Public Access Computer and Internet Policy

Adopted:  July 14, 2022

Next Review:  July 2025 

The Waterloo Public Library (WPL) provides free access to the internet to augment the community’s informational, educational, and recreational resources. Patrons may access the internet through the library’s free public access computers and laptops during open hours, or 24 hours per day through the wireless network. Access to the networked and/or wireless connection may be disrupted due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances. Patrons must agree to this policy every time to access the internet and it is their responsibility to review it for any changes. 

Library users of the internet should be aware of the following: 

  • WPL holds the position that only parents and legal guardians have the right – and the responsibility – to monitor and control their own minor children’s access to the internet and to information obtained from the internet.
  • WPL cannot guarantee confidentiality over the internet. Patrons entering personal information (credit card numbers, Social Security numbers, etc.) do so at their own risk.
  • WPL cannot guarantee the accuracy and/or authenticity of information discovered through this resource. Patrons who find information or subject matter that is erroneous, out-of-date, illegal, offensive, and/or controversial should contact the original producer or distributor of that work directly.
  • WPL does not filter internet content. Library patrons will be responsible for what they are viewing. Patrons should be mindful that some content viewed on personal or library devices may be considered obscene or disturbing to other patrons and/or library staff. Patrons may be required to relocate to a different location. 
  • WPL complies with the United States Copyright Law, and all other federal, state and local laws relating to the use of the internet and other electronic media. Illegal activities, such as copyright infringement, theft, fraud, etc., are prohibited. Patrons that are found viewing content that is a violation of local, state, or federal laws will have their library privileges suspended and local authorities will be contacted. 

Rules and Guidelines for Public Access Computer and Laptop Use:

  • Public access computers and laptops are available on a first come, first served basis. Extensions to computer and laptop sessions are granted at the discretion of library staff. 
  • To use a public access computer, WPL cardholders will enter their card number & PIN. Those without a library card will be issued a guest pass for the day. 
  • Print copies can be made from the computers in black and white or color. Patrons shall pay for all copies sent to the printer. 
  • Public access computers and laptops do not have speakers. Patrons need to supply their own headphones or earbuds. There may be some available for purchase. 
  • Teen Department public access computers are restricted to use by patrons ages 11-17.
  • Youth Department public access computers are restricted to use by patrons 0-10 years of age. A parent or guardian directly supervising a child may check out a laptop to be used in the Youth Department. 
  • WPL utilizes software that clears all usernames, passwords, search histories, caches, cookies, saved documents, etc. at the end of each session. Patrons wishing to save their work should use portable media or upload to an online server. WPL is not responsible for work or information lost due to computer, network, or user error.  
  • WPL staff are able to assist patrons with public access computers and laptops as time and expertise allows. Patrons needing more in-depth assistance may request a Tech Expert appointment, subject to availability. Library staff will not be held liable for handling non-library equipment. 
  • Public access computers and laptops do not have antivirus or antimalware capabilities. Patrons using portable media (such as USB drives) on library computers do so at their own risk. 
  • Misuse of the computers such as physical abuse of hardware, accessing non-designated products and services, software tampering, etc. is not allowed. Loss of computer privileges and/or charges for damage inflicted on software or equipment are at the discretion of the library. If the patron is a minor, the parents or guardians will be held responsible. 
  • Anyone using WPL’s public access computer or internet service is subject to the Library's Patron Behavior Policy.  
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