Computer Use Policy for Community Users

The A. C. Clark Library extends privileges to its secondary clientele, post-secondary students and staff, residents of the Bemidji area, and other visitors to BSU.

Adopted May 2010

The A. C. Clark Library at Bemidji State University (BSU) is a public facility with an educational, research, and service mission. Its principal mission is to support the academic well-being and interests of its primary clientele, namely the students, faculty, staff, and administration of Bemidji State University.

As a courtesy, the A. C. Clark Library (hereafter also referred to as “the Library”) extends privileges to its secondary clientele, post-secondary students and staff, residents of the Bemidji area, and other visitors to BSU, all of whom for the purposes of this policy are collectively referred to as community users.

The A. C. Clark Library places a high priority on public access to information resources as well as providing a safe and comfortable learning environment for all library users and a secure and non-hostile work environment for library staff.

The Library reserves the right to block certain sites to conform to MnSCU’s Acceptable Use of Computers and Information Technology Resources (Policy 5.22 and Procedure 5.22.1, hereafter collectively referred to as the MnSCU Acceptable Use Policy) and the educational, research, and service mission of Bemidji State University.

Library users are subject to all BSU policies, MnSCU policies (including Policy 5.22 and its implementing Procedure 5.22.1), and all applicable laws.

Use of University information technology is a privilege, subject to these policies and procedures. Conduct that violates these policies, or state or federal laws, is a serious abuse subject to limitation or termination of user privileges and appropriate disciplinary action, legal action, or both.


PART 1.  Library Computer Access

The faculty, administrators, staff, and currently enrolled students of Bemidji State University are the A. C. Clark Library’s primary clientele and as such may be accorded access privileges greater than those of community users, a category which includes students not currently enrolled. With the exception of computer access to U. S. government documents (discussed below in Part 2), the information resources and services, including computer access, of the Library are made available to the community users as a privilege.

Computer access for community users is available on a limited number of specific computer stations, identified and referred to as being “community user accessible,” within the A. C. Clark Library building. Access is dependent upon the presentation of valid identification and is of limited duration per day.

A.        Identification Requirements

Community users, including minors aged 15 and older, requesting access to the Library’s computers must present at the time of intended use either:

1)  a valid passport or government-issued photo ID with an expiration date (such as a driver’s license or tribal ID card), or

2)  a photo ID issued by a recognized educational institution

Minors who cannot present a form of photo ID may use a computer station whose access has been granted to a parent or responsible caregiver who is present.

Exceptions may be made, such as for BSU-sponsored programs, at the discretion of the Associate Vice President for Extended Learning and the Library.

Library Access by Minors

Minors 15 and Older.  Minors age 15 and older may use the A. C. Clark Library community accessible computers unattended by an adult, subject to other A. C. Clark Library policies and behavior compatible with BSU’s policies of student conduct.

Minors Under 15.  Minors under the age of 15 who wish to use a community accessible computer must at all times be accompanied and directly supervised by a parent or responsible caregiver 18 years or older. Violations of this policy may result in loss of library privileges for both the minor and the accompanying parent or responsible caregiver.

Parent Responsibility.  Parents and responsible caregivers are solely responsible for monitoring the activities of a minor in their legal custody and are responsible for all activity that a minor undertakes during use of library/computer resources.  The A. C. Clark Library faculty and staff do not monitor the use of library and computer resources, including the Internet, with the purpose of determining whether the use of such resources is appropriate for minors.

Terms of Use

Appropriate Use of the A. C. Clark Library.  All Library users, including community users, are expected to conform to the Library’s Code of Behavior for Library Users, which is intended to foster a safe and comfortable learning environment for all library users and to a secure and non-hostile work environment for library staff.

Community User Accessible Computers.  Use of community user accessible computers must be within the MnSCU Acceptable Use Policy and the education, research, and service mission of BSU. These computers are provided for the express purpose of using the library’s information resources, and for performing communication activities appropriate and relevant to this use. As defined by the MnSCU Acceptable Use Policy, all users of Library computers, including community users, must not engage in inappropriate uses, including:

a.  activities that violate State or federal law or regulation;

wagering or betting;

c.  harassment, threats to or defamation of others, stalking, and/or illegal discrimination;d.  fund-raising, private business, or commercial activity, unless it is related to the mission of the System or its colleges and universities. Mission related activities are determined by the college, university, or Office of the Chancellor, and include activities of authorized campus or System-sponsored organizations;

storage, display, transmission, or intentional or solicited receipt of material that is or may be reasonably regarded as obscene, sexually explicit, or pornographic, including any depiction, photograph, audio recording, or written word, except as such access relates to the academic pursuits of a System student or professional activities of a System employee; and

f.     “spamming” through widespread dissemination of unsolicited and unauthorized e-mail messages.Additionally, game-playing and the downloading of games are not allowed on community user accessible computers. A computer’s capacity to allow the downloading of games does not imply and shall not be construed as granting the user permission to engage in game-playing.Acceptance of Terms of Use. By requesting to use a community user accessible computer station and being assigned a station to use, the community requestor is saying that he or she understands and accepts the Library’s policies regarding the use of BSU/MnSCU Library’s public computers and that he or she is responsible for his or her usage and for any minors he or she may be supervising.Time Limit.  Community users may once per day use a community user accessible computer station for up to two hours. This amount of time may be reduced under special circumstances, such as times when the Library is very busy. Access to these stations will be ended 15 minutes prior to the scheduled closing of the library’s main entrance. Community users who have a need within the MnSCU acceptable use policy and the educational, research, and service mission of BSU and who seek to appeal these limits may petition the Associate Vice President of the Extended Learning and the Library for an extension of or exemption from this limit. Extensions are granted only for uses within the acceptable use policy.

Printing and Downloading.  Printing should be limited to items that support educational and research related activities. Library printers should not be used for commercial or personal agendas.  Community users will be charged for prints they produce. Users shall not load software or save anything to the hard drive of public computers.

Computing Services Provided.  Community users are provided access to a web browser and a word processing program on community user accessible computers located in the Library. Software availability is limited by existing contracts with respective software vendors. This service does not include Bemidji State University-provided e-mail and file storage, customized desktop or program settings, dial-up access, or access to the campus network and Internet through a personal computer.

BSU-User Accessible Computers.  Most computer stations located in public areas of the Library are available and accessible only to the Library’s primary clientele (BSU faculty, staff, and currently enrolled students). Unless explicitly permitted to do so by a permanent employee of the A. C. Clark Library, Community users may not use these computer stations and may only use those computer stations which are explicitly identified as being for community users. Any attempts to subvert this policy will result in penalties for the infringing party.

BSU makes no warranties respecting any harm that may be caused by defective Library equipment or by transmission of a computer virus, worm, or other such malicious computer program while using Library resources.

PART 2.   U. S. Government Publications

As a Federal Depository Library, the A. C. Clark Library provides free access for the general public to the U.S. government publications collection, including through electronic resources. By using a community user accessible computer, the general public can view both online and locally held government information for free during all hours the Library is open.

Nevertheless, public access is subject to reasonable policies of the University, including conduct restrictions, and registration and identification requirements. Depositories are not required to serve patrons who do not have a depository-related need to be in the library. Consistent with University and Depository policy, Depository libraries may bar or remove any individual who poses a threat to library staff, other patrons, or the security of the Depository collections.

PART 3.  Enforcement of Library Policy

Library patrons whom Library staff reasonably believes are violating University or Library policy, or any law, will be subject to losing Library privileges. Community users additionally may be banned from the Library building or, in severe cases, may lose the privilege of entering onto University property altogether. If appropriate to enforce University or Library policy or any law, Library staff may involve BSU Security or local law enforcement.

PART 4.  Data Collection, Retention, and Use

All Library users are reminded that the Library’s computers are owned by the State of Minnesota, and as such any and all software, data, or other information stored on a State-owned computer are property of the State and Bemidji State University may monitor, read, examine, seize, confiscate, or disclose this information as necessary, including to appropriate civil authorities. BSU reserves the right to suspend and examine any account or network access pending review by University and/or appropriate law enforcement officials.  This topic is specifically addressed in Procedure 5.22.1, Subpart C. Acceptable Use of Computers and Information Technology Resources.

The A. C. Clark Library faculty and staff acknowledge the significant contributions in developing this document of the policies developed by Winona State University Library and numerous other academic libraries throughout the Minnesota and the United States.