Computer & Internet Use | Mechanics' Institute

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Computer & Internet Use

Updated June 16, 2021

The Mechanics' Institute Library supports intellectual freedom and the freedom to read consistent with the U.S. Constitution and the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights. However, the Mechanics' Institute receives federal E-rate funding subject to the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA). CIPA requires libraries to adopt an Internet safety policy that includes use of a "technology protection measure," i.e., filtering or blocking software that prevents access to images that are obscene or pornography. The Library provides access to the Internet in support of the educational and research goals of the Institute. Members and staff are responsible for using these resources in an ethical and lawful manner. If you have any questions regarding Library policy, we encourage you to speak with a librarian for information and clarification.

  • Internet resources, computer databases and all installed software are available on an equal basis to all members.
  • Time restrictions are imposed to insure equal access for all members.
  • There is no age restriction to using Internet workstations for research; however, we encourage parental supervision of minors.
  • Members access the World Wide Web at their own discretion and are responsible for their activities on the sites they reach.
  • The Library supports and respects each member’s right to privacy. Members should keep in mind, however, that electronic communication, by its nature, could become public.
  • Because the Library is a public place, it reserves the right to end an Internet session if a member displays text or graphics that may reasonably be construed as inappropriate for viewing in a public setting, or if a member sends messages that may be construed as harassment of an individual or group. Repeat offenses will result in suspension of Internet access in the Library.

Specific Prohibitions - Users may not:

  • Add files or applications to the Library computers’ hard drives.
  • Alter or attach equipment other than headphones and USB drives to the Library’s computer hardware.
  • Change software configurations or computer settings.
  • Represent themselves as other persons for the purposes of fraud or other illegal activity.
  • Use any Library workstation or Library’s Internet connection for commercial, illegal, or criminal purpose, including accessing computer systems for which the user has not been granted access.
  • Violate copyright laws or software licensing agreements.