Policy 6: Computer Use Guidelines

Policy Overview

The Santa Rosa County Library System provides free use of public computers and access to the internet but does not endorse content of internet resources. Use of computer equipment or access to electronic information is not denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views or hampered because of personal limitations. The Santa Rosa County Library System provides free and equitable use of public computers for access to:

  • Computer software for documents, spreadsheets, brochures, or presentation documents.
  • Library supplied electronic resources.
  • Internet resources:
    • The internet is an uncontrolled medium with resources that may not be accurate, current, complete, or legal.
    • Each individual is required to be responsible for his/her use of internet resources.
    • Parents are responsible for their children's access to and use of internet resources.

Compliance with Library Policies & Law

All library users must comply with library policies and with federal, state, and county laws that address privacy, copyright, obscenity, child pornography, computer hacking, unauthorized access, or damage to computers or networks.

  • Community standards prohibit viewing or displaying materials that may be considered harmful to minors.
  • Obscenity and child pornography are illegal and proscribed by federal law.
  • Violations will be reported to law enforcement and computer privileges may be suspended.

Use as Intended

  • Library patrons must use library computer equipment and software as it is installed and may not copy, delete, or modify it in any way.
  • No software may be downloaded to any library computer.

Damages to User Data

The library is not responsible for damage, direct or indirect, arising from use of its public computer workstations for downloading data that may contain computer viruses or other harmful content.

Library staff members should not physically handle patron’s personal devices.

Library staff members can offer some instruction of computer or device use within the scope of their skill set, knowledge and the library environment. The library and library employees are not responsible for damage, direct or indirect, arising from this instruction. 

Public Computer Use

  • Santa Rosa County residents must be issued a library card to use the public computers.
  • Santa Rosa County residents with non-blocked library cards may use library public computers for unlimited sessions each day, subject to computer availability.
  • Non-Santa Rosa County residents may obtain a “Guest Pass” to use a public computer for at least two sessions each day. 
  • Computer sessions are one hour in length. Session length may be extended by thirty minutes based on availability. 
  • Library staff will assist patrons with using computer hardware and software to the best of their ability and within time constraints required to assist all patrons.
  • The library cannot provide extra system features, software, or electrical outlets.
  • The library is not responsible for any unsaved work, damage, or loss of data.
  • Library policies regarding expected behavior, public computer use, and internet use must be followed when using library computers.
  • Personal storage media may be used to access and store documents on most computers in compliance with U.S. Copyright Law and within constraints of current technology.
  • Personal work may not be saved to library computer hard drives.
  • Space constraints will not accommodate the use of a public computer by more than two patrons at a time.
  • Printing is available for the posted fee and must comply with U.S. Copyright Law.

Wireless Network Access

  • The library system provides wireless access for personal devices used at each library location.
  • The library cannot guarantee availability of electrical outlets for every laptop user.
  • The library is not responsible for any damage to personal computer components, hardware, or software that may be caused when used or left in the library.
  • The library system makes no guarantee that access can be gained by every personal electronic device or laptop computer.

Internet Safety Policy


It is the policy of the Santa Rosa County Library System to: (a) prevent user access over its computer network to, or transmission of, inappropriate material via the Internet, electronic mail, or other forms of direct electronic communications; (b) prevent unauthorized access and other unlawful online activity; (c) prevent unauthorized online disclosure, use, or dissemination of personal identification information of minors; and (d) comply with the Children's Internet Protection Act [Pub. L. No. 106-554 and 47 USC 254(h)].


Key terms are as defined in the Children's Internet Protection Act.

Access to Inappropriate Material

To the extent practical, technology protection measures (or "Internet filters") shall be used to block or filter Internet, or other forms of electronic communications, and access to inappropriate information.

Specifically, as required by the Children's Internet Protection Act, blocking shall be applied to visual depictions of material deemed obscene, child pornography, or to any material deemed harmful to minors.

Subject to staff supervision, technology protection measures may be disabled for adults or, in the case of minors, minimized only for bonafide research or other lawful purposes.

Inappropriate Network Usage

To the extent practical, steps shall be taken to promote the safety and security of users of the Santa Rosa County Library System’s online computer network when using electronic mail, chat rooms, instant messaging, and other forms of direct electronic communications.

Specifically, as required by the Children's Internet Protection Act, prevention of inappropriate network usage includes: (a) unauthorized access, including so-called 'hacking,' and other unlawful activities; and (b) unauthorized disclosure, use, and dissemination of a minor's personal identification information.

Supervision, Monitoring, and Education

As with all library resources, the Santa Rosa County Library affirms the right and responsibility of parents/legal guardians (not Santa Rosa Library staff) to educate, supervise, and monitor appropriate usage of the online computer network and access to the Internet by their minor children.

Procedures for disabling or otherwise modifying any technology protection measures shall be the responsibility of the library director or designated representative(s).

The Santa Rosa County Library will maintain an Internet Safety Program designed to promote the Santa Rosa County Library commitment to:

  • The standards and acceptable use of Internet services as set forth in the Santa Rosa Library Internet Safety Policy.
  • Child safety with regard to:
    • Safety on the Internet
    • Appropriate behavior while on online, on social networking websites, and in chat rooms
    • Cyberbullying awareness and response.
  • Compliance with the E-rate requirements of the Children's Internet Protection Act ("CIPA").
  • The Santa Rosa County Library Internet Safety Program will include:
    • Informing the public about good Internet safety practices by providing posters, bookmarks, and flyers with Internet Safety guidance.
    • Connecting kids and parents/caregivers with good Internet safety practices by providing links to Internet safety resources from the library's website.
    • Placing NetSmartz or similar training software on library public access computers and encouraging its use.
    • Providing periodic Internet safety workshops or presentations by local law enforcement or other informed individuals for parents, caregivers, children, and teens or providing links to comparable safety workshops or presentations.
    • Training staff to inform the public about Internet safety and assist kids with NetSmartz or similar software.
    • Partnering with schools, law enforcement, and the business community to promote Internet Safety.


This Internet Safety Policy was adopted by the Board of Santa Rosa County Library System at a public meeting, following normal public notice, on June 28, 2012.

* Some key terms defined in the Children’s Internet Protection Act.*

Minor: The term "minor" means any individual who has not attained the age of 18 years.

Technology Protection Measure: The term "technology protection measure" means a specific technology that blocks or filters Internet access to visual depictions that are:

  • Child pornography, as that term is defined in section 2256 of title 18, United States Code
  • Harmful to minors.
  • Obscene, as that term is defined in section 1460 of title 18, United States Code

Harmful to minors: The term "harmful to minors" means any picture, image, graphic image file, or other visual depiction that:

  • Depicts, describes, or represents, in a patently offensive way with respect to what is suitable for minors, an actual or simulated sexual act* or sexual contact,* actual or simulated normal or perverted sexual acts, or a lewd exhibition of the genitals; and
  • Taken as a whole and with respect to minors, appeals to a prurient interest in nudity, sex, or excretion;
  • Taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value as to minors.

Sexual act; sexual contact: The terms "sexual act" and "sexual contact" have the meanings given such terms in section 2246 of title 18, United States Code.