Library Policies

PINES CARDS are free to all Georgia residents. Persons who attend school, own property or are employed full-time in Georgia are eligible for a free Pines card.Propery owners who do not reside in Georgia are required to show proof of Georgia property ownership, such as a tax bill or deed. Out of State cards are available to persons living outside of Georgia who do not meet the criteria for a free card for a $25.00 annual fee, payable at the time the card is issued. A temporary card is available for a $12.50 fee and is valid for 6 months.An applicant for a new card is required to provide proper ID, which includes, local address,Photo ID showing current local address, or a utility bill, tax receipt or other piece of mail that shows the user’s name and present address. Applicants for a card must complete and sign an application form, available at any Pines participating library’s circulation desk. Social Security numbers are no longer used in PINES. If you provided your Social Security number years ago, we will gladly update your registration with your Georgia Driver’s License number.

Staff will accept genealogy research requests, however, due to funding and staff reduction the Library Board has implemented a minimum fee of $10.00 for research requests received via U.S. mail, e-mail or phone. Patrons doing genealogy research at the library will be assisted without charge.

INTERNET Safety Policy and Computer Acceptable Use Policy

Purpose: This policy document impacts all computers in the Library System that have Internet access. It is based on the Mission Statement of the Brooks County Public Library (BCPL). The Internet is a diverse tool that offers new responsibilities. BCPL provides filtered access to the Internet as one means of fulfilling its mission to make informational, educational, recreational, and cultural resources available to its patrons in a variety of formats and as a means of complying with applicable laws.

Responsibilities of the Library: It is the responsibility of BCPL to insure that policies governing library use of the Internet are in compliance with federal, state, and local laws and regulations. Because the Internet is a fluid environment, the information available is constantly changing; therefore, it is impossible to predict with certainty what information patrons might locate. Just as the purchase, availability, and use of other library materials does not indicate endorsement of their contents by the library staff and board, neither does making electronic information available to patrons imply endorsement of that content. By using the library’s Internet Service, users release and discharge the library system and its staff from any liability which might arise from the use of the service, including liability in relation to defamatory or offensive material or any breach of copyright which may occur as a result of use.

Responsibility of Patrons and Parents of Minors: BCPL upholds and affirms the right of individuals to have access to constitutionally protected materials, and also affirms the right and responsibility of parents to determine and monitor their children’s use of library materials and resources. It is the responsibility of the parent or guardian to monitor and supervise their children’s use of the Internet in selecting material that is consistent with personal and family values, and appropriate for the age and understanding of the children.

BCPL assumes no responsibility for any damage, direct or indirect, that users or anyone else may suffer through access to the Internet at any of our libraries. All Internet users at the library agree to hold the library, including the Regional Board and the library staff, harmless from any claims, losses, damages, obligations, or liabilities relating to any reason, including:

1. Infringement of U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) governing the reproduction, distributions, adaptation, public performance, and public display of copyrighted materials;

2. The use and / or accuracy of information obtained from the Library’s electronic information system;

3. Damage to non-library software or hardware resulting from viruses downloaded via the Library’s Internet services.

To use the library’s Internet service, the patron must read this policy and sign the “Registration for Internet Use” form, which agrees to the provision of this policy.

A Brooks County Public Library card or PINES card from another library is required for Internet or Computer use. The patron must present the card to check out computers. If a patron has overdue or lost materials or fines, use of the computer or Internet may be refused. (Amended 11/05)

Filtering: All computers that access the Internet have filtering software that meets legal requirements. The software is a measure taken to filter Internet access to visual depictions that are obscene, contain child pornography, or are harmful to minors. The library will enforce use of the software. No filtering technology is 100% effective, and cannot substitute for the judgment and supervision of parents who make decisions for their child based on their family’s values and the child’s age and maturity. Parents are therefore ultimately responsible for monitoring the Internet activity of their children even though filtering software is used.

Filtering software may block legal material that some library users find useful, and it may not block all material that some may find offensive. The BCPL board will not disable the filter for patrons. (Amended 2/16/11)

Rules and Guidelines: Patrons should be aware of the following

The use of BCPL’s Internet services is a privilege and a conditional service, not a right, and inappropriate use of this conditional service can result in the cancellation of that privilege. The Internet Access computers as well as other library computers are normally available, subject to periodic maintenance, during regular library hours. Users must have basic computer skills.

Use of the Internet/Access computers is on a first-come, first-served basis; the library may impose time limits in order to ensure equitable access to all patrons. Not all sources on the Internet provide accurate, complete or current information. Patrons need to be good information consumers, carefully examining the source of the information and questioning the validity of the information they find.

Library computer terminals are neither private nor secure. Library staff has the authority to end an Internet session at any time.

Accessing the Internet at the library assumes compliance with the library’s Internet policy. The library does not provide E-mail accounts to patrons.

The library is concerned about the safety and security of minors. When using email extreme caution must be taken by minors in regard to information of a personal nature. Minors shall not reveal their personal home address, location, home phone number.

Responsibility for resolution of problems relating to any invasion of the user’s privacy or loss of date rests with the user. The library assumes no liability for loss or damage to the user’s date or injury arising from invasion of the user’s privacy.

Patrons must have library cards and be library users in good standing (no fines) to utilize the computers or Internet.

It is the policy of BCPL to maintain an environment that promotes ethical and responsible conduct in all online activities by staff and patrons. This policy is a practical and logical extension of our community’s commitment to conduct that is legal, responsible, ethical, and considerate of others.

1. Users are financially responsible for any charges they incur from use of the Internet, including the cost of printing.

2. The user shall accept the computer as it is set up by the library and make no changes to its configuration. Users may not attach other hardware to the library computers or install their own software. Library staff may grant an exception for a specific educational course of study. The patron must request the exemption in writing.

3. The downloading of illegal information from the Internet could lead to prosecution. The user may not use the Internet for any illegal activity, including copyright violation, or place any material on the Internet related to any illegal activity. Access to material that is obscene, contains child pornography, or is harmful to minors is prohibited.

4. Minors may not access inappropriate material on the Internet and World Wide Web.

5. Intentionally uploading or creating computer viruses is considered a criminal offense and will result in immediate loss of Internet privileges and / or criminal prosecution.

6. Giving out personal information about another person, including home address and phone number, is strictly prohibited.

7. Users shall not seek information on, obtain copies of, or modify files, other date, or passwords belonging to other users, or misrepresent other users on the Internet.

8. No user of the Internet shall disrupt the use of the Internet by others; hardware or software shall not be destroyed, modified, or abused in any way.

9. Malicious use of the Internet to develop or use programs that harass other users or infiltrate a computer or computing system and / or damage the software components of a computer or computer device is prohibited.

10. Sending hate mail or chain letters, harassment, and discriminatory remarks are prohibited.

11. Playing games is prohibited except on the computers in the children’s area or other specially designated computers, which may be used for playing educational games provided by the library. Internet chat and instant messaging and other social media including Face book, My Space, Craig’s List, are prohibited. (Amended 2/16/11).

Penalties for violation:

Problems arising from application of the policy will be handled as follows:

In the case of creating or purposefully uploading a computer virus or Trojan horse to the network or to any computing device, the patron shall lose all Internet Privileges permanently. If a staff member creates or purposefully uploads a computer virus or Trojan horse to the network or other computing device, he/she will be dismissed immediately from employment at BCPL.

NO action will be taken against a patron who accidentally opens an inappropriate web site, so long as the problem is reported immediately to library staff. If, however, the patron does not report the incident, he/she shall be given the benefit of the doubt for only one such occurrence. A second unreported incident will result in that patron losing his/her Internet privileges for three months. A subsequent unreported incident after the three month period will result in permanent revocation of Internet privileges.

In all other instances, the following shall apply:

First Violation – Internet/Computer privileges will be revoked for (2) weeks. Second Violation – Internet Computer privileges will be revoked for three (3) months. Third Violation – Internet/ Computer privileges will be revoked permanently.

Appeals Process: An Internet user whose Internet privileges have been revoked shall have the right to appeal and /or request Internet access privileges be reinstated. An appeal must be in writing and submitted to the Library Director within five days of the prohibition. Within ten days of the receipt of the appeal, the Library Director shall review the matter and notify the patron in writing of his/her decision. If the Director’s decision is averse to the patron, the patron may appeal in writing within five days to the Library Board of Trustees, which shall consider the matter and issue its decision in writing following the next regularly scheduled board meeting.

NO further appeals to the Library will be considered.

Amended 11/05

Amended 2/16/11