Copies of this policy are posted on the library website and are available at the circulation desk.

Internet Use Policy and Guidelines

  1. Purpose

Herrin City Library is committed to providing access to informational, educational, recreational and cultural resources for all library users. The Library provides access to the Internet through library computers connected to the Internet, and through wireless Internet access during open library hours.

The Library’s computer system provides the opportunity to integrate electronic resources from information networks around the world with the library’s other resources. However, not all sources on the Internet are accurate, complete, legal, trustworthy, or up-to-date. The Library assumes responsibility only for the information provided on its web sites, web-based resources, and social media pages. The Library cannot monitor or accept responsibility for material in other Internet sources.

  1. Responsibilities of Users

Users should be aware that they are working in a public environment shared by people of all ages and sensibilities. Users should refrain from the use of Internet sounds and visuals which might disrupt the ability of other library patrons to use the library and its resources.  Library users are individually responsible for their own access, use, or dissemination of information via the Internet in the Library.  Users agree to follow the Public Guidelines for Use of Computers and Computer Networks in the Library and to contact staff immediately if experiencing problems or concerns.  In the case of minors, use of library computers and library’s wireless network is a joint responsibility of the user and the parent or guardian.  

Users should safely share personal information (name, address, password, telephone number, school or work, credit card number, etc.) on the Internet. This includes but is not limited to email, instant messaging, online purchasing, social media sites, and commercial sites. The Library cannot be responsible for security of personal information shared on or with non-library sites.

Users should evaluate Internet sources just as they do print materials, questioning the accuracy and completeness of the information. Users must use the Internet at their own risk, realizing that beyond the Library’s web sites, web-based services, and social media pages they may encounter material they find offensive. 

Supervising Use by Children and Teens

Children thirteen and under must use the Internet with their accompanying adult. A parent or responsible adult must accompany children age 13 and under who wish to use a public computer or the wireless Internet. Age 17 and under must have a signed permission form on file if the parent or legal guardian is not present in the library when they use the internet. The Herrin City Library supports the right of all library users to access information and will not deny access to electronic information networks based solely on age.

Herrin City Library recognizes that the electronic information networks such as the Internet may contain material that is inappropriate for children.  Parents are expected to monitor and supervise their children’s use of the Internet. Library staff members are unable to monitor children’s use.  Parents are encouraged to discuss with their children issues of appropriate use and electronic information network safety.  The Library supports the right for each family to decide what appropriate Internet use is for their children and teens.  Use of the Internet presents an opportunity for each family to discuss sites and content they feel is appropriate or inappropriate.  Parents, guardians, and caregivers are expected to instruct minors to safely share personal information (name, address, password, telephone number, school, credit card number, etc.) on the Internet. This includes but is not limited to email, instant messaging, online purchasing, social media sites, and commercial sites. Before giving out any personal information via email, minors need to be confident that they are dealing with someone who is known and trusted by them and their parents or guardians.

For more information on children, teens, and the Internet see content on SafeKids.orgSafeTeens.com, and ConnectSafely.org.

Illegal and Unacceptable Uses

People may only use the Library’s computers and networks for legal purposes.  Examples of unacceptable uses include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Harassment of other users or violation of their privacy;
  • Libeling, slandering or maliciously offending other users;
  • Violation of software licensing agreements; Use of electronic information networks in any way which violates licensing and payment agreements between Herrin City Library and network/database providers.
  • Overuse of system resources such as bandwidth;
  • Attempting to crash, degrade performance of or gain unauthorized access to the Library’s or other computer systems and networks;
  • Damaging equipment, software or data belonging to the Library or other users; Destruction of, damage to or unauthorized alteration of the library’s computer equipment software, or network security procedures.
  • Failure to follow Public Guidelines for Use of Computers and Computer Networks in the Library including but not limited to time limits, printing policies, and use of headphones;
  • Exposing children to harmful materials. Violations may result in restrictions on library use. Illegal uses of the library’s computers or wireless networks may also be subject to prosecution by local, state or federal authorities.
  • The 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.


III. Responsibilities of the Library

The Library strives to maintain Internet access via library computers, networks, and wireless access at all times the library is open.  Short downtimes do occasionally occur, and will be announced ahead of time whenever possible.  Library staff assists users with library computers, printers, library software, and general Internet use, and can also verify that the library’s wireless network is functional. Library staff may be able to assist users with laptops, phones, e-readers or other wireless devices or answer software questions.  Library staff also may direct users to library resources, Internet resources, or training classes that can help users explore software or wireless devices. Library patrons have certain rights with respect to use of electronic information networks such as the Internet.  Herrin City Library will work with other libraries in the Illinois Library and Information Network to preserve and protect these rights, subject to limitations imposed by licensing and payment agreements with database providers. The Herrin City Library’s staff may provide assistance to patrons in the use of electronic information networks as time and staff knowledge permits.  Printed and on-line documentation and instructions are available at or near points of service.  Formal instruction in a particular aspect of electronic information network use may be available.

**Library patrons have the right to confidentiality and privacy in the use of electronic information networks to the extent possible given certain constraints such as proximity of other patrons and staff in public settings.

**Library patrons have the right to equitable access to electronic information networks.

**Library patrons have the right to access and read all library service policies and discuss questions with appropriate library staff.


Computer use information, as well as library cardholder information, is confidential as defined through Library Policy. All files are removed and internet search history is deleted from library computers at the end of each user’s session.  The Library’s wireless networks are offered as unsecure wireless networks.  Users should use wireless access accordingly.  

IV. Copyright

Copyright law of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code) protects created works (including email, text, music, videos, web sites, images, programs or data), and describes permissible and prohibited uses of protected works. The U.S. Copyright Office notes that while “use of works may be permissible for criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research…..the distinction between fair use and infringement may be unclear and not easily defined.”1 Except as permitted by fair use or other copyright exemptions, Madison Public Library internet users may not reproduce, display, or distribute copyrighted materials. Responsibility for any consequences of copyright infringement lies with the user; Madison Public Library expressly disclaims any liability or responsibility resulting from such use.

1 U.S. Copyright Office fair use factsheet. <<http://www.copyright.gov/fls/fl102.html>>. Accessed 3 January 2011.


Herrin City Library’s Policy for Access to Electronic Information Networks is part of the library’s overall policy structure and should be interpreted in conjunction with other existing policies.  Copies of all library policies are available upon request from a library staff member.


Most resources available via the Internet and other electronic information networks are “global” resources rather than “local” resources.  Herrin City Library does not and cannot control the information content available through global resources such as information obtained from outside sources via the Internet.  Internet resources enhance and supplement resources that are available locally within a library.  Library users must be aware that Herrin City Library does not exercise control over information obtained via the Internet and must keep in mind the following points when evaluating information obtained via the Internet:


**Information obtained via the Internet may or may not be reliable and may or may not be obtained from a reliable source.

**Information obtained via the Internet may or may not be accurate.

**Information obtained via the Internet may or may not be current or up to date.

**Links to information on the Internet may not always be valid, and particular information sites on the Internet may sometimes be unavailable and this unavailability often occurs unpredictably.

**Certain information obtained via the Internet may be considered controversial by some library patrons.

**The Herrin City Library urges library patrons to be informed consumers and carefully evaluate information obtained via the Internet.  Library staff may be available to assist patrons in making judgments about the reliability or currency of certain types of Internet information sources, but are unable to provide definitive analysis of particular sources due to the extremely large variety and volume of information available via the Internet.

**Neither board members of Herrin City Library nor its employees are responsible for damages, indirect or direct, arising from a library patron’s use of Internet information resources.


The Herrin City Library has developed certain procedures to assist staff and patrons in the use of electronic information resources.  These procedures include (but are not necessarily limited to) the following:

  • Time limits for access to allow use of resources by the maximum number of library patrons


  • Cost recovery for printouts using the library’s computer equipment


  • Priority usage for accessing the library’s on-line catalog


  • Specific instructions for downloading including compliance with virus protection measures


  • Restriction on the use of personal software on library computer equipment



Violation of any aspect of these policies or procedures may result in the loss of library privileges.






This policy is a modified version of the document adopted by Illinois State Library Advisory Committee, May 23, 1996, and was adopted by the Herrin City Library Board on September 9, 1998, and revised March 14, 2016.