Internet Use Policy

I.  Philosophy

Essential to the mission of the Petersburg Public Library System is ensuring that the citizens of Petersburg have the right and the means to free and open access to ideas and information. The Library will strive to protect intellectual freedom, promote literacy, encourage lifelong learning, and provide Library materials and information services to all through the effective use of resources and technology.


II. Internet Policy

The Internet, as an information resource, enables the Library to provide information beyond the confines of its own collection. It allows access to ideas and information from around the globe. Currently, however, it is an unregulated medium. As such, it offers access to a wealth of material that is personally, professionally, and culturally enriching to individuals of all ages, but it also enables access to some material that may be offensive, disturbing, and/or illegal.

The Petersburg Public Library System disclaims any responsibility as to the Internet’s quality, informational accuracy, authoritativeness, timeliness, or usefulness for a particular purpose. The Library also assumes no responsibility for any damages, direct or indirect, arising from use of its connection to the Internet or other electronic resources.

In compliance with the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) and with section 42.1-36.1 of the Code of Virginia, all Internet accessible computers are filtered and may be used by patrons of any age with restrictions. However, the Library recognizes that filtering technology is cont a completely reliable means of protection from materials that may be offensive, controversial or illegal.

Adult patrons (18 years and older) may submit an online request to Library staff for removal of specific sites from the filtering system.

III. Responsibilities of Internet Users

The following uses of the Internet and Library computers are unacceptable.

  • Sending or displaying obscene or disruptive messages, files, or images.
  • Using obscene language.
  • Changing or adding files to the computer or network.
  • Violating copyright laws or software license restrictions.
  • Misrepresenting yourself by Library card number, password, or signature.
  • Using the computer for hacking (breaking into or out of any system), spreading viruses and/or any other practice that interferes with the use of the Internet.
  • Harassing, insulting, or attacking others.

Failure to comply with the above will result in the loss of Internet/computer privileges.

IV. Staff Assistance

Because of limited staff resources, the Petersburg Public Library System will not always be able to provide intensive assistance to Internet users. At busy times, staff will only be able to assist a patron with getting started, and then if possible, will return later to check on progress. Library users are advised to attend the periodic Public Computer Workshops for more detailed training on Internet resources. Patrons are also encouraged to consult the Library’s online public access catalog to find reference and circulating materials on how to use the Internet.

V. What is Required To Use The Internet

Anyone wishing to use an Internet accessible computer station must present his or her own valid Library card each time they register to use the computer. Patrons who have stops on their Library cards due to previous policy violations will not be allowed to use the computers.

VI. Time Limits

All patrons wishing to use an Internet accessible computer station must log on using SAM (Smart Access Manager). Use of the computer is limited to a two hour session. Any time required for printing or downloading of files is included in that time. A patron may sign up for only one session at a time. If no one is waiting, the patron may log on again for another session.  Computers will shut down automatically 25 minutes before closing.

VII. Printing

Documents may be printed for a fee of 15 cents per page. Pages are printed centrally. You must prepay for printouts and pick up at the circulation desk.

VII. Parental Responsibilities

Access to Library resources, both printed and electronic, is provided equally to all Library users. Parents or guardians are responsible for electronic information selected and/or accessed by their children.

IX. Public Use of Wi-Fi Access Points

Patrons may use their personal laptop computers to access the PPLS public access Wi-Fi network. Library cards are not required to access the Wi-Fi network.

Wi-Fi access is filtered at the same level as desktop computers and filtering cannot be changed by patrons regardless of age.

Patrons are required to use headphones to listen to audio/video files while inside the Library.

Printing from personal laptop computers is not available.

Patrons are responsible for support and troubleshooting of their personal computer and Wi-Fi equipment.