Internet Use Policy

West Florida Public Libraries endeavor to develop resources and services that meet the informational, educational and recreational needs of the community, and the internet is such a tool for patrons.

It is our policy to: (a) prevent patron access over its computer network to, or transmission of, inappropriate material via internet, electronic mail, or other forms of direct electronic communications; (b) prevent unauthorized access and other unlawful online activity; (c) prevent unauthorized online disclosure, use, or dissemination of personal identification information of minors; and (d) comply with the Children’s Internet Protection Act [Pub. L. No. 106-554 and 47 USC 254(h)].

To the extent practical, technology protection measures (or “Internet filters”) shall be used to block or filter Internet, or other forms of electronic communications, access to inappropriate information.

Specifically, as required by the Children’s Internet Protection Act, blocking shall be applied to visual depictions of material deemed obscene or child pornography, or to any material deemed harmful to minors.

Subject to available staff supervision, technology protection measures may be disabled for adults or, in the case of minors, minimized only for bona fide research or other lawful purposes.

To the extent practical, steps shall be taken to promote the safety and security of users of the West Florida Public Libraries’ online computer network when using electronic mail, chat rooms, instant messaging, and other forms of direct electronic communication.

Knowledgeable staff may not always be available, but West Florida Public Libraries strive to provide computer classes on a regular basis.

West Florida Public Libraries have Library has Internet computers with internet access and printers available for use by patrons with a WFPL library card in good standing. Visitors and other non-residents may obtain a Computer Guest Pass by providing a photo ID. The cost for the Computer Guest Pass is $1 and is good for one day. All proceeds from computer guest passes go to provide library services. Computers are available during library hours except for the last 15 minutes before closing. The Computer Lab at WFPL’s Main Library is open only during posted times. Black and white printing costs are $.10 per single-sided page or $.15 per double-sided page. Color printing costs are $.50 per single-sided page or $.75 per double-sided page.

The internet offers access to a wealth of material that is personally, professionally and culturally enriching to individuals of all ages. It is, however, an unregulated medium with a highly diverse user population. Consequently, the Library cannot control or monitor the vast amount of material accessible via the internet. It is possible that individuals might access information they personally find offensive or disturbing. Individual patrons must accept responsibility for determining the suitability of content for themselves and their children.

Sources on the internet do not always provide accurate, complete or current information. As with any material provided by the Library, the user must take responsibility in questioning the validity of the information found.

Knowledgeable staff may not always be available, but West Florida Public Libraries strive to provide computer classes on a regular basis.

Patrons may use the internet computers for one-hour sessions. Patrons are assigned computers on a “first come, first served” basis. If no one is waiting to use the computer, the current patron’s time will be automatically extended until another patron registers. A patron may not request another patron to relinquish or shorten their time. If all computers are in use, patrons must wait for their scheduled time that is assigned by the PC Reservation system. Interference with a scheduled patron is prohibited and may result in the loss of computer time for the offender.

All files saved to the computer are automatically removed at the end of each session and cannot be recovered. Personal data must be saved to a personal storage device or online account if needed for future use.

Library computer equipment and software must be used as installed. Patrons are not permitted to copy, delete, add or modify the installed hardware or software.

The following is the Code of Conduct for using Internet library computers, equipment and networks [wired or wireless (Wi-Fi)]. Repeated violations of these rules will result in the revocation of Library privileges.

Patrons may not use the Library computers to make unauthorized entry into any other computer or network.

Patrons may not disrupt or interfere with other computer or network users, services, or equipment. Intentional disruption of the operation of computer systems and networks is a violation of Florida state law and users may be held responsible.

Patrons may not represent themselves as another person nor use internet access to transmit obscene, threatening, or harassing materials.

Patrons may not use library computers, equipment, or networks to display or disseminate sexually explicit or sexually suggestive materials.

Patrons must respect the legal protections to data and software provided by copyright and license law.

Disruptive patrons will be asked to leave.

For further valuable tips on Child Internet Safety:
A Parent's Guide to Internet Safety
U.S. Department of Justice Federal Bureau of Investigation - Publications

Children’s Internet Protection Act, enacted by congress in 2000, defines the following terms:

  • MINOR. The term “minor” means any individual who has not attained the age of 17 years.
  • TECHNOLOGY PROTECTION MEASURE. The term “technology protection measure” means a specific technology that blocks or filters Internet access to visual depictions that are:
  1. OBSCENE, as that term is defined in section 1460 of title 18, United States Code;
  2. CHILD PORNOGRAPHY, as that term is defined in section 2256 of title 18, United States Code; or
  3. Harmful to minors.
  • HARMFUL TO MINORS. The term ``harmful to minors'' means any picture, image, graphic image file, or other visual depiction that:

  1. Taken as a whole and with respect to minors, appeals to a prurient interest in nudity, sex, or excretion;
  2. Depicts, describes, or represents, in a patently offensive way with respect to what is suitable for minors, an actual or simulated sexual act or sexual contact, actual or simulated normal or perverted sexual acts, or a lewd exhibition of the genitals; and

  3. Taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value as to minors.

  4. Taken as a whole and with respect to minors, appeals to a prurient interest in nudity, sex, or excretion;
  • SEXUAL ACT; SEXUAL CONTACT. The terms “sexual act” and “sexual contact” have the meanings given such terms in section 2246 of title 18, United States Code.

The West Florida Public Library Board adopted this policy on April 9, 1997.

Updated on May 29, 1998

Revised on September 9, 1998 by the West Florida Public Library Board.

Updated on January 24, 2001.

Revised on October 18, 2002 by the West Florida Public Library Board.

Revised on July 14, 2004

Revised on March 8, 2006

Revised on August 1, 2006

Revised on January 25, 2007

Revised on September 26, 2012

Revised on January 1, 2015 by the West Florida Public Library Board of Governance.

Revised and approved on February 22, 2016 by the West Florida Public Library Board of Governance.

This policy was revised and approved for adoption by the West Florida Public Library Board of Governance at a public meeting, following normal public notice, on May 24, 2017.