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Internet user policy
It is the policy of Medway Libraries to provide free public
access to the internet, excluding those sites for which a
subscription is payable.
The internet provides access to information and resources far
beyond what was previously available. Access to this information
enables the Authority to better meet the information, cultural,
recreational and educational needs of the people of Medway.
Whilst the internet contains a wealth of valuable and
interesting information, some of this information may be
inaccurate, out of date, controversial, offensive and/or
Medway Libraries accepts no responsibility for the quality,
accuracy or availability of information accessed through the
internet, although we will try to signpost sites that appear to be
authoritative. As a user, therefore, it is your personal
responsibility to assess the accuracy of information you
There are risks in giving personal details to websites and
buying goods or services over the internet and therefore you do so
at your own risk. Medway Libraries assumes no liability for
any loss, damage or injury, direct or indirect, suffered as a
result of using these computer resources.
Staff in library and information service points will do their
best to help you evaluate content and sites.
1. Before the first internet session, users must join the
library. For exceptions to this please go
to 17: Guest sessions. For
users under 16 please go to 19: Use of the internet by young
2. Your library card will be enabled for internet use after you
have read this Internet User Policy document. All
subsequent use of the internet in Medway Libraries will require you
to abide by the conditions in this document.
3. When you register for the internet, your card will be
activated and future production of that card, at any Medway
library, will give you access to the internet.
Conditions of access
4. For all internet sessions you will need to show your library
card. The card should only be used by the person named.
5. Each internet session will be for 60 minutes. There will be a
minimum five-minute wait after each session. Extra time will
be at the discretion of library staff.
6. Only one session per day can be booked.
7. The final session of the day may be less than 60 minutes, as
all sessions will finish 15 minutes before the building closes.
8. At all times the access to public internet terminals is
subject to availability and at the discretion of the
9. A timed record of all sites visited is maintained and
if you break the terms of the Internet User Policy you
will lose the right to use the internet in all Medway Libraries
10. The use of the computers is free of charge, however
there are charges for printing and storage media. All
printouts must be paid for. Please check with staff if you are
unsure of the procedure.
11. Use of computers may be suspended if there are charges
or overdue items remaining on a borrower’s account.
12. Downloading to USB flash pen is permitted, but other
media (such as floppy disks and CDs) are being phased
out. The use of other USB devices is acceptable, but not if
they need a download of software, or are unable to be recognised by
the system. In all instances copyright regulations must be
adhered to. If you are at all unsure, please speak to a member of
13. Medway Council does not accept responsibility for any
loss of work, or loss or damage to USB devices or headphones
14. Medway Libraries has a print management
system. Staff respect the confidentiality of printing, however
it may be necessary for staff to review pages with the customer
prior to printing.
15. The following are not permitted:
- Storing or installing
material on the hard drive (a temporary ‘my documents’ folder
exists for saving your work, for the duration of your session only;
the contents of this folder will be deleted when your session
- watching live
- watching live television
on a laptop which is plugged into an electrical socket (in those
branches where plugging-in is permissible);
- violating copyright or
software licence agreements;
- the insertion by young
people of incorrect details to; sites or services that would
otherwise be restricted to them by age (hey should only use the
internet in the library to access information and websites that are
appropriate for their age);
- any activity, which
changes, damages or destroys computer software or hardware or data
belonging to Medway Council;
- any activity, which
seeks to gain unauthorised access to internal or external
- using the internet for
any illegal activity or for the purpose of libel, slander or
- sending, displaying or receiving text
or graphics that may be construed by staff or other users as
offensive (for example, racism, violence, pornography and any
illegal or unlawful activity will be reported to the
- sending material, which is intended or likely to cause
annoyance or inconvenience to others.
16. During school hours only, a
parent or carer who comes into the library with a child may use the
computers in designated children’s libraries at Chatham,
Gillingham, Rochester and Strood. However, children have priority
on these computers and an adult may be asked to vacate their
computer if a child wants to use it. In this situation
parent/carers are expected to be aware of content viewed and its
effect on other service users.
17. A Guest session is available on
the computers, intended for tourists and other visitors.
Registration is not required but customers must sign the document
at the staff desk saying that they are over 16 years, and that they
will abide by the Internet User Policy. A laminated copy
is available to read. Guest computer users may be
challenged by staff to prove that they are aged 16 or over.
18. Computer access may be suspended for all
library users with overdue items or outstanding charges, until such
time as charges are cleared, and items are returned or paid for. In
cases where full payment of the amount will cause financial
hardship an instalment plan may be agreed and computer access may
continue so long as payments are paid regularly.
19. Use of the internet by young people.
The above points apply, in addition:
- Parents are responsible for their children's
use. It is important that parents understand a child may,
inadvertently or otherwise, access material of an unsuitable nature
and staff are not always in a position to supervise use.
- Primary school pupils aged
under nine may use the internet if supervised by a
parent/carer who has joined the library and whose card has been
enabled for internet use, or by a childminder who has been
nominated by the parent/carer and who has joined the library and
had their card enabled for internet use. Internet use must be under
the parent/carer/childminders log-in. Children under nine may
not have their card enabled for internet use.
- In designated children's libraries at
Chatham, Gillingham, Rochester and Strood, only children aged 11 or
younger may use these computers (see also item 19 above);
nine, 10 and 11 year olds can use them unaccompanied. Children less
than nine years of age must be accompanied by an adult parent
/carer or childminder, whose library card has been enabled for
20. On all public computers in Medway Libraries
Websence filtering is applied. Websites are filtered that
are considered inappropriate or pose a security risk. This
does not guarantee that all unsuitable sites will be filtered.
Staff will not always be in a position to monitor use of the
internet in relation to unsuitable sites.
Misuse of the internet may result in withdrawal of the right to
use the service.
Using laptops and mobile devices in libraries
Customers are welcome to use laptop computers in our
Electricity supply: Laptops may
only be plugged in at designated laptop desks with surge-protected
sockets. If a library does not have a designated laptop desk then
laptops may not be plugged in anywhere. No other devices such
as mobile phones, GPS or other electrical goods may be plugged-in
anywhere in Medway Libraries.
Data network: Laptops may not be
plugged into our data network. There are a variety of reasons
why people cannot use our data points:
1. Software – our library terminals are set up so that servers,
both internally and externally, can recognise them (usually through
the IP address). We would not be able to guarantee that a
customer’s laptop would be able to get into library resources.
2. Virus security – our IT section is concerned that
viruses could enter the council’s system from infected
3. Licensing concerns – our licences for online databases
vary, but most only cover use – access and downloading information
– on library terminals. Downloading onto a customer’s machine
would breach our licensing agreements.
4. Security – allowing such access to the council network
could compromise the securities of the system.
It is not possible to print from a mobile device in Medway
Wifi: Only Chatham, Rochester and
Twydall libraries at present can offer Wifi access to the
internet. It can be accessed if the customer’s laptop or mobile
device has Wifi capability.
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