Computers & Internet Policy

Computers & Internet Policy

Tompkins County Public Library (TCPL) Information and Learning Services and Youth Services departments offer the public free use of computers, software and internet access. The Library provides access to all constitutionally protected information with unlimited access to materials, and with no attempt to prevent patrons from legally viewing materials or to prevent patrons from viewing materials some individuals may find offensive. The internet offers a wealth of educational, recreational, and cultural information that vastly increases the resources available to Library patrons. It is the individual’s responsibility to choose which resources to access. Since the Library has no control over its content, individuals access the internet at their own risk. We caution patrons to access and evaluate materials online as they would any printed source. At TCPL, patrons must have a library card to access the computers and WiFi. By placing our public internet stations in high traffic areas, staff can ensure that our Library Code of Conduct and computer guidelines are being carefully followed.  Individuals who violate these guidelines are asked to cease doing so or risk losing their computer and, in some cases, their Library privileges. Youth Services internet stations are located in the Youth Services department, and are restricted to children five to twelve (5 - 12) years old.  Teen Internet stations are located in our Teen Center, and are available only to teens ages twelve to seventeen (12-17).


Computer Access Guidelines (from Code of Conduct)

  1. Internet use must be consistent with the current Library Code of Conduct, which is posted throughout the Library. Use of TCPL Internet computers and services is a privilege, and is not a right.
  2. Individuals twelve (12) years of age or younger must have the authorization of a parent or guardian to disclose personal information on the Internet.
  3. Children and young adults (ages 5 – 17) who are issued library cards will have unfiltered access to our collections and our services, including access to the internet through our public computers and WiFi service.  Full responsibility for the use of materials and resources by minors (i.e. use by children under eighteen years of age) rests with their parents, guardians, and caregivers.   Any restriction of children’s access to the internet is the responsibility of parents, guardians, and caregivers.  Parents, guardians, and caregivers who do not want their children accessing the internet from library computers may opt them out of this service by notifying a staff member at Access and Circulation Services.  Access to WiFi services via personal devices cannot be restricted based on age.
  4. Unauthorized disclosure of, use of, or dissemination of any minor's personal information by means of the internet, email, or any electronic technology is forbidden.
  5. Images of child pornography, or those which are sexually explicit, obscene, or harmful to minors may neither be displayed nor printed, and are expressly prohibited under New York State Penal Law § 235.00-235.24.
  6. Internet computers and network services may not be used for illegal activities, including harassment of others. Patrons may not misrepresent themselves when using the internet.
  7. Library patrons may not tamper with, alter, edit, damage or remove computer hardware, dataand/or software.
Internet Access - Wired & Wireless Access
  1. This internet access option is open to patrons of all ages.  Parents, guardians, and caregivers are responsible for supervising and guaranteeing their children’s proper and safe use of the internet.
  2. Use of the Library's internet access constitutes acceptance of this internet policy.
  3. Library patrons are responsible for configuring equipment to access the Library's service.
Library-Supplied Internet Computers
  1. All internet users must be registered TCPL or FLLS library card holders.
  2. Internet computers are available on a first-come, first-served basis for the next available computer.
  3. Patrons may receive up to ninety (90) minutes of access per day on the Information and Learning Services internet stations or up to sixty (60) minutes per day on the Youth Services and Teen Center computers and this access may be divided among multiple sessions.
  4. Patrons may not extend their time by using additional library cards.
  5. Information and Learning Services Internet computers are reserved for adults and young adults ages thirteen (13) and older.
  6. Teen Internet computers are reserved for young adults (ages 12-17).
  7. Youth Services Internet computers are reserved for children (ages 5-12).
  8. TCPL reserves the right to limit the number of people at individual Internet computers.


Drafted on September 17, 2017.

Edited by the Library Services & Policy Committee on December 7, 2017.

Approved by the Tompkins County Public Library Board of Trustees on December 12, 2017.

PDF Version of the Policy