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Computer Usage Policy and Disclaimer

Computer Usage Policy and Disclaimer

Introduction

This document constitutes a policy for the management of computer resources administered by Midlands Technical College Library. The policy reflects the values of Midlands Technical College and indicates, in general, what privileges and responsibilities are characteristic of the Library computing environment.

In support of campus research and instructional programs, the Library provides free, equal and unrestricted access to the Internet. Library staff offers assistance and instruction in the use of the Internet as an information resource.

General Policies

Computer use has become an integral part of Library activities. While much computing is now done on individual computing resources, most information and communications systems either reside on central computers or use networks. Public access computers are provided for Library-related activities, i.e., to access the Library catalog, databases, websites, and to connect to Library-related sites.

External Networks

Members of the Library community who use networks or facilities not owned by the Library will adhere to the policies and procedures established by the administrators of these networks and facilities. (These can usually be obtained from the network information center of the network in question.) Use of Library computing resources must follow the guidelines of all of the networks used.

Confidentiality

In general, the Library will treat information stored on computers as confidential (whether or not that information is protected by the computer operating system). Requests for disclosure of information will be honored only under one of the following conditions:

Except when inappropriate, Library users will receive prior notice of such disclosures. (Viewing of information in the course of normal system maintenance does not constitute disclosure.)

Responsibilities of Users

The user is responsible for correct and efficient use of the tools available for maintaining the security of information stored on each computer system. The following precautions are strongly recommended:

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

Legal Use

Computing resources may only be used for legal purposes by the public and staff. Examples of unacceptable purposes include, but are not limited to, the following:

Ethical Use

Computing resources should be used in accordance with the valuesof the Library. Examples of unacceptable use (some of which may also have legal consequences) include, but are not limited to, the following:

Cooperative Use

Computing resource users can facilitate computing at the Library in many ways. The Library endorses the practice of cooperative computing. It includes:

Display/Dissemination of Sexually Explicit Materials

Use of Library Internet access stations to display or disseminate sexually explicit or sexually suggestive (obscene/pornographic) material in the Library is prohibited. Inadvertent displays shall be removed from the computer screen as soon as they appear. Thus, the Library will make every attempt to minimize the appearance of sexually explicit material from computer screens. Violators of this policy will be removed from the Library and will have their library privileges revoked.

Station User Policy

Time Limits Per Day --An individual has up to 20 minutes if others are waiting. Use of the Stations is on a first-come, first-served basis.

Chat rooms and Email?Users are requested to refrain from the use of chat rooms or email. Email is available at the Academic Success Centers.

Sanctions

Violators of computing resources use policies may lose library privileges. Violations of the policies described above for legal and ethical use of computing resources will be dealt with in a serious and appropriate manner. Students will be referred to the Director of Campus Life.

Illegal acts involving Library computing resources may also be subject to prosecution by local, state or federal authorities.

Disclaimer

Since the Internet is a global electronic network, there is no control of its users or content. The Internet and its available resources may contain material of a controversial nature. The Library cannot censor access to material nor protect users from offensive information. The Library will make every effort to insure that sexually explicit (obscene/pornographic) material will be removed from computer screens as soon as possible in accordance with the earlier section "Display/Dissemination of Sexually Explicit Materials."

Library staff cannot control the availability of information links, which often change rapidly and unpredictably. Not all sources on the Internet provide accurate, complete or current information. Users need to be good information consumers, questioning the validity of the information.

Also, the Library assumes no responsibility for any damages, direct or indirect, arising from use of its WWW Server or from its connections to other Internet services.

© 2005 Midlands Technical College
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