Sonoma County Library

 

Public Computer Workstation Procedures


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Adult Workstations

Adult workstations are for the use of those in seventh grade and above. All Regional Library branches have separate workstations for children and adults.

Children's Workstations

Children's workstations are for the use of children, from preschool ages through grade six. Our Internet Policy states that parents or guardians are responsible for their children's use of the Internet and of the computer workstations. Parents, guardians, or caregivers may accompany their children at the workstation. For further information, please see our Internet Policy.

Access to the Computers

Access to our computers is based upon a Library card number and PIN. [How to get a Library card] Your Library card number and PIN are used to log in to the timing software on the Library computers. Guests are given temporary card numbers based on valid identification.

A patron with Library fines or fees above a certain amount is blocked from using the card for access to the computers. Details are in the Library Policy on Fines and Fees.

Time Limits

Internet use is limited to one hour per day, systemwide. The timing software on the Internet workstations automatically limits your use to one hour, or less if there is under one hour remaining until the library closes.

The Library catalog is available in most branches on catalog-only workstations that have no time limits.

Specialized databases and online resources the Library purchases by subscription are available in most branches on research workstations that can be used for up to three hours.

Number of Users at a Workstation

Two users at a time are permitted at each computer workstation. Exceptions may be granted for families and unusual situations.

Fees for Printing

The Library charges 15 cents per page for black and white laser printing. Money is collected when the copies are picked up at the service desk or print station.

Patron Assistance

You should be comfortable using a computer with a Windows interface and be able to use a mouse in order to use the computer workstations. Staff will assist users in getting started on the Internet. Staff cannot offer extensive explanations about the Internet or personal computer use, or provide in-depth training as part of Reference assistance. Time permitting, staff will try to answer specific questions about the Internet and will offer suggestions for effective searching. Staff can also provide information about Internet training opportunities and books and manuals about computers and the Internet. Some branches do have classes on Internet use. Contact your local reference desk or see the Internet Classes page for more information.

Email

The Library does not offer free email accounts, and will not assist users in the use of email, chat, or other forms of personal communication. The Library provides Internet stations as a method of creating access to information, not to provide a communication service.

Use of Bookmarks

You will not be able to create Favorites or bookmarks on the public workstations.

Downloading Files

Internet workstations allow patrons to download information to a floppy disk or a USB memory device. The PCs do not allow data to be written or burned to CDs. You will not be able to save files on the Library computers for later use. Files not printed or saved to a diskette or USB device by the end of your allotted time will be irrevocably lost.

Viruses

Although we use a virus-checker on the library's computers, patrons need to be aware that this does not create complete protection. Software downloaded from the Internet may contain a virus and this will only be apparent when the software is used. Patrons need to have virus-checking software on their own computer. Patrons may not use their own software programs on library computers. This will help prevent the spread of viruses.

Internet Privacy Screens

Internet workstations are fitted with privacy screens to insure that no one besides the patron using the machine can easily view the contents of the screen. This gives the patron greater privacy, and prevents other patrons from being distracted by the screen.

Reservations

You can make a reservation in person for our Internet workstations, either for the next available PC or for a specific time later in the same day.

Loss of Privileges

Using the computer workstation constitutes your agreement to the terms set forth in this procedure. Failure to abide by these terms will result in the loss of the privilege of using the Internet workstation. Evidence that a patron has attempted to change the program settings on the PC, has attempted to boot from a floppy, or has tried to run their own software on the machine will result in immediate loss of privileges. The Library reserves the right to deny access to the Internet workstations to any patron who has damaged the equipment through vandalism or the use of software. Compensatory damages may be sought. Evidence that a patron has performed or attempted to perform illegal activities will result in immediate loss of privileges.

Copyright

The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, USC) governs the making of copies or other reproductions, including digital copies, of copyrighted materials. The person making the copy is liable for copyright infringement.


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