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Internet Policy


The Northwest Regional Library System offers its members free public access to the Internet. The library is not responsible for the accuracy, currency or appropriateness of material found online. The library is not responsible for any online transactions submitted by public computer users. Patrons are reminded that library computers are for public access. Patrons are not assured that transmissions of information are secure and should not consider them to be secure.  The library maintains a list of recommended and reliable web sites and library staff is available to assist in evaluating the information found on the Internet.

Library staff can assist with computer use as time allows but for in-depth training, users are encouraged to participate in computer workshops offered at the library and elsewhere. Library staff cannot complete forms or applications for patrons. 

An automated Reservation system is in use at the downtown Panama City Library, Panama City Beach Library, and Port St. Joe Library (see below.)  At branch libraries, patrons must sign in to use the computers and their time will be limited according to the limits set by each library. These limits may change depending on usage. All branch libraries have wireless access. USB devices and CD disks may be used in these libraries.

The libraries’ computers are set up for use by a single person. A maximum of two persons may sit/work together on one computer, except in special cases. Illegal activities or activities that interfere with or disrupt the network, services, equipment or other users are prohibited. Illegal activities include, but are not limited to, fraud, gambling, and displaying obscene images or engaging in child pornography. Software and other files downloaded from the Internet may contain viruses or spyware that may infect other computers. The library does not permit downloading of any executable files.

Misuse of library computers may result in loss of computer privileges, loss of library privileges and/or prosecution. Patrons who violate library Internet Access rules and/or engage in misuse of the computers will be warned and then banned from using the library computers. Misuse includes but is not limited to:


*Viewing material that violates federal, state or local laws or regulations, including those regarding accessing, viewing and distributing obscenity or child pornography.


*Hacking into the library computer system or any other computer system.


*Mishandling, damaging, or attempting to damage computer equipment or software, tampering with computer settings.


*Engaging in any activity that is deliberately offensive to librarians or patrons or creates an intimidating or hostile environment.


*Using the library’s computers to display materials which are obscene. Obscenity is legally defined as material that predominantly appeals to the prurient interest in sex and depicts or describes, in a patently offensive manner, sexual conduct and that lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value. WARNING: the libraries of the Northwest Regional Library system are public places. Displaying sexually suggestive objects or pictures may be a violation of State and Federal Obscenity laws (Florida Statutes 847.001, 847.0133, 847.0135; Title 18, United States Code, Section 2252).


*Violating copyright laws or the policies of the individual websites that you view. U.S. copyright law (Title 17, U.S. Code) prohibits the unauthorized reproduction or distribution of copyrighted materials, except as permitted by the principles of “fair use.” Users may not copy or distribute electronic materials without the explicit permission of the copyright holder. Any responsibility for any consequences of copyright infringement lies with the user, the library expressly disclaims any liability or responsibility resulting from such use.


*Failing to pay for printing.


*Refusing or ignoring a staff person’s request to give up a computer.


*Failing to sign up for an Internet computer; failing to log in using your own library card number or Public Computer User card number.


*Failing to comply with time limits.