06.01 Computer and Acceptable Use Policy-Approved 12-6-17.pdf

Computer Workstation and Wireless Access:

Computers at the Richmond Public Library (RPL) are shared resources. The library has set the following policy for public use of these devices to ensure fair and equal access for all:

  • Public computers are available to patrons on a walk-in, first-come first-served basis.
  • Each patron must use his/her own Richmond Public library card to reserve a computer. A patron's library card must be current (not expired). Use of another person's library card number is not allowed for computer access.
  • Each patron is allowed up to two (2) sessions per day throughout the RPL system. Computers in the adults, children's and teen areas are set for 60-minute sessions. If there is no one waiting, session lengths are automatically extended. In the event a patron's extended computer session is ended due to network error, library staff will reinstate the patron.
  • All computers in the designated children's area are only for use by children age 12 and younger and for parents or caregivers assisting children.
  • All computers in the designated teen areas are only for use by children age 13 to 19 and for parents or caregivers assisting children.
  • Wireless access to the Internet is available via the library network. This Wi-Fi service is available to anyone who brings his or her own properly configured equipment to the library.
  • All computers reserved for special purposes (such as children's use, teen use, catalog searches, download stations, etc.) may not be used for any other purpose.
  • Patrons may not perform any action that might damage the computer equipment or make it inoperable, such as downloading or installing any harmful program.
  • Patrons using library computers may not violate copyright or trademark laws, software licensing agreements, or intellectual property rights.
  • Patrons should notify library staff if the computer equipment or peripherals are not functioning properly.
  • Patrons must use headphones when listening to audio on any computer (including personal laptops) and keep the volume to a level that does not disturb those nearby.
  • Patrons may be limited to one person per computer station, at the discretion of library staff.
  • Patrons should be considerate of others and should avoid exposing others to material that might be considered offensive.
  • Work saved on RPL computers is automatically erased when a patron logs off. To save documents, patrons must copy it to a flash (aka "thumb") drive or upload it to an online storage service.
  • Laptop computers may be available at some locations for use by patrons 17 and older. Patrons must present a valid government-issued photo ID or passport to library staff in order to use a laptop. The ID is held until the laptop and its power cable are returned to library staff. Patrons are liable for any damage to, or loss of, a borrowed laptop and/or its accessories.
  • RPL is not responsible for any damage or loss of data arising from the use of its computers or network.
  • RPL may withhold computer privileges from patrons who do not comply with the above procedures or who are barred from the library due to violation(s) of theLibrary's Rules of Behavior.

Acceptable Internet Use:

Internet :

The Richmond Public does not control the information available on the Internet and is not responsible for its content. The Internet may contain controversial or sexually explicit material.

The library filters access to the Internet in compliance with Virginia Code § 42.1-36.1. Filtering software products may not protect users from materials which some may find offensive or inappropriate. Library procedures prohibit access by juveniles, as defined by Virginia Code § 42.1-36.1, to materials that may be considered harmful to juveniles.

For any content on a computer screen that the library, in its sole discretion, subject to constitutional limitations, and in consideration of the best interests of the public, determines to be an unacceptable purpose, a staff member may request the patron using the computer to cease viewing the offending computer site.

Further, a patron has the right to lodge a complaint concerning any instance in which the patron believes the RPL filtering system fails to block a site that should be blocked according to the Children's Internet Protection Act.

Any staff member who observes any violation of RPL Internet policies will take action to enforce compliance. In this regard, failure to comply with RPL policies can result in suspension or cancellation of Internet access, and/or in some cases legal proceedings.

Printing / Copying :

There is a posted charge per page for printing. Color printing may be available at some locations at the posted cost.

Prohibited uses of Richmond Public Library RPL computers and/or Wireless Network

Any person making unauthorized use of computers in violation of laws including (but not limited to) Virginia Code

42.1-36.1, the Privacy Protection Act of 1974, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986, the Computer Virus Eradication Act of 1989, Interstate Transportation of Stolen Property, the Virginia Computers Crime Act, and the Electronic Communication Privacy Act, may be prosecuted.

Intentional disregard of these prohibited uses, including but not limited to the following prohibited uses, may result in loss of computer privileges.

  • Using software packages other than those provided by the library. No other software may be used, copied, downloaded or installed.
  • Accessing SOUND or VISUAL or other type file, which may disrupt other library patrons.
  • Using any RPL computer or network to "crack" another individual, commercial or public system.
  • Using any RPL computer or network to disclose, use and/or disseminate personal information regarding minors, or such information regarding any individual without their consent.
  • Using any RPL computer and/or Internet access for purposes or activities contrary to state and federal laws, including the sending or displaying of material deemed obscene or pornographic by courts.
  • Obstructing other's access by consuming excessive amounts of system resources (disk space, CPU time, network resources or by purposely crashing any RPL computer workstation).
  • Attempting to damage any RPL computer equipment or software, including disruption or interference of network users or network services; damage through the distribution of unsolicited advertising, harassment, libeling or slandering others, propagation malware, viruses or other computer mayhem.
  • Reading, or attempting to read another person's electronic mail or other protected files.
  • Violating copyright laws and licensing agreements pertaining to print or electronic materials, software, files and other resources.
  • Any and all matters which the library, in its sole discretion, and in consideration of the best interests of the public, determines to be an unacceptable purpose or activity that results in the misuse, destruction of failure of RPL computers or network.

Failure to follow this Computer/Network Internet Access and Use Policy, guidelines, or procedures can result in a loss of the patron's access privileges. Illegal or disruptive behaviors can result in immediate termination of access and may involve law enforcement. The library reserves the right to terminate any computer session. Users who fail to follow these guidelines may lose their access privileges for up to a year. Users may appeal any termination of access privileges to the library Director or designee through the review process established by the library. A second violation of policies, guidelines, or procedures will result in suspension of access privileges for up to five years, without appeal.

Library staff reserves the right to monitor the use of computer access to Internet resources to comply with this policy. Staff may ask users to remove themselves from library equipment if they observe any behavior, in violation of this policy. Misuse or abuses of library computers or Internet access may result in the suspension of computer access privileges.


The library is not responsible for damage or loss of data from power interruption, computer viruses, hard disk failure, faulty software, or any other reason. The use of library computer equipment or networks and entering of personal information or data is at the patron's own risk. The library is not responsible for the breach of any user's privacy or personal information through use of the library's computer equipment or network access. By using the RPL computers or its public access network, the library patron agrees to defend, indemnify and hold the RPL, its Board of Trustees, information providers, operators, other users of the system and any institutions with which they are affiliated, harmless from and against any claims, damagers, losses, liabilities, costs and expenses, including reasonable attorney's fees, resulting, directly or indirectly from their use of the system.


Adopted: June 2005

Revised: September 2006

Revised: June 2007

Revised: September 2009

Revised: April 2011

Reviewed: February 2012

Reviewed: October 26, 2016

Revised: December 2016

Revised: December 6, 2017