Computer Use

Electronic Resources Policy

Integral to the mission of the Library is providing for the information, educational, and recreational needs of the patrons it serves.  The Library endeavors to develop collections, services, and resources to meet these needs. 

It is within this context that the Library provides public access computers, which are available for patrons to use, and which offer access to the Internet via the Ohio Public Library Information Network (OPLIN).

The Library, through direct purchase and/or through OPLIN, provides access to numerous research sources, reference databases of general and special interest, readers’ advisory services, homework centers, and legislative, historical, and archival materials and information, as well as direct access to the Internet.

Information available through the Internet on the public access computers is not warranted to be accurate, authoritative, factual, or complete.  The availability of information on the Internet through the Library or through OPLIN does not constitute any endorsement or ratification of that information by the Library or OPLIN.  Neither OPLIN nor the Library is responsible for the content of information available on the Internet.

As a result of the unregulated information available on the Internet, it is imperative that users of the Internet do so at their own risk.  All users of the Library’s public computer services agree to hold the Library and OPLIN harmless from any and all claims, losses, damages, obligations, and liabilities directly or indirectly relating to the use of OPLIN and the Internet, caused thereby, or arising there from.  In no event shall the Library or OPLIN have any liability for lost profits or for indirect, special, punitive, or consequential damages or any liability to any third party, even if the Library or OPLIN is advised of the possibility of such damages.

The use of the Library’s electronic resources/Internet to engage in any activity that constitutes a violation of local, state, and/or federal laws is strictly prohibited.  Additionally, any use that violates the policies of the Library is strictly prohibited. 

The Library prohibits the use of its public access computers for the display of pornographic or obscene materials.  The Library employs the use of filtering software to assist in prohibiting access to material that is obscene, contains child pornography, or is harmful to minors and to comply with federal law.  However, users should be aware that the nature of the Internet precludes any filtering software from being fully effective.

Filter Override

There will be Internet sites that patrons will be unable to access due to the restrictions of the Library’s filtering system.  If an adult patron (defined by the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) for purposes of this section of the policy as any person age 17 or older) tries to access a site that should be available but is not due to the application of the Library’s filters, he or she may request that the site be unblocked “without significant delay” by the Reference or Technology Staff.    Note:  There is ongoing legislation regarding this issue.  The Library will comply with the most recent legislation regarding the issue of filtering.

Public Access Computers

The Library Staff has the right to ask a patron to vacate the Library computer workstation and/or shut down the workstation if the patron is visiting an inappropriate website or exhibiting unacceptable behavior as defined by the Library Acceptable Behavior Policy. 

The Library posts the basic provisions of this policy on the website.  In addition, the policy and rules are to be read prior to using the computers and related services.  By initiating use of the Library’s website or the public access computers and related services, all users hereby agree to abide by the Library’s computer policies and rules, and furthermore agree to hold the Library and OPLIN harmless from any and all claims, losses, damages, obligations or liabilities, directly or indirectly relating to the use of the Library computers, OPLIN databases or Internet access provided by the Library.

The Library staff does not provide extended instruction on computer use on a day-to-day basis.  Rather, for instruction on Internet use, the patron may schedule a Tech Tutor session as provided by the Library (see the "Tech Tutor Program" section below).

As with other Library materials, it is the patron or the parent/legal guardian of minor children who assumes ultimate responsibility for supervising access to Library materials and Internet resources at the Library.  It is not possible for Library staff to monitor or control specific information that patrons, including children and youth, may locate on the Internet.  Parents and guardians are responsible for their children’s use of the Internet, and the Library encourages parents to work with their children to develop acceptable guidelines and rules for using the Internet.  Parents and children are encouraged to read Child Safety on the Information Highway, jointly produced by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the Interactive Services Association.  

 Parents or guardians may restrict their children (under age 18) from access to Internet resources by making a request in writing to the attention of the Library Director.  The Library will then place an Internet “block” on the minor child’s Library card.

Patrons with a Bossard Memorial Library card (in good-standing) may use the Internet.   A patron’s Library card must be presented each time a user wishes to use the public computers.  Registered users must log onto the computer by entering their Library card number and personal identification number (PIN).  Such PIN must be numeric and at least four digits.

In the event a patron cannot present his/her Library card, he or she will be permitted to use the computer after providing a government - or- school - issued I.D. which has their name, age, and address that matches the personal information in our patron database.  Users of the Library’s public access computers must be at least 12 years of age.  In addition, minor children ages 8-11 may use the public access computers if accompanied by a parent/guardian or an adult (age 18 or older) who is authorized by the parent/guardian to accompany the child. 

Computers in the Youth Services Department (non-Internet) are reserved for use by children ages 12 and under and parents who are assisting their children. 

A patron may be eligible for a guest card to use the public computers if:

1)  They are a resident of Ohio but not from Gallia County and do not have a previous patron account with the Dr. Samuel L. Bossard Memorial Library.  The patron is limited to obtaining guest passes for a period of one month from the date of original issuance before they will be required to obtain a Library card. 

2)  If they are a resident of Gallia County or Mason County, West Virginia but lack the proper materials to obtain a Library card and have had no previous patrons accounts with the Dr. Samuel L. Bossard Memorial Library, they are eligible for a ONE TIME ONLY guest pass and will be required to bring the proper materials so they may apply for a Library card on their next visit when they next wish to use the public computers. 

3)  They are a resident of another state, with the exception of Mason County, West Virginia, as it is a contingent county served by the Dr. Samuel L. Bossard Memorial Library (see above).

ANYONE seeking a guest card to use the public computers must show a valid government-or-school-issued ID (e. g., Driver’s license, state issued I.D., school I.D. military I.D., passport, etc.) before a guest card will be issued to them, with the following two exceptions:

  1. Minor students between the ages of 12-17 who cannot present a Library card or valid ID who need to work on schoolwork are permitted a ONE TIME ONLY guest pass.
  2. Patrons who cannot present a Library card or valid ID and who need to work on issues relating to workforce development (i.e., resumes, job applications, job testing) are permitted a ONE TIME ONLY guest pass.

Patrons may NOT use another patron’s Library card to access the public computers.

The Library does not accept reservations for computer use sessions.  Rather, use of the public access computers will be on a first come, first served basis.   

Patrons are allowed two hours of computer time per day with a limit of one hour per session.  Library staff may extend session time given extenuating circumstances.  The Library reserves the right to terminate an Internet or computer session for any policy violation or misuse, or if the computer is unattended.

The Library utilizes an Internet Access Program that serves as a time and print management system on the public computers. 

No more than two people may be at a Library computer at any time.  Only the person who is signed into the computer may access the keyboard, mouse, and headphones, if applicable.  Any behavior that disturbs other patrons is prohibited.

Patrons may not store personal information on the Library’s computers.   Users may use their own portable media devices, such as CDs and Flash Drives, on the computers.   The Library is not responsible for any loss of data, damage, or liability that may occur from patron use of Library computers.  Patrons are not permitted to download data onto the Library’s computers or servers. 

Printers are provided for public use.  Users are responsible for payment of all pages printed.  Unauthorized copying of copyright protected material is prohibited.

The Library prohibits the use of public access computers to send threatening or harassing electronic communications to other persons.  Library staff has the right to ask a patron to vacate a Library computer workstation if the patron is on an inappropriate website, or if the patron is being loud, destructive or disrupting other patrons.  All persons using the Library’s computers and Internet access agree that they will not engage in any activity on the computer that constitutes a violation of local, state, and/or federal law.

Sanctions / Loss of Privileges

As per the Library’s acceptable use policy, patrons who are behaving inappropriately or disruptively will be warned that the behavior must stop.  If the behavior is not immediately corrected, the person will be told to leave the premises.  For serious violations, patrons may be asked to leave even if they correct the problem. Habitual abusers of Library rules may be banned from the Library premises for a period ranging from one day to three months. 

Destruction/damage of equipment is strictly prohibited.   Willful removal of any part of the computer will be considered theft and will result in legal action.

Wireless Internet Access

The Library provides wireless Internet access for patrons who wish to use their personal computers to access the Internet in the Library.  Although patrons are operating their own equipment, the Internet access itself is provided to the Library through OPLIN, and patrons are subject to the rules and regulations of OPLIN, the Library, and all applicable local, state, and federal laws.  Furthermore, the Library is not responsible for the safekeeping of personal equipment left unattended.  The Library does not guarantee anti-virus protection, content filtering, or firewall shielding. The wireless network is unsecured and patrons should use appropriate caution when transmitting personal information over unsecured networks.

Bandwidth Limitations

Due to limitations of bandwidth, some sites may be blocked to more equitably distribute bandwidth per computer station. 

The public access catalog (PAC) stations are not for Internet use.  Repeated violations of PAC use for Internet access will result in loss of Library privileges.

Patron Account Suspension 

Patron privileges (including both borrowing and Internet privileges) will be suspended when:

1)  A calculated charge of any amount is owed on the account.

2)  A patron has overdue items on his/her account that have gone to either “long overdue” (defined as 22 days overdue) or “lost” status.

3)  The Library receives “returned mail” due to an “address correction needed.” status on a mailing from the Library.  Patron must notify Library of current address upon return to Library before account will be unsuspended.

4)  There are special issues regarding the patron’s account that needs to be addressed or clarified by Library management.

Chronic failure to pay fines, losing Library materials without replacement, or continual abuse of borrowing privileges may result in the suspension of a patron's borrowing privileges, pursuant to the discretion of the Director.   When Staff becomes aware of such situations, they should advise their supervisor, who, along with the Director will determine a course of action based upon their discretion.  

A patron with suspended privileges may NOT use the Library card of another individual or family member to evade the effect of the suspended privileges.

Tech Tutor Program 
The Library offers to its patrons one-on-one training sessions on basic technology operations. Patrons have the opportunity to book a "tech tutor" for a one-hour session, subject to Reference Department staff availability. Patrons interested in scheduling a session with a Tech Tutor should contact the Reference Department in person or by phoning 740-446-7323. The Tech Tutor sessions are intended to instruct patrons in the following:
  • A basic introduction to computers, including an explanation of the parts of the computer, a tour of the Windows operating system, and basic tasks.
  • Introduction to Internet searching.
  • Instruction in basic Microsoft Office programs such as Word, Excel, Publisher, and PowerPoint.
  • Creation of basic email or social media accounts.
  • Instruction in the use of other tech devices as requested by the patron, providing the Reference Staff has knowledge of such device (e.g., Kindles, Android devices, iPads, iPhones, and other tablets and smart devices).

Prior to a session, the patron must read and sign the Tech Tutor Agreement. During the session, a staff member will answer questions to the best of his or her ability but will not do work for the person. Patrons may have only one session scheduled at any one time. Tech Tutor sessions must be scheduled at least one week in advance. Staff members are assigned based on expertise and availability. Specific staff members cannot be requested. 

Reference staff cannot and will not assist patrons with entering personal, confidential information into any computer application. For purposes of the Tech Tutor program, personal, confidential information includes, but is not limited to: Social Security number, Driver's license number, bank account number, medical information, credit/debit cards, and tax information. The Reference staff will not recover passwords. The Reference staff will not assist in the use of eCommerce sites such as Amazon, eBay, etc.

Please note that certain topics cannot be covered by the Tech Tutor service. These topics include, but are not limited to

  • Hardware installation or technology repair.
  • Suggesting or endorsing items for purchase, either physical or digital.
  • Personal or commercial tax or financial assistance or advice.
  • Legal or medical advice.


Disclaimer for Assistance with Patron Mobile Devices (PMD)

The Library provides limited assistance to patrons with their mobile device free of charge as a public service. The purpose of this service is to assist patrons in accessing the Library’s electronic resources with his or her mobile device. The service may be altered or withdrawn by the Library at any time at its discretion.

By requesting help or assistance from Library staff, volunteers, or interns in operating or troubleshooting a patron’s personal e-reader, tablet, laptop or other personal mobile-electronic device, the patron agrees to the following terms and conditions:

  • The patron is the rightful owner of the mobile device.
  • The patron accepts and acknowledges that the service could involve certain risks to the device, any data stored on the device and personal information stored on the Internet.
  • The patron understands that it is his or her responsibility to back up all software, data, and files on the mobile device.
  • The Library and its staff, volunteers, or interns is neither responsible nor liable for any damage to the device and/or loss, damage, alteration or corruption of any software, data, operating system, or files that may result from this service.
  • Given the complex and changing nature of computer and information technology, and the general, non-specific, and non-professional nature of the service, there may be omissions, inaccuracies, or inconsistencies in information provided to the patron by staff, volunteers, or interns.
  • The Library makes no warranty or guarantee of any kind regarding the technology assistance provided.