Library Internet Use Policy


Purpose and Disclaimer

In response to advances in technology and the changing needs of the community, the Spring Valley Public Library endeavors to develop collections, resources and services that meet the informational, educational and recreational needs of a diverse community.  The Spring Valley Public Library does not use filtering devices to control information accessed through the Internet, nor does the library bear responsibility for its content.  The library does  not monitor, has no control over, and does not accept responsibility for the material in other sources on the Internet.  The availability of networked information via library terminals does not constitute the library's endorsement of the content of that information.

The library has no means or statutory authority to assure that only constitutionally protected material is available on the Internet.  The authority to determine what is illegal content rests with the courts as defined in Wisconsin and federal statutes.

As with other library materials, restriction of a child’s access to the Internet is the responsibility of the parent or legal guardian.

Policy restrictions apply to users of all ages.


Legal and Acceptable Uses

All users of electronic information resources, including the Internet, are expected to use these resources in a responsible manner consistent with the educational and informational purposes for which they are provided, and to follow these guidelines:

  • Use resources for educational, informational and recreational purposes only; not for unauthorized, illegal or unethical purposes.
  • Respect the privacy of others by not misrepresenting oneself as another user, by not attempting to modify or gain access to files, passwords or data belonging to others and by not seeking unauthorized access to any computer system or damaging or altering software components of any network or database.
  • Do not download software, or use the Internet for financial, commercial, gambling, or fee-based services.
  • Downloading or uploading large amounts of data or large files (more than 10MB), thus monopolizing bandwidth on the library network. Save your work to a floppy disk, CD-R/RW or USB drive, not the hard (C:) drive
  • Cell phone use is restricted to the library lobby. 
  • Do not send, receive, or display text or graphics which may reasonably be construed as obscene.  This is a public building with users of all ages and sensibilities.  Knowing display of obscene graphics or graphics that may be harmful to minors is not allowed under Wisconsin Statues 944.21 and 948.11.
  • *Not exposing children to harmful materials. Sec. 948.11 of the Wisconsin Statutes, among other things, makes it a crime to expose children to pictures or images of nudity, sexually explicit conduct, or physical torture or brutality that appeal to the prurient, shameful or morbid interests of children, are patently offensive to prevailing adult standards regarding materials suitable for children, or lack serious literary, artistic, political, scientific or educational value for children.*
  • **Viewing content of this nature is prohibited at the library and violations will result in the loss of internet privileges for the follow terms: 1st infraction-6 months; 2nd infraction-1 year; 3rd infraction-permanent.  Permanent suspensions may be appealed at the next regular meeting of the Library Board; however, the suspension will remain in effect until the appeal can be considered. 
  • Keep any and all conversation to a minimum while using public access workstations.  Use appropriate language.  If you are using headphones, keep volume at a level that is not distracting to other computer users or patrons.  Hate mail, discriminatory remarks, and other antisocial behaviors are unacceptable.
  • Make only authorized copies of copyrighted or licensed software or data. U.S. copyright law (Title 17, U.S.Code) prohibits the unauthorized reproduction or distribution of copyrighted materials, except as permitted by the principles of fair use.  Users may not copy or distribute electronic materials (including electronic mail, text, images, programs, music files or data) without the explicit permission of the copyright holder.  All responsibility for any consequences of copyright infringement lies with the user; the Spring Valley Public Library expressly disclaims any liability or responsibility resulting from such violations.
  • Do not alter the setup or configuration of library hardware or software.

Scheduling and Use of Internet Computer Stations

  • Computer times slots can be reserved.  One 30-minute block of time per day may be reserved up to 3 times per week.  If the person in whose name the reservation is made is late, the reservation will be held 5 minutes and then forfeited.
  • Users must sign up to use a computer and will be assigned to an available machine on a first-come, first-served basis. Users must remain on the computer to which they have been assigned.
  • Library staff require patrons to sign up on daily scheduling sheets.
  • Patrons who are using a computer that they have not reserved must agree to make the computer available within 2 minutes of being informed by library staff that another person is waiting.
  • Computer work stations are designed for use by one person at a time, unless approved by library staff.
  • Library staff may impose daily and weekly limits on use of the Internet computers in order to insure that all patrons have convenient access to this service.
  • Patrons may access a computer for a minimum of 1/2 hour with an indefinite extension of time per day if no one is waiting.  If all available computers are in use, the first person with a 1/2 hour usage time will be required to make that computer available should someone request a computer.  The person who has vacated a computer may request additional time of use on an as-available basis.  However, people who use the computers for gaming purposes will be limited to 1 hour per day regardless of whether or not other computers are being used. 
  • Users must sign up to use a computer and will be assigned to an available machine on a first-come, first-served basis.  Users must remain on the computer to which they have been assigned.
  • Personal computer devices may be connected to the library's wired computer stations but the library reserves the right to scan all portable devices before being connected to the computers.
  • The library does not provide e-mail accounts, however, patrons may set up their own e-mail accounts  through search engines.  The internet access computer may not be used to send threatening, obscene, abusive, or harassing messages, or for any illegal purposes.  Users of any e-mail account are prohibited from subscribing to any mailing lists with that account.  For security reasons, patrons may not send anonymous email on the library’s computer network.
  • Priority for computer use will be given for reference and research purposes as opposed to recreational use.  The 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, such as debts incurred from for-pay services.
  • Just as libraries do not vouch for or endorse the viewpoints of written material in their collections, they do not do so for electronic information.  Selection policies which serve to govern a library’s purchase of written materials may not apply to material accessed electronically.  The Spring Valley Public Library has no control over the information accessed through the Internet and cannot be held responsible for the accuracy or validity of its content.
  • In choosing and evaluating Internet sources, users should evaluate them just as they do print materials, questioning the accuracy and completeness of the information.
  • Users must search the Internet at their own risk, realizing that they may encounter material they find offensive.
  • Access, use, or dissemination of information via the Internet in the library is the responsibility of the user.

Supervising Children's Use

  • In the case of minors, it is a joint responsibility of the minors and the parent or guardians.
    Because parents or guardians may feel that information available through the Internet is not suitable for viewing by children in their care, supervision is advised.
  • The public library, unlike schools, does not serve in loco parentis.  Librarians cannot act in the place of parents in providing constant care and supervision of children as they explore the Internet.  Spring Valley Public Library supports the right for each family to decide appropriate Internet use for their children.  In supervising children's use of the Internet, parents or legal guardians should provide children with guidelines on acceptable use of electronic resources, including email and chat rooms.
  • Instruct children NEVER to give out personal information (name, address, password, telephone number, credit card number) online.
  • Teach children to evaluate the quality of information. As with print information, consider the source, date, and accuracy of online information.
  • Parents or legal guardians must assume responsibility for deciding what materials are appropriate for their children and are responsible for placing restrictions on their children's access to the Internet.
  • Young children are not to be left unattended while parents and caregivers use the library’s electronic resources.  Library staff is not be responsible for the safety of unattended children.
  • For more information on children and the Internet, see Child Safety on the Information Highway ( and Teen Safety on the Information Highway ( jointly produced by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and Interactive Service Organization.
  •  Library staff assumes that children under 18 years of age who are unattended in the library have parental permission to use library resources, including the Internet.


  • If an individual or group of Internet users creates a disturbance that limits the effective use of the computer lab or library by others, they will be asked to correct their behavior, disband, and/or leave the building as appropriate.
  • Misuse or abuse of this computer or Internet access will result in suspension of Internet access privileges.
  • Illegal uses of computers may also be subject to prosecution by local, state, or federal authorities.

Reevaluation of Public Access Computer Policy:  This policy will be reviewed and amended, if needed.