Computer Use Policy

Adopted November 21, 1997
Revision Adopted October 3, 2001
Revision Adopted November 8, 2006



A. PURPOSE: The purpose of this policy is to provide patrons and staff with rules and regulations regarding the use of publicly accessible computers in the Canton Free Library. Computer resources are a privilege, not a right, and they are granted with restrictions and responsibilities for their use. Remember that images on monitors are visible to everyone using our library. Computers may be used only for legal purposes. Misuse of computer resources can result in revocation of computer privileges. Patrons wishing to use the computers must read the following rules first and sign our form agreeing to abide by the rules.


  1. Residents of the North Country who wish to use the computers must have a library card from a North Country Library System library, e.g. Potsdam, Massena, Ogdensburg, Gouverneur, Watertown, Oswego, Harrisville, etc.

2. Only patrons in good standing (no fines, no overdue materials, etc.) are permitted to use our computers, and they must sign in at the circulation desk. Patrons may be required to produce their library cards at sign-in time or at any other time during their computer use.

3. Patrons will be allowed one hour of exclusive use. Thereafter, patrons may be asked to vacate the computer if someone is waiting to use a workstation. In the absence of a waiting user, patrons may continue using the workstation for the next full hour. Patrons are limited to two hours of computer use per day.

4. Staff can provide limited assistance on the computers. Users are expected to learn to use computer equipment and software by themselves. There are various circulating and reference books available to assist. The Canton Free Library also holds periodic workshops that are advertised in the library and by the local media.

5. Use is limited to a maximum of two persons at a time per workstation. If two persons are at a workstation, their permitted time is the same as for one person per one hour. (See #3 above.) Both users must give their first names to the staff person.

6. Patrons will not use computing equipment to harass, libel, or slander other users, nor will they damage equipment, software or data belonging to the library.

7. Patrons will not add, delete, modify, or move the hardware or installed software.

8. Local, state or federal authorities may prosecute patrons engaging in illegal acts including but not limited to copyright or privacy violations.

9. Patrons should use drive a: and enter data to be saved on their own disks. 3.5 disks are available for purchase at the circulation desk for 50¢ each. Patrons wishing to use the ZIP drive must provide their own super floppy disks. Our Gates machines offer 250 MB ZIP drives.

10. Printing is available from a laser printer (both black and white and color.) The cost per page is 20¢ a sheet for a black ink print and 50¢ a page for a color print. Patrons are charged for all pages sent to printers. Choose print jobs with care and ask for help if you are unsure how to print just the information you need or want. USE THE PRINT PREVIEW OPTION!


  1. The Internet contains material of a controversial nature. The Canton Free Library has no control of the Internet and its resources and assumes no responsibility for the quality, accuracy, or currency of any Internet resource. The Canton Free Library cannot protect fully its patrons from offensive, inaccurate, or propagandistic material.

2. The Canton Free Library requires each patron who wishes to access the Internet on CFL computers to sign an Internet User agreement.

3. A parent or legal guardian must sign an agreement for a patron 14 years of age and under, according to the appended policy. Parents of minor children must read the appended policy regarding children 14 years of age and younger.

4. Each patron must respect the privacy of others.

5. No more than two people may sit at each computer.

6. The patron who disregards any part of this policy will be asked to vacate the assigned computer, and no other Internet use will be permitted for the remainder of that day. Continued disregard for any part of this policy may result in additional restrictions, including banning, at the discretion of the Director or her/his representative. Permanent banning from the CFL Internet computers is at the discretion of the Director or her/his representative.

Legal Use:

The Internet may be used only for legal purposes. Unacceptable uses include, but are not limited to:

a. Harassment of others.

b. Libeling or slandering others.

c. Accessing pornographic or obscene materials or materials deemed harmful to minors.

d. Destruction of, or damage to, equipment or software belonging to the Library.

Canton Free Library staff and volunteers work with individuals on an as needed basis and with small groups of patrons at scheduled times to help them learn to use the Internet. We also continue to provide circulating materials, reference materials, and other in-house sources for patrons using the Internet.

CFL often offers classes to small groups of patrons focused on teaching them how to send and receive emails on our Internet computers.

CFL includes the address for one interesting web site in the St. Lawrence Plaindealers weekly library newspaper column.