Technology Policy

Computer Use, Internet Use, & Wi-Fi Use Policy:

The Val Verde County Library provides computers for public use and free access to expand the information, educational, and cultural offerings available to our patrons. The Library does not monitor or supervise patron use of the Internet and is not responsible for information found there. As with all library materials, patrons are responsible for their use of information obtained at the Library. Computers are always available on a first-come, first-serve basis. A Reservation Station is available if all computers are occupied.

Access

Val Verde County residents must have an account with the Library to access the computers. If a Val Verde County resident does not have a library card, one can be provided with a proper form of government identification at no charge. (See Library Card Policy) Staff can look up a patrons account with their proper form of identification, but a note will be made on the patrons account, noting the exception. Patrons will be reminded to bring their library card, or replace their library card if it has been lost or damaged. Library patrons must be notified of their fines or any other issues with their account regardless of allowing a patron computer access or not. 

Non-residents may use a public computer using a guest pass. An acceptable form of ID must be presented each time a guest pass is requested. A guest pass allows one 60-minute session and can be used once per day. The guests name, time of use, computer number, and the date of use is logged to comply with the guest pass policy. Non-residents who have purchased a Val Verde County Library card are eligible for the same access as Val Verde County resident cardholders.

Fines on the cardholder’s account may prevent access to the computers.

Privacy while Using Library Computers

Library patrons have free access to the Internet. Library patrons have the right to confidentiality and privacy to the extent possible given certain constraints such as proximity of other patrons and staff in public access settings. Patron usage history is erased every time the computer is restarted. Please note, for legal reasons, complaints from patrons that a patron is accessing legally prohibited material may result in Library staff intervening. 

Children on Library Computers

The Library and Library staff do not monitor children’s computer usage. Parents and legal guardians of children under 18 are responsible for their children’s use of the Internet. We encourage parents to take an active role in their children’s use of the Internet, and to talk about their personal values and expectations of their children’s use of this resource. 

Filtering Content

Internet access on all Val Verde County Library computers and other devices, including laptops, is filtered. The Library’s Wi-Fi network is also filtered. Filtering is set by the Val Verde County IT Department. Filtering is meant to protect the Library’s equipment from viruses, mal-ware, etc., while helping block obscene material. Patrons who encounter sites that they believe should be blocked or who are unable to access sites that they believe should not be blocked may request a review of the site in question. Library staff will pass on the review of the site in question to the Val Verde County IT Department for their own assessment of the site in question. Library staff cannot remove any filters.

Agreement of Use

All computer users will agree to the following guidelines:

  • VVCL cardholders will limit their sessions to 120 minutes per session. 
  • Guests will limit their sessions to 60 minutes per day. 
  • Users must pay for printing – $.10 for black and white and $.50 for color printing.
  • Users may not attempt to gain unauthorized access or modify computer hardware or software.
  • Users may not store files on the computer hard drive or download software.
  • Users may access web sites with sound if they use their own headphones or purchase a pair at the front desk. ($1.00)
  • Users may not access materials considered obscene or unlawful. 
  • Library computers and networks may not be used for any purpose that violates federal, state, or local laws. Prohibited use includes, but is not limited to, “hacking” or otherwise attempting unauthorized use of the Library, County or other networks; attempting to interfere with or disrupt other users; attempting to evade security measures; invading the privacy of other users; violating software license agreements; or sending harassing, threatening or libelous messages or material.

Violation of Agreement

If Library staff members become aware of violations to these guidelines, the violator will be given one warning before being suspended from computer use for 3 days. Multiple violations can lead to expulsion from the Library’s computers. Library administration, Val Verde County Commissioner’s Court, and the Val Verde County IT Department reserve the right to establish rules governing computer and Internet use and consequences for misuse that are consistent with this policy.

Public Wi-Fi Access

The Val Verde County Library provides access to the Internet via a wireless network (Wi-Fi) for patrons to use with their own personal computing equipment and other mobile devices for free. The Wi-Fi password is posted in various spots in the Library. Patrons wishing to access the Library’s Wi-Fi must agree to the terms of use prior to accessing the Wi-Fi. Staff is happy to help patrons connect to the Wi-Fi.

Wi-Fi access is filtered to the same degree as the Library’s public computers.

Anti-virus, security and privacy protection are the responsibility of the patron.

 

Staff Assistance at Computers

Because of the many different applications available, staff may not be able to help all patrons with all functions. It is always recommended that a patron bring an individual they trust to assist them on the computers. However, Library staff is happy to provide assistance with computer operations as time permits. Staff will not enter any information for the patron, but can guide patrons to locate websites or applications. The staff is always available to help patrons with the Library’s website, Library provided databases, and the Library’s Computer Catalogs. Library staff is not permitted to use any Val Verde County e-mail address to access a website or print materials for patrons.