Alexandria Library Internet Policy and Rules
The Internet is a global electronic information network. The Alexandria Library’s access to the Internet is provided and maintained, in part, by Comcast. Due to heavy traffic on the information highway, the Alexandria Library and Comcast cannot guarantee the Internet will operate optimally.
All Internet resources accessible through the library are available to all library users. PARENTS OR GUARDIANS, NOT THE LIBRARY STAFF, ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE INTERNET INFORMATION SELECTED AND/OR ACCESSED BY THEIR CHILDREN.
It is the policy of the Alexandria Library Board that patrons not use any library Internet terminal or wireless connection to access or display any obscene material. Violations of Library Policies may result in loss of library privileges. In regard to this policy, the following provision of the City Code should be noted:
“IT SHALL BE UNLAWFUL FOR ANY PERSON TO POST, PUT UP OR EXHIBIT ON THE STREETS OR ANY PUBLIC PLACE IN THE CITY, ANY INDECENT OR IMMORAL PRINT, PICTURE, FIGURE, OR DESCRIPTION...” City of Alexandria Code Sec. 13-1-18.
Further, the following Act to amend and reenact 42.1-36.1 of the Code of Virginia (effective July 1, 2007) requires state-funded libraries to adopt a policy requiring “…THE SELECTION, INSTALLATION AND ACTIVATION OF, ON THOSE COMPUTERS THAT ARE ACCESSIBLE TO THE PUBLIC AND HAVE INTERNET ACCESS, A TECHNOLOGY PROTECTION MEASURE TO FILTER OR BLOCK INTERNET ACCESS THROUGH SUCH COMPUTERS TO CHILD PORNOGRAPHY AS DEFINED IN 18.2-374.1:1, OBSCENITY AS DEFINED IN 18.2-372, AND, WITH RESPECT TO MINORS, MATERIALS DEEMED HARMFUL TO JUVENILES AS DEFINED IN 18.2-390. SUCH POLICY SHALL PROVIDE THAT A LIBRARIAN AUTHORIZED BY THE LIBRARY BOARD SHALL DISABLE OR OTHERWISE BYPASS THE TECHNOLOGY PROTECTION MEASURE REQUIRED BY THIS SECTION AT THE REQUEST OF A PATRON TO ENABLE ACCESS FOR BONA FIDE RESEARCH OR OTHER LAWFUL PURPOSES.”
The original code provides that a “policy shall contain provisions which (i) are designed to prohibit use by library employees and patrons of the library's computer equipment and communications services for sending, receiving, viewing, or downloading illegal material via the Internet, (ii) seek to prevent access by library patrons under the age of eighteen to material which is harmful to juveniles, and (iii) establish appropriate measures to be taken against persons who violate the policy.”
ACCESS: The Alexandria Library provides access to the Internet for all patrons without stops on their library accounts. Fines, fees and lost book charges are settled at the Circulation Desk before using the Internet. Library card holders with fines of $10 or more or with other blocks on their accounts will not be able to use the Internet computers. Please see the circulation desk to clear your account. One guest pass per day is available for library visitors for $1.00. Visitors must show an ID to obtain a guest pass. Patrons may request turning off the Internet filter by showing an ID at a service desk proving that they are eighteen or older.
SIGN-UP: Patrons are allowed to use the Internet for one hour per day with an extended session of another hour until the system becomes busy. Only one person per station is allowed. Telephone reservations will not be taken. Patrons may not use the library cards or personal identification of others.
INTERNET INSTRUCTIONS: The library staff offers limited assistance on using the Internet. The library schedules basic Internet classes. Contact your local branch for information.
DOWNLOADING AND PRINTING: USBs may be available for purchase (for $7.50 including tax) at the circulation desk. Downloading to USBs is available. Software and documents downloaded from the Internet may contain viruses. Patrons should run USBs through a virus checker before loading on any computers. Printing is available at all branches. IMPORTANT: When using the Pharos system, PATRONS MUST SEND AND RETRIEVE THEIR PRINT JOB AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. PRINT JOBS ARE DELETED FROM THE PRINT QUEUE AFTER TWO HOURS. BECAUSE THE PUBLIC COMPUTERS AND PRINTERS SHUT DOWN AT CLOSING, ALL DOWNLOADING AND PRINTING MUST BE COMPLETED BY PATRONS. The Alexandria Library is not responsible for damage to a patron’s USB or computer, or for any loss of data, damage or liability that may occur from patron use of the Library’s computers.
UPLOADING: Uploading of programs or data, including eAudioBooks, is not permitted on Alexandria Library equipment.
HEADPHONES: Patrons may bring in their own headphones or purchase earphones at the Circulation Desk for $2.00.
PATRON CONDUCT AT THE INTERNET STATIONS: Patrons shall not engage in conduct which is in violation of the RULES GOVERNING USE OF THE ALEXANDRIA LIBRARY. Patrons shall not use any of the Library’s Internet stations or wireless connection in a manner that would constitute a violation of any of the following provisions of the Virginia Code (1950), as amended:
(a) Sec. 18.2-374, which prohibits, among other things, the possession of any obscene item (as defined in Virginia Code Sec. 18.2-372) with the intent to distribute or transport it, and which makes the possession of any such item in a public place prima facie evidence of a violation of the section. (b) Sec. 18.2-374.1, which prohibits various types of conduct involving sexually explicit visual material that utilizes, or has as a subject, a person less that 18 years of age, including the electronic transmission of such material and the possession of such material with an intent, among other things, to sell the material, to give it away, to distribute it or to electronically transmit it; (c) Sec. 18.2-374.1.1, which prohibits the possession of any sexually explicit visual material utilizing or having as a subject a person less that eighteen years of age. (d) Sec. 18.2-374.3, which prohibits the use of any communications system, including computers, computer networks, bulletin boards and other electronic means of communicating, for the purpose of procuring or promoting the use of a minor for any activity in violation of Virginia Code Sec. 18.2-370 (taking indecent liberties with a minor) or Sec. 18.2-374.1 (using a person less that 18 years of age in sexually explicit visual material).
VIOLATION OF RULES: A patron’s use of an Internet station in a manner that violates any of these rules or above policy may result in the patron being asked to leave the library and/or the suspension of the patron’s library privileges.
This policy has been approved by the City Attorney in 2007 and reapproved by the Alexandria Library Board on 6/16/14.