owned by the Library will adhere to the policies and procedures established by the administrators of these networks and facilities.
  • Inappropriate Use – Use of Internet access and any attached network in a manner that precludes or significantly hampers its use by others is not allowed.
  • Limitations on Internet Access – To safeguard minors in the Youth Services Lab from inadvertent or intentional exposure to illegal and/or inappropriate images, text or other resources on the Internet stations in the area, the Library will research, evaluate, and implement such technological and/or procedural solutions as privacy screens, filtering software, and others.

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