Internet Service Policy

In keeping with the Library’s mission to provide informational, educational and recreational resources to Monroe County residents, all branches of the Monroe County Library System offer access to the Internet by means of public computers, workstations, and wireless access. The Internet is a vast and ever-changing global network providing a wide range of information and data from around the world. Some of the information provided on the Internet may not be available in other formats, or accessible at an affordable price or in a timely manner.

Due to the size, scope, and rapidity of changes on the Internet, some information may be outdated, incorrect or biased. The Library encourages the critical evaluation of all information found.

Patrons have the right to confidentiality and privacy. For this reason, privacy screens are placed on each computer and software is used to delete the history of sites searched by the previous user. However, materials viewed on any public access computer are considered on display for public viewing. Obscene or sexually explicit matter that is harmful to minors will not be tolerated. Patrons are advised to be cautious in transmitting personal information over the Internet and should check the privacy policy of each site.

Parents and legal guardians are responsible for the information accessed by their children and are encouraged to monitor their children’s use of the Internet. Children who use the Internet unsupervised may be exposed to inappropriate or disturbing information and images. Parents should make children aware that adults may use Internet chat rooms, social networking platforms, or other Internet communications to attempt to make improper contact with them. The Library does not filter Internet access by minors. Public computers are positioned in locations where staff can monitor for compliance with the Acceptable Use Policy. Through enforcement of this policy, the Library complies with MCL 397.606 and the federal Neighborhood Children’s Internet Protection Act of 2000 regarding computer access by minors.

The Library’s connection to the Internet is provided through its affiliation with Merit, Inc., a non-profit member-owned organization that links universities, public libraries, community colleges, K-12 schools, and other affiliates with each other and with the Internet in Michigan. The Monroe County Library System also partners with local cable companies including Spectrum, Comcast, D&P Communications and Telesystem to provide Internet access at some branch locations. Patrons also agree to these terms of service.

Acceptable Use

All users of the Library’s Internet services are expected to comply with the following while using a computer within a library branch of the Monroe County Library System:

  • A user shall not intentionally transmit or display text or graphics which is obscene, sexually explicit matter that is harmful to minors, or material that is sexually abusive to children.
  • A user will be mindful and respectful of the rights of others, particularly children, not to be inadvertently exposed to materials they may find personally unsuitable.
  • A user will respect the privacy of others. Users will not intentionally seek information on, obtain copies of, or modify files, other data, or passwords belonging to other users.
  • A user may download to a USB drive or CD-R(RW). Temporary downloads to the hard drive or to a personal USB device are allowed. Personal software and hardware is allowed but on a temporary basis. Any software or hardware requiring reboot of the system will not work with the current configuration. Not all software or hardware may work on a Library computer.
  • Users may save to the hard drive at their own risk. Changes to the hard drive during the current session are erased or reverted when the computer is shut down or restarted. However, it is possible that items saved to the hard drive may be accessed by subsequent computer users if the computer is not restarted. Users should delete any files that are added to the hard drive. A user working on sensitive material may ask a library staff member to restart their computer when done working.

  • A user should never select [Remember me] or any other username/password saving function.

  • A user will respect the legal protection provided by copyright and license to programs and data.
  • Users may not attempt to circumvent user authentication or security of any host, network, or account. This includes, but is not limited to, accessing data not intended for the user, logging into a server or account the user is not expressly authorized to access, probing the security of other networks, either manually or by artificial means, or attempting to gain remote access to the Monroe County Library System’s servers.
  • Users are prohibited from excessive consumption of resources, including, but not limited to, CPU time, memory, disk space, and network bandwidth.
  • Due to bandwidth resource considerations and potential copyright infringement, the Library does not support peer-to-peer file sharing networks.
  • Internet access through the Monroe County Library System shall only be for personal, noncommercial purposes.
  • Users are explicitly prohibited from sending unsolicited bulk mail messages (‘junk mail’ or ‘spam’). This includes, but is not limited to, bulk-mailing of commercial advertising, informational announcements, and political tracts.

In the event of a complaint or other indication of a violation of this policy, a user may be asked to exit a particular site, may have Internet privileges withdrawn, or may be prosecuted. Prior to termination of access, a user shall have an opportunity to justify or correct the questioned activities.

If it comes to the attention of the Library that the Internet is being used for illegal or criminal activity of any kind, the Library will cooperate with law enforcement officials in any manner authorized by state or federal statute.

Accessing the Internet

All branches of the Monroe County Library System provide Internet access through designated workstations and computers, as well as public wireless access.

Library Computers

Each branch of the Library presently has at least one computer with access to the Internet. Internet availability may be limited in terms of the use, length of time, or time of day in order to accommodate other patrons and library services. Patrons using library computers must first sign in and acknowledge acceptance of this policy in order to log onto the Internet. Where available, patrons may use SAM enabled computers for up to three hours a day in one-hour sessions. Patrons must log on again after each one-hour session ends. Staff may extend computer time depending on the number of available workstations and patrons waiting to access a computer. Patrons in need of extended time should consult with a staff member.

Printers are available at all locations and the Library reserves the right to charge for copies in excess of 10 (black and white) pages per day. Color copies, where available, are not included in the ten free copies a day and can be printed at a charge for each page. Library printers only accommodate 8 ½ by 11 paper. Special paper, labels or envelopes cannot be used in Library printers or copiers.

Patrons may use their SAM account to pre-pay for computer printouts. Except in the case of printer malfunction, the Library does not refund money placed on a patron’s account. SAM accounts cannot exceed a $5.00 balance. Patrons should check the total number of pages before printing their document. Patrons will not be refunded for blank sheets that are printed. Guest accounts do not allow for pre-paying.

Wireless Access

The Library will provide free wireless Internet connectivity for users with portable computers or devices capable of using WiFi during normal library business hours. Signal strength may vary in the building.

Library staff will provide general information on the settings necessary to access the Internet via these connections, but are not responsible for any changes made to the user’s device settings and cannot guarantee that hardware will work with the Library’s wireless connection.

If a user has problems accessing the Internet over these connections, staff will verify the library’s connections are up and running, but cannot assist in making changes to the user’s network settings or perform any troubleshooting on the user’s own device. Users should refer to owner’s manuals or other support services offered by the device manufacturer.

The Library uses WPA (WiFi Protected Access) to secure the connection between a wireless device and the wireless access point. However, shared public access points, such as the WiFi available in Monroe County Library System branches, may not be fully secure. Any information being sent or received could potentially be intercepted by another wireless user. Cautious and informed wireless users should avoid transmitting credit card information, passwords and any other sensitive personal information while using any wireless connection. Users are encouraged to take appropriate precautions when using this service. 

All wireless access users should have up-to-date virus protection on their notebook computer or wireless device. The Library will not be responsible for any information (i.e. credit card) that is compromised, security issues or consequences caused by viruses or hacking, or for any damage caused to hardware or software due to electric surges.

Printers are not available via the wireless connection at this time. Documents that need to be printed can instead be opened and printed from a wired public computer workstation.

Use of the wireless connection is governed by the Library’s Internet Service and Acceptable Use Policy. By using this service users agree to abide by it. All users are expected to use the Library’s wireless access in a legal and responsible manner consistent with the educational and informational purposes for which it is provided. Users may not violate federal, state or local laws, including the transmission or receiving of child pornography or harmful material, fraud, or downloading copyrighted material. The policy does not allow the use of wireless devices in children’s or youth areas of the library.

Small Study Rooms

Some small study rooms in library branches are wired for Internet access. Individuals wishing to connect to the Internet in those small study rooms must ask staff to activate the connection. To comply with section 397.606 of the Michigan Compiled Laws, when minors are using a connection in a small study room, the room may be entered from time to time by staff to ensure compliance with the Library’s Internet Service and Acceptable Use Policy.

Access to printers from these small study rooms is not available.

Network and Workstation Security

To provide safe and reliable computer and network access through all library networks, the Monroe County Library System utilizes security measures to protect its network and workstations. As a result of these security measures, the Library guarantees only the use of software installed on workstations by the Monroe County Library System and basic web browsing. The Library is unable to accommodate for all software and web services that are available on the Internet and available for download.

Network security also applies to the Library’s wireless access, and certain websites and web services may not work properly on a user’s personal device as a result of these security measures.

Some personal devices such as audio players and cameras may be able to be connected to workstations in the library branches, however installation of drivers for these devices is not supported. A device may not work as intended on a public workstation.

Library Records

All registration and lending records of the Monroe County Library System are considered private and confidential as part of the Library’s commitment to intellectual freedom and Library policies. Confidentiality extends to all records with identifying information about patrons, including requests for information and materials, and patron lending transactions. It also includes the use of Library computers and online resources that are accessed. The Library keeps patron records confidential and does not use this information except as necessary for the proper operation of the Library. The Monroe County Library System will not disclose the information except upon consent of the user, pursuant to subpoena or court order, or as otherwise required by law. All public computers are configured to reset to a clean state after restarting, wiping all data from the previous session.

The Monroe County Library System uses third-party library service providers and technologies to help deliver some of its services to patrons. If and when patrons choose to use such services, the Library may share patron information with these third parties, but only as necessary to provide services to the Monroe County Library System. The Library may also display links to third-party services or content. By following links, patrons may be providing information (including but not limited to personal information) directly to a third-party, to the Monroe County Library System, or to both. Patrons acknowledge and agree that the Monroe County Library System is not responsible for how those third-parties collect or use this information. Third-parties must either agree to adhere to strict confidentiality obligations in a way that is consistent with this policy and the agreements the Library enters into with them, or the Library will require them to post their own policy. The Monroe County Library System encourages patrons to review all policies of every third-party website or service utilized, including those third-parties connect through Library services.


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