Internet Use Policy

The Internet allows the Des Moines Public Library to provide Des Moines' diverse community with access to global information, ideas, and discussion. The Des Moines Public Library has no control over the information accessed through the Internet and cannot be held responsible for its content. Individual users must accept responsibility for evaluating content. As with other library materials, the library affirms the right and responsibility of parents or guardians to guide, determine, and monitor their children's use of the Internet.

A. Accessing Internet Workstations

  1. Before accessing the Internet, users must sign in on the library Internet reservation software.
  2. Computer use will be limited to the holder of the card to whom the account is registered.
  3. Users will be limited to a total of two hours of Internet use per day.
  4. Each building will set a limit for the number of users permitted at a workstation at one time.
  5. Users will be held responsible for all pages printed at the cost of 25 cents per page. Those unfamiliar with printing from the Internet are encouraged to seek staff assistance when attempting to print for the first time.
  6. Users will be required to discontinue use of the Internet fifteen minutes before closing time each day.

B. Access for Children

As with other library materials, monitoring of a child’s access to the Internet is the responsibility of the parent or legal guardian. Supervision must be provided for children under the age of ten.

C. Prohibitions and Sanctions

  1. Printing may be provided at workstations at the cost of 25 cents per sheet. Printing must be completed within one’s allotted time period, thus assuring a complete session for the next user.
  2. Users are not permitted to install, delete, or modify library hardware or software.
  3. Users are prohibited from uploading, downloading, or saving files.
  4. Misuse of the computer or Internet may result in the loss of Internet privileges.
  5. As with printed material, not all Internet resources provide accurate, complete, or current information. It is the responsibility of individual users to evaluate the validity of all information found.

D. Supported Functions

  1. Library Internet access is intended as an information resource therefore, the following Internet protocols are not supported: Usenet newsgroups, Telnet, Internet Relay Chat (IRC), and File Transfer Protocol (FTP).
  2. The library’s choice of browser as well as sound, video, and other browser plug-ins that exploit the multimedia capabilities of the Internet will be incorporated through careful selection by the library and the City of Des Moines Information Technology Department.

E. Staff Assistance

The library staff cannot provide in-depth computer training outside the computer training classes, but will attempt to answer basic questions or help users locate resources on the Internet. Staff can also provide information on where to get appropriate training. Books, manuals, and other useful reference sources will also be made available.

F. Legal Considerations

  1. Activities that violate local, state, or federal statutes are prohibited.
  2. 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 materials (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 Des Moines Public Library expressly disclaims any liability or responsibility resulting from such use.
  3. The Des Moines Public Library expressly disclaims any liability or responsibility arising from access to or use of information obtained through its electronic information systems, or any consequences thereof.

Persons using public Internet workstations are expected to follow the guidelines of the Des Moines Public Library Customer Behavior Policy.

Adopted by the Des Moines Public Library Board of Trustees September 16, 1998.
Revised July 18, 2006, November 17, 2010.