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Library Computer Usage Policy

Computer Usage Policy

Free access to the internet is available for the purpose of legal research. Library Staff members have access to monitoring software on all public Library PC Stations. All printouts cost 25 cents per page.

All patrons are expected to conduct their own online legal research. Library staff may not conduct legal research using Westlaw on behalf of patrons.

Use of the Library’s public computers to access the internet will be guided by the following principles: Respect for the privacy of others in their use of the internet. Attention to the legal protections provided by copyright, licenses, and the security and functioning of the County’s computer networks.

The Library may place limitations on time and manner of accessing the internet. The Library reserves the right to enforce all policies and procedures regarding public computer usage.

Unacceptable Computer Usage

It is not acceptable to use the internet on Library public computers for any purpose which violates Federal or State laws to transmit threatening, obscene, or harassing materials, to interfere with or disrupt users of the Library’s materials, services or equipment. Disruption includes, but is not limited to, propagation of computer worms and viruses, and using the internet to make unauthorized entry into any other computer. Illegal acts using the Library’s public computers may be subject to prosecution by Local, State, or Federal authorities.

United States copyright law (Title 17 U.S.C.) prohibits the unauthorized reproduction or distribution of copyrighted materials, except as permitted by the principle of “fair use”. Users may not copy or distribute electronic materials, including but not limited to electronic mail, text, images, programs, or data, without the explicit permission of the copyright holder, except as permitted by the principle of “fair use”. Responsibility for any consequences of copyright infringement lies with the user. The Law Library expressly disclaims any liability or responsibility resulting from such use.

PC Stations Procedures & Guidelines

The following procedures and guidelines are to ensure that all users have reasonable access to the Library’s electronic resources.

  1. Access to the internet is available at the Library’s public computer stations from 8 am to 4:15pm.
  2. All public computer stations are on a first come, first served basis.
  3. Users must check-in at the reference desk to receive a computer ID code before using a Library PC.
  4. Computer use is limited to once a day, per person, for a maximum of one hour. Patrons may not sign-in or use more than one PC station at a time.
  5. You must be at least 18 years of age to use the PC stations.
  6. No more than two individuals may use one PC as long as their behavior or conversation does not disturb others.
  7. Interactive services such as games, chat rooms, and newsgroups, are not permitted.
  8. Operating a business, selling products or soliciting funds is prohibited.
  9. Distributing advertising or bulk email is prohibited.
  10. Users may not install software on the PCs or run any programs from outside storage devices or CD-ROMs. Users may not alter the public computers or printer hardware or alter the configuration of any software. Peripheral devices such as an iPod, external storage devices, or outside printer may not be attached to any Library/County computer.
  11. Files may not be downloaded onto the hard drives of Library computers or to any external storage device such as a USB drive.
  12. The public computers may not be used in any manner that damages the hardware or software.
  13. Computer users are expected to use the internet without guidance from Law Library staff. Due to staffing limitations, the Library does not offer training, technical support or research assistance on WestLaw, Microsoft Office products including Word, internet usage, computer jargon, email, or personal computer use.
  14. Patrons utilizing the Library's printers must pay for all pages printed. Failure to do so will result in loss of computer privileges.
  15. Users should be aware that Library staff may monitor computer use for the limited purpose of ensuring compliance with the computer policy, and hereby consent to such monitoring.
  16. Through use of the public computers, users agree to abide by these procedures and guidelines. If Staff or Security notice any violations, the user will receive one warning, if the conduct continues; they will be asked to leave the Library and depending on the seriousness of the violation may receive a no trespass warning.
Library Internet Usage Disclaimer

The internet is a global entity with a diverse user population and information content. While the County may filter some content not all sources provide accurate, complete and current information. The Law Library is not responsible for changes in or the content of sources to which it links, or for the content of sources accessed through secondary links.

The Law Library assumes no responsibility for any damages, direct or indirect, loss of data, or of privacy, arising from the use of the internet.

By using the Law Library computers, you agree to abide by Law Library policies regarding the computers and by the Law Library’s Rules of Conduct. You also agree and acknowledge that the Law Library assumes no liability for, and hereby release any claims against the Law Library for any loss or damage to any personal data or damage or injury arising from the invasion of privacy in personal computer accounts, programs, or files. You agree to release any claims against the Dallas County Law Library and/or Dallas County and agree to hold the Law Library and/or Dallas County free and harmless for your use of the internet.