Chambers County Library System Automated Services Policy
The Chambers County Library System, utilizing a knowledgeable staff trained in current library trends, will attempt, within its financial means, to collect, organize, make accessible, and distribute library materials to meet the informational needs of individuals and groups of diverse backgrounds, to facilitate informal self-education, to encourage positive recreation and constructive use of leisure time, and to act as a supplemental resource in the formal education of the children and young people in the community. (Chambers County Library Advisory Board May, 1996 Revised, August, 2007)
Automated services of the library system include the online circulation system, public access to the Internet from within the library sites, wireless Internet access, and use of library workstations for access to the library’s collection of software and CD-ROM products. This policy applies to all users of these services as stipulated below. If you have any questions, please contact the library staff for further information. The library is a service of your county government, and you have the right to understand how your tax dollars are used. The library tries to serve all members of the county, regardless of age, gender, or other possible category.
The library’s circulation system allows patron access to the database of items in our collections. This allows patrons to check titles in all branches, and provides greater use of our resources. Patrons are restricted to the browsing and reserve functions on this database, and to making changes on their own preferences as online users.
In-house software, library databases, and CD-ROM products
The library system provides basic word processing, Office software, and educational software for use at each library site and access to some commercial websites and downloadable databases. Patrons are asked to respect the limits placed on the use of these products. A USB flash drive may be purchased from the library staff to save items compiled on library workstations, or external storage devices may be used. Any intentional efforts to operate in a manner which could harm the system will be subject to a loss of privileges on the library automated system.
The county government provides public access to the Internet as a service through the library system. The service is subject to all library use regulations. Library rules require that county residents and regular users register for a library card for access to library materials and services. A borrower’s card is required for access to the Internet through the library system equipment. Declining to register for a library card will require assistance from the library staff for access to the equipment, and is allowed only in situations involving transient library users. A valid library card must be shown. The Internet contains over 625 million sites of information. Not all of these sites provide accurate, complete, or current information. Users should judge the merit of information from the Internet the same way print materials are judged.
The library assumes responsibility for the information on the library home page and for the card catalog, but not for materials from the Internet itself. Links on the library home page have been evaluated at the time of their listing for merit and local interest. Please contact the library staff if you find a questionable item within the home page or the catalog.
Wireless Internet access
The Chambers County Library System offers free wireless access (aka "hot spots" or "WiFi" ) at all its locations for library patrons to use with personal notebooks, laptops and other mobile devices. These access points are secured and password protected, accessible at all times inside the library and outside on library grounds. A patron's use of this service is also governed by Chambers County Library System’s Automated Services Policy. A network name and password are available at each of the branch libraries upon request.
In-house Internet access
Library patrons who apply for cards & Internet access: by signing the library card application patrons are agreeing to the Automated Services Policy”.
Computer workstations in the library are available on a first-come, first-served basis. In order to accommodate access to the library catalog as well as to the Internet, in-house workstation time may be limited or interrupted by the library staff. Individual patrons may access the Internet for a maximum 2 hour period per day. The library staff member in charge at that site may allow an additional time period. In-library use of computers requires a library card, and the patron must have “good user” status. Patrons who need more time for tests, filling out forms, etc., should arrange to visit earlier in the day, and to request that extra time be allowed when beginning their sessions. Visitors to the area may be granted “guest” privileges on the Internet provided proper identification is supplied.
The policy of “reasonable suspicion” is followed in the library system for computer use. All public access machines are susceptible to monitoring by both the County IT Department and by the library staff. All such monitoring is also subject to library privacy law issues, and patrons can be assured that their activity, if monitored, will be confidential. Users must refrain from downloading programs, altering the settings and configuration of the workstation, or intentionally attempting to damage the library network or equipment.
The library system reserves the right to end an Internet session at any time in the library if viewers are creating a disturbance. Display on the computer monitor of sexually suggestive objects or pictures could be in violation of State and Federal obscenity laws (V.T.C.A. 43.21 to 43.26 and U.S. Code Title 18, 2252). If patrons are caught viewing sexually suggestive sites, an immediate 3-month suspension will be placed on computer use for that library card number. If a patron is caught a second time, the patron will be banned from use of the library system computers completely.
Material may be printed from the Internet. Five pages per student are allowed free of charge when using the Internet for school-related material. The charge for additional pages is 10 cents per page for all other purposes. Color printing charges are 50 cents per page, and no free pages are given. Pre-payment must be made prior to any printing; refunds for homework pages will be provided when staff members are shown the printed pages. Wireless printing is now available from any of the Chambers County libraries. Once users authenticate to use the Internet, a list of available print drivers is available for download. Currently, Windows, Mac OS and Linux laptops, and iOS devices are supported for wireless printing.
If adjustments to the computer are needed for viewing, for example, by enlarging a screen for the sight-impaired, please contact a staff member for assistance.
Filtering on the library system network
Filtering and monitoring of patron Internet activity on a very limited basis is done at the Chambers County Library System to comply with federal requirements. Cyberpatrol, a website blocking package, is installed on Library computers. This is intended to block inappropriate sites from children. Anyone using the computer over the age of 18 may have the filtering software turned off. Patrons may be asked to provide the library with photo ID. Filtering Internet access does not mean that no harmful materials will be reached. It means that the library system has provided a resource that attempts to limit materials which some patrons might feel uncomfortable viewing. Library patrons use all workstations at their own risk.
Children’s use of the Internet
The best way to ensure that children are properly utilizing a resource is to be there with them when they do the work. This is true for print, audio-visual, and electronic materials (like the Internet).
The library system does not function in loco parentis; that is, the staff members are not responsible for deciding what library resources are appropriate for an individual child to use. Parents should let children know if there are library materials that should not be used. The decision to give a library card by the parent to the child is considered consent for the child to access the Internet, and their activities are not monitored by the staff. The parent signing for the card has the option to not check approval for Internet access.
For more information on children and the Internet, see “Child Safety on the Information Highway,” produced by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the Interactive Service Organization (1-800-843-5678).
Children should be instructed by their parents not to give out personal information to anyone, particularly on the Internet, without a parent’s permission.
Internet functions supported
The library system does not provide electronic mail accounts to the general public, nor does it provide personal billed accounts for newsgroups, listservs, or similar retail products. On-line commercial databases are available through library consortiums and some are provided by the Chambers County Library System. Links to available databases and downloadable services that are available may be seen through the library system website, www.chambers.lib.tx.us.
The unauthorized reproduction or distribution of copyrighted materials, except as permitted by the principles of “fair use,” is prohibited by law (U.S. Code, Title 17). Users may not copy or distribute electronic materials, including electronic mail, text, images, programs, or data, without the explicit permission of the copyright holder. Any responsibility for any consequences of copyright infringement lies with the user, not with the library system.
Failure to comply with the library system policies on technology and electronic resources will result in revocation of Internet use privileges and/or library use privileges. Violations of the policies described above will be dealt with in a serious and appropriate manner, to the full extent of the law. Illegal acts involving library equipment and resources may be subject to prosecution by local, state, or federal authorities. Note that specific penalties of 3 month suspension, and permanent suspension, will be levied for viewing of sexually suggestive sites, as noted in the section on In-House Internet Access, above.
Chambers County Library Board
August, 1999; May, 2000; February, 2004,
August, 2004, August, 2005, November, 2009,
May, 2010, November, 2010 May, 2015