Internet Access Policy

The Purpose of Library Internet Access

The Humboldt County Library views the Internet as another resource to support the mission of the Library.

'The mission of the Humboldt County Library is to provide Library resources and services to meet the evolving educational, recreational and informational needs of the public, thus enhancing individual and community life.'

The Humboldt County Library System is dedicated to ensuring that all members of the community have the right and means of open access to ideas and information which is fundamental to a democracy. The Library affirms its traditional role in providing full access to use of its resources, regardless of format.

The Library's Internet workstations are primarily to be used for research, educational, and informational use. Time limits may be enforced to ensure that all Library patrons have the opportunity to use the Internet resources. The Library does not provide e-mail accounts. Staff and docents will not assist users in the use of e-mail, chat or other forms of personal communications or in the use of games.


The Internet changes daily. Information is often not verifiable as accurate and patrons should be aware that errors, intentional misinformation and offensive material are sometimes posted on the Internet. Some information may be objectionable to some patrons. Patrons are advised to use critical thinking skills and exercise good judgment in accepting information found on the Internet.

The Library cannot be responsible for information gathered on the Internet. The Internet is not controlled by any single authority. The fact that the Library provides access to electronic information does not imply sponsorship or endorsement by the Library. It is left to each user to choose what is individually appropriate and for parents to assume responsibility for their child's use of the Internet through the Library's connection.

Rules Governing Use:

Acts or behaviors which may jeopardize a source's files, or behavior which may jeopardize the Library's account or access to resources, will result in revocation of the user's Internet privileges at the Library. Violations of the Library rules governing use of the Internet may result in loss of Internet privileges.

Users of Library Internet Stations may not:
  • Make any use of the Internet which violates Federal, California, or local laws. Examples of illegal activities include, but are not limited to, fraud, and displaying or disseminating child pornography.
  • Make any attempt to alter or damage computer hardware or software.
  • Use the computers to make unauthorized entry into the Library or Humboldt County networks and databases or any other networks or systems.
  • Invade the privacy of others or send harassing or threatening messages.
  • Make unauthorized copies or use of copyrighted or licensed software or data.
  • Use Library facilities in ways that unnecessarily interfere with others.

Workstation use is limited to two persons per workstation to reduce disturbing conversations and to discourage other problems. Exceptions may be made for families and for special circumstances, to be determined by staff.

Use of the Internet by Minors:

Library policy respects the rights and responsibility of parents or legal guardians to supervise the use of the Internet by their children.

A minor who wishes to access the Internet at the Library must have a permission form signed by a parent or legal guardian, and an authorizing sticker on their Library card. The card must be presented to the docent or staff member at the time of use of the Internet terminal.

Minors are defined as persons under eighteen years of age who are not legally emancipated. Internet use privileges for a minor are limited to that individual. Proof of identity in addition to the Library card may be required at any time of use of the Internet in the Library.

The Humboldt County Library does not use filtering or tracking software on the Internet stations. We suggest that the parent or guardian who is concerned about content of matter accessible on the Internet, personally supervise the child's use of the Internet at the Library.


Privacy cannot be guaranteed when using Library Internet. Users are cautioned that the Internet is not a secure medium and that privacy of electronic communication cannot be guaranteed.

If the Library makes downloading available, patrons need to be aware that software downloaded from the Internet may contain a virus. The Library takes no responsibility for damage to patron owned hardware or software that might occur due to data downloaded by a patron while using Library Internet workstations.

Personal software
Patrons may not use their own software programs on Library Internet computers. This limitation is intended to help prevent the spread of viruses and to prevent unauthorized access to the Library and County computer networks.

Reserving and Using a Library Internet Access Computer

Patrons may reserve a computer up to 7 days in advance. Additional time on the computer may be available on a walk-in basis.

Latecomers forfeit their reserved time.


1. Patrons may be charged for each half hour (or fraction thereof) to use the Internet terminal to help defray costs of providing the hardware and software.

2. Information may be printed from the screen at the same charge per page as is charged for use of the Library photocopiers.

For current charges, Library patrons are referred to the Library fees schedule.


Docents or staff may be available for assistance in locating specific information. However, patrons who are unfamiliar with computers or using the Internet are encouraged to take advantage of the free and low-cost training programs for computer use and searching offered elsewhere in the community. The Library Internet computers are not intended to be used as tutorial stations. Staff or docents will assist users in getting started doing Internet searches; however, the Library does not guarantee that Internet-trained staff or docents will be available to assist users at all times.

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