Information Technology Policy


  1. In general, computers are available to patrons on a first-come, first-serve basis, or can be reserved over the telephone or through the library web site.  There is no charge for use of the computers.  Patrons are allowed up to one hour Internet use per day, in two half-hour increments that can be sequential if no-one is waiting for a computer.  Library staff is available for general assistance in using the computer and software.  However, staff is not expected to train patrons in the use of application programs. Some restrictions may apply on making appointments and/or length of time permitted to use computers when the library is observing special or reduced hours. Patrons may be asked to wear face masks and observe social distancing in order to obtain assistance from library staff with computers during a government-recognized pandemic.
  2. A printer is available.  Printer copies are free, but there is a limit of 10 per day.  To cover the cost of paper and supplies, we would appreciate a donation of $.10 per copy.
  3. A copy machine is available for public use.  Copy machine copies are free, but there is a limit of 10 copies per day.  To help cover the cost of paper and supplies, we would appreciate a donation of $.10 per copy.
  4. Problems with the hardware or the software should be reported to the library staff.  Do not attempt to fix problems on your own!


  1. Patrons must be at least 7 years old or accompanied by a responsible, attentive adult or older sibling.  A children’s computer is available with age-appropriate software and is not connected to the Internet.  Children are expected to take turns on this computer as it does not have time management software.
  2. People wishing to use their own USB memory device in the networked computers may do so.
  3. Files and settings on the hard drive may not be changed, copied, deleted or altered in any way.
  4. Users shall not deliberately or willfully cause damage to computer equipment, programs or parameters.


The Black Earth Library provides access to the Internet as a means to enhance the information and learning opportunities for the citizens of the Library’s service area.  The Board of Trustees has established Internet use policy to ensure appropriate and effective use of this resource.

Access to the Internet is available to all patrons, however, this service may be restricted at any time for use not consistent within the guidelines.  Librarians are partners with parents in guiding children to safe and appropriate use of the Internet. In compliance with requirements of the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) and the Neighborhood Children's Internet Protection Act (NCIPA), BEPL filters all Internet computers and wireless signals available through the library. Adult patrons age 17 years and older may elect to disable the filter for unrestricted Internet access for any lawful purpose that meets BEPL guidelines. A valid South Central Library System card provides authorized access to BEPL computers for the use of our patrons. Parents and guardians are solely responsible for supervising their children's Internet sessions and for letting their children know if there are materials children should not use or view; library staff cannot monitor parental restrictions. The library assists parents and guardians who desire guidance for their children's use of the Internet through their technical expertise and guidance.


  1. Expectations—Legal and Acceptable Uses:

The Library’s computers may be used only for legal purposes.  Users should be aware that the inappropriate use of electronic information resources can be a violation of local, state, and federal laws and can lead to prosecution.  The user shall be held responsible for his/her actions using the Internet.  Users of all ages are expected to abide by the policies below which include generally accepted rules of etiquette.  These restrictions also apply in email and interactive environments accessed through library computers.  Unacceptable uses include but are not limited to the following:

  • Users of the Library’s Internet stations may not display graphics that might reasonably be considered obscene.
  • Graphics that pop up on the Library’s Internet computer that might reasonably be considered obscene should be reported to staff immediately.
  • Transmitting of threatening or harassing materials.
  • Engage in any activity that is harassing or defamatory.
  • Libeling, slandering or maliciously offending other users.
  • Not respecting the privacy of others by misrepresenting oneself as another user.
  • Using another individual’s Library Card.
  • Attempting to modify or gain access to files, passwords, or data belonging to others.
  • Attempting to crash, degrade performance of or gain unauthorized access to the Library’s computer systems and networks.
  • Modifying or damaging equipment, software or data belonging to the library or other users.
  • Exposing children to harmful materials.  Sec. 948.11 of the Wisconsin Statutes, among other things, makes it a crime to expose children to pictures or images of nudity, sexually explicit conduct or physical torture or brutality that appeal to the prurient, shameful or morbid interest of children, are patently offensive to prevailing adult standards regarding materials suitable for children, or lack serious literary, artistic, political, scientific or educational value for children.


Failure to comply with the above expectations will result in immediate suspension or revocation of Internet and Library privileges for a period of time based at the discretion of the Library Director and Library Board and may or may not include Police restraining order.

The Internet is a decentralized, unmediated, global network; the Black Earth Public Library has no control over the content found there.  The Library shall not censor access to material nor protect users from offensive information, and it is not responsible for the availability and accuracy of information found on the Internet.

The Library does not select the material on the Internet and has no means or statutory authority to assure that only constitutionally protected material is available on the Internet.  The authority to determine what is illegal content rests with the courts as defined in Wisconsin and federal statutes.

Access, use or dissemination of information via the Internet in the Library is the responsibility of the user.  In the case of minors, it is a joint responsibility of the user and the parent or guardian.  Because parent or guardians may feel that information available through the Internet is not suitable for viewing by children in their care, supervision is advised.

The use of the Internet and electronic mail is not guaranteed to be private.  Upon request the records or identity of anyone who uses the Library’s Internet computer will only be disclosed by court order (Wisconsin Statute 43.30).

Adopted 12-18-14

Amendment adopted 5-17-2016

Amendment adopted 6-16-2020


1. Library Staff Laptop Use Policy

As are all PCs in the library, laptops used by library staff are the property of the Black Earth Public Library. Annual SCLS technology fees cover the support of these devices. Use of the library laptops is to conduct library work exclusively while working from home, or in the library, by permission of the library director. Any issues should be reported to the library director and the SCLS help desk. It is the responsibility of the holder of the laptop to keep the minimum maintenance schedule as detailed here:

Laptop Maintenance Schedule

Weekly – bring in laptop for one of your shifts to connect to SCLS Network to receive updates in the background

Monthly – Backup on external hard drive kept in library.


Adopted by the Library Board of Trustees: 4-21-2021


Laptops have been issued to library staff as follows:

Youth Services Librarian BERSL01

Workroom BERSL02

Library Director BERSL03

Circulation Manager BERSL04


Adopted 12-18-14

Amendment Adopted 5-17-2016

Amendment Adopted 6-16-2020

Amendment Adopted 4-21-2021