You are here: Home / About Our Library / Library Policies / Internet/Computer Policy

Internet/Computer Policy

Computer usage

Stanhope Public Library has no control over the information accessed through the Internet, other than the content provided on the Library’s web site. Internet resources offer links to many valuable local, national, and international sources of information. However, not all sources on the Internet provide accurate, complete, or current information. A good information consumer evaluates the validity of all information found.

•    The library affirms the right and responsibility of a parent or guardian to determine and monitor their child’s and only their child’s use of library materials and resources. Internet access for those 17 and under is possible by parent or guardian permission given at the time the library card is issued.

•    The library does not serve as an Internet Service Provider (ISP) but serves as an Internet access point. The library cannot guarantee a connection to the Internet and/or specific site.  Please be aware that we are unable to guarantee the privacy, confidentiality or safety of personal bank accounts, id numbers/passwords, financial accounts, etc. while using our public computers. Patrons should use caution when using public Internet computers.

The Stanhope Public Library expressly disclaims any liability or responsibility arising from access to or use of information obtained through its electronic information systems or any consequences thereof.  The library assumes no responsibility for any damages, direct or indirect, arising from the library’s connection to the Internet.


•    As with other library tools, staff may help patrons access the Internet and offer suggestions on starting a search. Because of time restrictions, the library staff does not provide in-depth, on-the-spot training concerning the Internet, computer technical language, or personal computer use. Patrons are expected to be knowledgeable in basic computer operations.


•    Before using any computer, users must sign in at the station they wish to use or at the circulation desk if there is a waiting list, with a valid Stanhope library card. First-time users will receive a copy of the Computer/Internet Policy.

•    Iowa residents without a permanent address can receive a restricted access card. These patrons can use the library computer services; however they are unable to check out materials.

•    Computers may be used for a half-hour time period. If, at the end of that time, no one is scheduled to use the computer, the current user may schedule additional time.

•    No more than 2 people will be permitted at a workstation at a time.

•    Latecomers forfeit the unused portion of their reserved time. Anyone more than 5 minutes late will lose his/her entire reserved time.

•    Only library staff will shut down public use computers.

•    Users shall obey all local, state, and federal laws.

•    Users shall treat library staff, library computers and Internet access in a responsible manner to help preserve the availability of such services.

•    Users shall obey the library’s policies and procedures.

•    Users must use their own computer library card to access the library’s computers.

•    The library staff reserves the right to terminate a person’s use of the computer for any reason.

•    Children in the 2nd grade and younger must be accompanied by an adult 18 years or older to use the computer.


•    Due to limited resources, access to chat rooms is prohibited.

•    Food and drink are not allowed in the computer area.

•    Email is available to patrons through any online account, such as Yahoo, Hotmail, Juno, etc. Use of the library’s email account is prohibited.

•    In accordance with U.S. Copyright law (Title 17, U.S. Code) users may not copy or distribute electronic material without the explicit permission of the copyright holder. Responsibility for consequences of copyright infringement lies with the user.  The use of the Internet in the library must be for legal and ethical purposes.  Examples of unacceptable purposes include, but are not limited to, the following:

o    Violation of another user’s right to privacy.

o    Use of sounds that are disturbing to others.

o    Receiving or displaying text or graphics that may reasonably be construed as indecent or obscene and that might be harmful to minors. Users are advised to refrain from accessing sites that are prohibited by law to minors and which minors in the library may inadvertently view.  Since the Internet access computers are located in public areas which must be shared by library users of all ages, background and sensibilities, the library staff reserves the right to ask individuals to discontinue the display of information and images which violate this computer use policy.

    Iowa Code, Chapter 728.2, “Dissemination and exhibition of obscene materials to minors” states: “Any person, other than the parent or guardian of the minor who knowingly disseminates or exhibits obscene materials to a minor, including the exhibition of obscene material so that it can be observed by a minor on or off the premises where it is displayed, is guilty of a public offense and shall upon conviction be guilty of a serious misdemeanor.”

•    The first violation of these restrictions will result in one verbal warning. A second violation will result in the user being prohibited from Internet use in the library.

Collection of Information on Use of Library Computers (PCs)

•    Information is collected on usage of public computers in the Stanhope Public Library.  The library retains information on the computer reserved, and the date and time of every public computer session.  These records are accessible to law enforcement agencies with a valid court order.

Computer systems

•    Breach of the system’s security is defined as tampering with the password, icons, introduction of viruses, hacking, etc. Such activities will result in the loss of computer and Internet privileges at the library and may result in legal action.

•    Changes must not be made to the setup or configuration of the software, hardware or printers.

•    Users are not permitted to unplug network connections, install, delete or modify library hardware or software.

•    Saving or downloading files to the network is prohibited.



•    Violations of the Internet Policy will result in permanent loss of computer privileges and may lead to financial responsibility.  Illegal acts involving library computers may also be subject to prosecution by local, state or federal authorities.

By using the Stanhope Public Library’s computers, you have agreed to this policy.