Computer Use Policy

Public Computer Use

I understand and agree that:

  • “Computer use” includes using Library computers for any purpose, including but not limited to the use of desktop software and online sites and services. 
  • I will not use the Internet for any purpose prohibited by state or federal law, including copyright law; misrepresent myself by access code, password or signature; disclose confidential information; harm Library or other networks; alter hardware or software, or make copies of copyrighted or licensed software or data unless such use is authorized.
  • I will refrain from any activity that is patently offensive, intrusive, disruptive, harassing, threatening or bullying, or creates an intimidating or hostile environment to staff and/or to other patrons. 
  • The Library, its employees, trustees, officers and agents are not responsible for damage to storage media, loss of data, or damage or liability that may occur from my use of the Internet or Library computers.
  • Library staff may terminate a session and/or suspend my library privileges without notice if I violate the computer use policies or Patron Code of Conduct. 


  • I must have a library card in good standing to use the public computers.  I will not be able to sign on if there are fines or overdues on my account.
  • Guest passes are available as a courtesy if I do not have or cannot acquire a library card. 
  • Computer sessions are automatically timed for 90 minutes at the Bay Saint Louis-Hancock County Library, and 60 minutes at all other locations.  I may have up to 2 sessions per day and may not use other patrons’ library cards to sign on.
  • Attempting to evade time limits by using multiple library cards, or by requesting guest passes when my allotted time has been used, may result in the loss of computer use privileges.
  • Sessions on public computers expire automatically.  If there is no waiting list, I may request that the staff extend my session, before it expires.  Time extensions are granted at the sole discretion of staff, based on demand for the public computers.
  • If all computers are in use, I may use the print release station to make a reservation for the next available computer.
  • Only two persons may share a single workstation. 
  • Whether or not they are in use, the Library reserves the right to designate Teen and Elementary computers for the exclusive use of children aged 17 and under and their accompanying caregivers. 
  • Computers equipped with a scanner or special eBook loading software are reserved for patrons utilizing those functions. 
  • Staff time for individual training and assistance is limited, and varies based on the needs of other patrons in the library and the employees’ level of expertise.
  • Printing is 10¢ per side for black-and-white prints and 50¢ for color.  The system will only print jobs once they have been paid for at the print release station. Currently, wireless printing is not available.
  • In order to listen to audio or video, I must use headphones, set at a volume low enough that other persons near me cannot hear the sound.  Headphones are available at the front desk for $2, and earbuds for $1.
  • To save a file, I may copy it to a USB flash drive or my cloud storage.  
  • To protect my privacy, library computers revert to a fresh state upon the end of each session. All personal data and changes are deleted.  Staff are unable to recover data once a computer session ends. 
  • Use of public computers is not a private or secure medium, and third parties may be able to obtain information regarding my activities.
  • I should report any computer problems to the staff and must not attempt maintenance on Library computers. 

Internet Access

  • The Library is not responsible for the content of information obtained through the Internet, and does not warrant that it is accurate, reliable, legal or complete. 
  • The Library will not release information on the use of specific Internet resources by members of the public except as required by law or necessary for the proper operation of the library.
  • The signature of a parent or guardian on a minor’s library card application indicates permission to use Library computers, unless otherwise informed by the parent or guardian.
  • Internet resources are provided equally to all users regardless of age.  Parents and guardians are encouraged to work with their children to develop acceptable rules of Internet use and to decide which resources are appropriate for their children.  
  • MS law prohibits the sending, receiving, printing, dissemination, or display of text or graphics which may be construed as obscene or “harmful to minors.”  Staff may request that I cease viewing or displaying unacceptable content, or may end my session if I am viewing or displaying unacceptable content.
  • The Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) is the federal law that requires all computers in a public library to be filtered if that library accepts any federal funds for Internet access or computers used for Internet access. [Supreme Court decision: United States v. American Library Ass’n, Inc. No. 02-361 (June 23, 2003)]. The Library complies with the requirements of CIPA.
  • All Library Internet access is filtered, including hard-wired and wireless access.  Filters are fallible, at times blocking sites of legitimate information or educational value, or allowing access to sites that are illegal, obscene or sexually explicit within the meaning of the law.
  • Categories of sites that the Library blocks include:
  1. Child pornography
  2. Obscenity
  3. Material harmful to minors
  4. Hacking 
  • Any adult (17 years of age or older, as defined by CIPA) may request that the filter be disabled without significant delay by a Library staff member.  A staff member may override the filter for a minor in the event that the filter wrongly blocks access to a site with legitimate information value.
  • Any patron who wishes to file a complaint about the filtering software on the library computers may do so within thirty (30) days to the Library Director and/or the Library Board Chair.

Wireless Access 

  • The Library offers free wireless access at all locations, for use with personal laptops and other mobile devices.  These access points are filtered to comply with CIPA regulations.  
  • Users may also be able to access other WiFi networks that are not provided by the Library.  Use of these non-Library wireless networks within the Library's facilities is also governed by this Computer Use Policy.
  • Public wireless connections are not secure.  Any information transmitted could be intercepted.  It is not recommended to transmit sensitive information (credit card numbers, passwords, etc.) while using any unsecured wireless access.
  • Library staff can provide general information for connecting a device to the wireless network, but cannot troubleshoot problems related to a wireless device or assist in making changes to network settings and/or hardware configuration.  The Library cannot guarantee that a device will work with the Library's wireless access.
  • All wireless access users should have up-to-date virus protection on their devices.  The Library is not responsible for any information that is compromised, or for any damage caused to hardware or software due to electric surges, security issues or consequences caused by viruses or hacking.