In fulfilling its mission, the Dakota County Library provides public access to computers, the internet and other technology at each of its locations.
Internet Access and User Responsibilities
1. Choosing and evaluating internet resources
The internet offers a wide variety of valuable resources. As an unregulated worldwide network of computers and computer users, it also includes material that is inaccurate or controversial, as well as material that may be offensive or harmful to certain users.
Users are solely responsible for choosing and evaluating internet resources. The Library does not and cannot monitor or control information found on the internet and is not responsible for any internet content. Library access to the internet does not imply sponsorship or endorsement of any online content or viewpoint.
2. Children and families
Parents and guardians are solely responsible for their children's access to and use of Library resources, including computers and the internet. Parents and guardians are encouraged to supervise, actively participate in, and develop rules for their children's computer and internet use (including for the use of email, forums, chat rooms and other means of online communication).
3. Internet filtering
In accordance with the federal Children's Internet Protection Act, internet access on all Library computers is filtered. No internet filter is completely effective. Some websites that should be blocked may not be, while other website that should not be blocked may be. Patrons who encounter a site that they believe should or should not be blocked are encouraged to contact Library staff. Additionally, patrons older than 16 may request that Library staff disable filtering when using a computer in a library building, so long as their internet use does not violate the criteria set out herein.
4. Privacy and security
The Library makes no representations or guarantees that information accessed or transmitted on computers (including personally-owned laptops and smart devices) or the internet is private, secure, uninterrupted, or error- or virus-free, or that internet content is accurate, reliable, or safe to access or download. Additionally, the Library's wireless network is not encrypted, meaning that information sent or received over the network could potentially be intercepted or viewed by another user and another user could potentially access and change your files and programs.
Use of the Library's hardware, software, computers, Internet, wireless network, and electronic information resources is entirely at patrons' risk. The Library expressly disclaims any liability or responsibility arising from or relating to patrons' use of its devices, hardware, software, computers, Internet, wireless network, and electronic information resources.
Acceptable Computer and Internet Use
The freedom to access information is a fundamental right, but use of Library equipment is a privilege. Patrons must respect the rights of fellow patrons and Library staff when using Library computers and equipment, personal devices, and the internet. Time and bandwidth limits will be enforced to ensure that all patrons have an equal opportunity to use Library equipment, computers and the internet. Examples of unacceptable computer and internet use include, without limitation:
- Engaging in activity on either a Library computer or personal device that violates federal, state or local law. Examples of illegal conduct include, without limitation, displaying or distributing child pornography or other obscene material.
- Violating copyright laws. Federal law prohibits the unauthorized reproduction and distribution of copyrighted materials, including electronic resources. The Library is not liable or responsible for patrons' violation of copyright laws.
- Violating software, database, or other license agreements.
- Engaging in conduct that is offensive or harassing or that creates an intimidating, disruptive or hostile environment for other patrons or Library staff.
- Invading or violating the privacy of other patrons or Library staff.
- Gaining unauthorized access to databases, websites or electronic resources (including via "hacking").
- Vandalizing the property or data of another patron or Library staff.
- Displaying, creating or printing material that is obscene, pornographic, or harmful to other patrons or Library staff.
- Creating or printing weapons, components of weapons or anything resembling a weapon.
- Modifying hardware, software, programs or configurations on Library computers.
- Intercepting, monitoring, disrupting, or impeding other patrons' communications on the wireless network, or altering other patrons' files or programs.
- Using personal software, downloading software, or bookmarking internet sites on Library computers.
- Downloading or saving material to a Library computer (except in the My Documents folder, which is emptied when a user's session ends).
- Plugging-in any device to a Library computer that requires software or driver installation.
Failure to follow these guidelines or other rules for technology and internet use may result in the suspension of privileges. Continued violation may result in ejection from the Library and law enforcement involvement. Any patron who engages in illegal conduct will be reported to law enforcement.