Internet Policy


The Internet and its available resources contain a wide variety of material and opinions from varied points of view.  Users need to be good information consumers, questioning the validity of the information. The user is the selector in using the Internet with individual choices and decisions.  Users may encounter material that could be considered inappropriate.
Parents of minor children assume the responsibility for their children’s use of the Internet through the library’s connection.
The Roanoke Public Library (hereafter referred to as RPL) expressly disclaims any liability or responsibility arising from access to or use of information obtained through its electronic information systems, or any consequences thereof.

RPL’s computers and information technology are available to the public, but with certain restrictions.  Use of these technologies, as with all library services and materials, is a privilege, not a right. Misuse of library hardware or software may result in loss of library privileges, legal action, or both.
All electronic traffic originating from the RPL connection shall be in accordance with these
Acceptable Use Standards.  Failure to abide by these standards may result in the loss of Internet, computer, and library privileges.

Use of RPL’s computers shall be guided by the following principles:

  1. Respect for the privacy of others.
  2. Attention to the legal protection provided by copyright and license to programs and data.
  3. Consideration for security and functioning of computers, computer networks, and systems.
  4. RPL staff may limit PC access time (30 minutes) if other library patrons are waiting for access to PC’s.
  5. Users must abide by the Computer Usage Guidelines.
  6. Access to chat or discussions groups are permitted at the library staff’s discretion.


  1. It is not acceptable to use the RPL computers for any purposes that violate U. S. or state laws; to transmit threatening; obscene or harassing materials; or to interfere with or disrupt network users, services or equipment.  Disruption includes, but are not limited to: distribution of unsolicited advertising; propagation of the computer worms and viruses; tampering with computer or network security; and using the network to make unauthorized entry into any systems accessible via RPL computers.  Illegal acts involving the RPL’s computers may be subject to prosecution by local, state, or federal authorities.
  2. Users may not represent themselves as someone else.
  3. Users shall not develop programs that harass other users or cause harm to other computer systems.  Examples of such programs are computer “viruses” and “worms”.  Users shall not access another individual’s or organization’s private files, materials, or information without permission.
  4. It is assumed information and resources accessible via the RPL’s computers are private to the individuals and organizations which own or hold rights to those resources and information, unless specifically stated otherwise by the owners or holder of rights to those resources or information.
  5. Malicious use is not acceptable.  Use of the RPL connection and any attached network in a manner that precludes or significantly hampers its use by others is not allowed.  Users shall not vandalize, damage, or disable the property of another individual or organization.
  6. Unsolicited advertising is not acceptable.  No user shall use RPL materials or equipment to mass distribute (or otherwise intrusively “broadcast”) any message over the Internet, including but not limited to advertising.
  7. Computing resources shall not be used to access pornographic materials.  Users shall not access, upload, download, or otherwise distribute or knowingly receive materials that are pornographic, obscene, or sexually explicit.  Users shall not transmit obscene, abusive, or sexually explicit language. Effective 6/1/04 Cyber Patrol Filters were installed on every computer workstation.
  8. There is no security for credit card numbers or account numbers in the RPL’s software.
  9. No user shall transmit any communication where the meaning of the message, or its transmission or distribution, would violate any applicable law or regulation, or would likely be highly offensive to the recipient or recipients thereof.
  10. RPL does not offer electronic mail accounts to the public.
  11. No uploading or downloading allowed on the libraries hard drive unless express permission is granted by Library staff.

While the mission of the RPL is to provide open and equal access to ideas and information to all members of the community, it is important to specifically differentiate Internet use by minors, as there are inherent dangers therein.

  1. Use of the Internet through the RPL connection is a privilege and access is voluntary.
  2. RPL believes that the benefits of access to information resources provided through the Internet outweigh the potential disadvantages of such access.
  3. RPL supports parents and guardians in their efforts to guide their own children’s access to print, non-print, and online information.  The library will provide access to minors between eight and seventeen (8-17) years old if a parental consent form is filed with RPL.  Children younger than eight (8) years old must have a parent or guardian present.
  4. RPL seeks to preserve a minor’s status as full members of the Internet community.
  5. RPL cannot control the resources on the Internet.  The Internet is not a static entity.  It changes each minute as new information is added and old information is deleted.  Some Internet sites may contain information that is inaccurate, defamatory, illegal, obscene, or potentially offensive to some people.  RPL can attempt to prevent direct access to materials that are not generally acceptable in a public library, but it is technically impossible to prevent access to all resources that might be objectionable to some people.
  6. It is the responsibility of the parent/guardian to determine whether to place restrictions on their own children with regard to access to certain areas of the Internet.
  7. Parents/guardians are responsible for their own children’s behavior while using the library’s Internet connection.  RPL assumes no liability for inappropriate conduct or acts conducted on the Internet by minors.
  8. RPL reserves the right to deny Internet access to any minor who is found to violate the RPL Internet and Computer Use Policy adopted by the RPL Board of Trustees.

NOTE: Kids are allowed on the computers without parent/guardian being with them only once.  An RPL Parental Consent Form – Computer & Internet must be on file at the library after that for kids to be alone on the Library’s computers. All users of the Library’s computers and Internet must follow the Computer Usage Guidelines.

Reviewed, revised and renewed 1/12/04
Reviewed, revised and renewed 1/11/05
Reviewed, revised and renewed 7/24/06
Reviewed, revised and renewed 11/26/13
Reviewed, revised and renewed 11/25/14
Reviewed, revised and renewed 11/22/15
Reviewed, revised and renewed 11/28/16.
Reviewed and renewed 11/27/17.
Revised 11/27/18.  Reviewed 11/22/22.