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Computer Use and Internet Safety Policy


Computer Use

What We Offer

Public Workstations

Four areas of the Florence-Lauderdale Public Library (FLPL) have computers available for public use. Each group of workstations has been provided with Microsoft Office and a variety of web browsers. All four areas use Librarica’s CASSIE system to allow patrons to log on to workstations with their FLPL library cards. With this system, if no other patrons are waiting when a computer use session expires, the session will automatically be extended up to a daily maximum of three hours. The total time allowed per day may be divided into as many sessions as desired without penalty. Further, patrons may add funds to a CASSIE print account at the Reference desk. These funds remain in the system until fully used. The table to the left describes the four areas in detail along with the limitations in effect on each.

Workstation Group     Session Length       Limitations

Youth Services            45 minutes            Ages 0-10

Teen                          45 minutes            Ages 11-15

Reference                     1 hour                Ages 16 & up

Genealogy                    2 hours               Genealogical Research Only


FLPL offers mobile hotspots to provide patrons with internet access while away from the library. Internet from these devices is not filtered in any way, and parents and guardians are strongly advised to monitor any minor’s connections to and use of Internet provided through these devices. Any patron using an FLPL hotspot agrees to abide by this computer use and internet safety policy. Any violation via hotspot use is subject to the same penalties put forth in this policy for library workstations and devices.

Hotspots and Service funding is provided by the Florence-Lauderdale Public Library Foudnation, the Emergency Connectivity Fund, and the FCC.

Staff Assistance

FLPL staff may assist patrons in getting started on the computers. Staff may offer limited assistance with basic internet and word processing tasks; however, FLPL cannot guarantee that staff trained in all aspects of internet or word processing will be available to assist users at all times. Time permitting, staff will try to answer specific questions about the Internet and offer suggestions for effective searching.

Internet Access

Florence-Lauderdale Public Library offers filtered internet access; however, no filter is perfect. Parents are strongly encouraged to monitor the internet activities of their children. Library staff members are not responsible for children left unattended.

Wireless Access

FLPL offers free wireless access throughout the library to laptops and other portable devices. Patrons using the FLPL wireless network are reminded that all appropriate parts of this computer use policy apply equally to wireless network access.

Guest Access

Out-of-town guests may receive a guest pass at the Reference desk by presenting suitable photo identification. Guest passes for non-resident children may be obtained at the Youth Services desk with proper identification from parent or guardian. Local residents must obtain a library card to access public workstations.


Printing is available for $0.20 (B&W) or $1.00 (color) per page from all public workstations. There is currently no direct printing available via FLPL wireless access; however, patrons may email items for printing to for the previously stated charges. Please note that anything sent to this email address must be viewed by staff in order for the job to be printed; therefore, if the nature of an item to be printed is sensitive, the patron should consider logging onto a public workstation to print the item so that it may remain private.

Exceptions to Area Limitations

Parents who are monitoring young children may use the Youth Services computers for their own purposes. Otherwise, no adult use of the Youth Services or Teen workstations is permitted. No other exceptions will be made.

About Online Research

Have fun exploring the internet, but please remember that specific information may also be found in the library’s books, magazines, and databases or through other library services such as inter-library loan. Ask at any service desk for assistance in locating these resources.


What We Do Not Offer


The library does not provide headphones for public use. Sound is enabled on all public computers, but patrons must bring their own headphones to use sound. As a courtesy to others, all patrons are requested to keep noise to a minimum.

Email Accounts

FLPL does not provide email accounts, nor do we endorse any particular email provider. Staff can show patrons a sample of free email providers and provide instruction in creating an email account.

Data Recovery

Please save work early and often. Computers log off automatically at the end of a session, and any work left unsaved will be unrecoverable. FLPL staff members cannot retrieve any information once a session has ended.

Unfiltered Access

All internet access at FLPL is filtered. Filtering occurs via the library’s internet service provider, Alabama Supercomputer Authority, and through an on-site firewall. FLPL staff members do not have the ability to allow blocked sites. If a patron believes that a legitimate site has been blocked in error, a comment card stating the URL of the site along with a brief description of the primary purpose of the site may be submitted for review. Submission of a site for review does not guarantee that the website will be unblocked.


Other Considerations

Personal Belongings

Please keep watch over personal belongings at all times. FLPL is not responsible for loss of or damage to personal belongings. Unattended belongings may be picked up by FLPL staff and removed to the nearest desk.

Computer Use by Children and Teens

As with other library materials, restricting a minor’s access to the internet is the responsibility of the parent or legal guardian. Parents are responsible for monitoring their child’s selection or use of any library materials or services, including internet access of either the library’s computers or through the FLPL wireless network. Though FLPL provides filtered internet access, parents are reminded that no filter is perfect. It is recommended that parents or guardians discuss safe internet practices with their children. Parents who believe that their children cannot responsibly use the library’s Internet access are requested to monitor their children’s Internet use.

The library will assist parents, guardians, and children in the use of the Internet and may suggest specific web sites that are age and content appropriate for children.


FLPL does not provide information about patrons’ library records, use of other FLPL materials, or use of the internet to law enforcement officials without an appropriate court order. However, law enforcement officers may take action on their own if they observe illegal activity in plain view. Internet users are reminded that illegal use of the internet is prohibited by state and federal laws and by FLPL policy.

Minors’ personal information will not be shared with anyone other than the minor’s parent or legal guardian unless required by law enforcement officials by court order or in situations where the minor is believed to be in danger. In case of the latter, information will only be provided to officials in appropriate offices whose positions allow them to ensure the safety of the minor (police officers, DHR investigators, school principals, etc.), and this information will only be provided by administrative staff of the library. Any non-administrative staff will relay requests and concerns to administrative staff.

Inappropriate Use

By using FLPL workstations, patrons acknowledge and consent to their computer use and activity possibly being monitored for the purpose of ensuring compliance with FLPL policies and all laws. If violations of the Florence-Lauderdale Public Library computer use policy occur, patrons may be temporarily or permanently blocked from accessing library computers. Parents or legal guardians may be notified if the patron is under 18.


Computer Etiquette

The Florence-Lauderdale Public Library reserves the right to terminate any computer session that disrupts library services or that involves user behavior that violates FLPL policies. Unacceptable behavior or violations of the computer use policy may result in verbal warnings, written warnings, temporary suspension of computer privileges, or permanent suspension of computer privileges. The level of action shall be at the sole discretion of FLPL staff members and the library director.

Acceptable Behavior

Patrons are reminded that FLPL is a public space. As such, socially appropriate behavior must be maintained while on or around the computer. FLPL requests that all patrons:

Any question or conflict about computer reservations should be referred to FLPL staff. Our goal is to provide access to all who wish to use the public computers, and we will do everything we can to resolve the situation to the satisfaction of all involved. Any complaints regarding staff decisions may be referred to the library director in writing.

If leaving before the end of the allotted session time, patrons should exit the current session by clicking on the “Exit” button at the bottom-right of the screen. FLPL staff cannot add time to a patron’s daily allotment for failure to exit.

When leaving a computer, please be sure to clean up any paper, pencils, books, or other belongings.

Ethical Use

Patrons must:


Patrons may not:


Internet Safety

Internet Access

The library collection is supplemented by the wide variety of resources available through the Alabama Virtual Library and the Internet. Computers are provided for our users to access these online resources in the library, and free classes are available for those who wish to improve their computer and Internet skills.

The content of the Internet is unregulated, and the Library has no control over the resources available there. Information found on the Internet may be reliable and current, or it may be inaccurate, out of date, illegal, obscene or sexually explicit. Because the library cannot monitor or control the information available through the Internet, users access the Internet at their own discretion.

The library will have no liability for direct, indirect, nor consequential damages related to the use of information accessed through the library’s Internet service. Since software and information downloaded from any sources, including the Internet, may contain computer viruses or malware, users are advised to utilize virus and malware checking software on their personal devices. The library is not responsible for damage to users’ devices nor for any loss of data, damage, or liability that may occur from the use of the library’s computers.

CIPA Compliance

The FCC requires FLPL to be compliant with the Children’s Internet Protection Act by addressing the following five issues in this computer use and internet safety policy: (Issues are addressed in the section(s) of this policy listed and italicized underneath each issue.)

          (Internet Access, Unfiltered Access, Computer Use by Children and Teens)

          (Internet Access, Computer Use by Children and Teens)

          (Internet Access, Unfiltered Access, Ethical Use)


          (Internet Access, Unfiltered Access, Computer Use by Children and Teens)

The term "harmful to minors" is defined by the Communications Act of 1934 (47 USC Section 254 [h][7]), as meaning any picture, image, graphic image file, or other visual depiction that:

(A) taken as a whole and with respect to minors, appeals to a prurient interest in nudity, sex, or excretion.

(B) 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.

(C) taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value as to minors.


Revised and approved by Florence-Lauderdale Library Board 3-9-21.