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404 West Pike Street    Clarksburg, WV 26301    Phone: 304-627-2236    Fax: 304-627-2239

CHPL Policy Manual

Electronic Resources Access Policy


"Freedom of expression is an inalienable human right and the foundation for self-government. Freedom of expression encompasses the freedom of speech and the corollary right to receive information. These rights extend to children as well as adults.

Libraries and librarians exist to facilitate these rights by providing access to, identifying, retrieving, organizing, and preserving recorded expression regardless of the formats or technologies in which that expression is recorded."

   (American Library Association Statement on Electronic Information, Services and Networks)

The mission of the Clarksburg-Harrison Public Library is to provide patrons with the best and most current informational resources possible, including on-line electronic information resources. Patrons are cautioned that the Internet, an unregulated worldwide information and communication network, is only one of many electronic resources available through the library.

Electronic Resources and Users Responsibility

Electronic resources contain a wealth of valuable information. However, users should be aware that some information may be inaccurate, outdated, controversial, or offensive. Use of these resources carries with it a responsibility to evaluate the quality of the information accessed. Parents, not the library, are responsible for the use of these resources by their children. For the purposes of this policy, a minor is defined as anyone who has not reached the age of 18. In offering Internet access, the library staff cannot control access points which often change rapidly and unpredictably.

Although the library seeks to protect the First Amendment rights of its customers and their individual right to privacy, Internet users must be sensitive to the fact that computers are located in public areas and images on the screen are subject to view by a wide audience. Users should remember that others may be inadvertently exposed to the results of their search. As a courtesy to the next user, and for your own privacy, please close out all open programs and click on the home button at the end of your session.

Users are cautioned that the Internet is not a secure medium. Personal identification information included in all transactions, files, and communications may be subject to unauthorized access by third parties. In addition, it is dangerous to give out personal identifying information. Minors need to be exceptionally aware that of this very real danger.

Prohibited Uses of Computers

All patrons, including both adults and minors, and staff may not use the Internet in the following situations:

  • Illegal, unauthorized, unethical or commercial purposes Library equipment will not be used to access material that is illegal. Illegal is defined as that which is:
    • a. obscene as defined in Section 1460 of Title 18, United States Code
    • b. child pornography as defined in Section 2256 of Title 18, United States Code
    • c. harmful to minors (This provision means adults cannot access sites that would be harmful to minors.)
  • Instant Messaging and Chat Rooms
    • Instant Messaging may not be installed on any of the library's computers. Chat Rooms may be an unsafe environment and can be dangerous to minors. Some users of them will misrepresent and conduct themselves in an inappropriate manner. In addition, the current technology installed at the library will not support them without problems and they are, therefore, prohibited.
  • Manipulation of internal hardware and/or software including uploading of any software.
  • Transmission or downloading of any material in violation of state or federal laws including the following:
    • Sending, receiving, or displaying text or graphics which may reasonably be construed as obscene, and other illegal materials as defined by law. Copying or downloading of any material in violation of copyright law. (Downloading of software and files not in the public domain is a violation of copyright law and is expressly prohibited.)
  • Hacking or accessing any site that needs authorization.


"Lawful use of electronic resources is the individual's responsibility and not that of the library." Internet use is a privilege and should be treated as such by all users of the system. Library staff has the right to determine the appropriateness of use and can at any time require a patron to leave the computer. Prohibited uses will result in loss of workstation privileges. In accordance with the library's general policy, appeals of such should be addressed in writing to the library director. Perpetrators of malicious damage to the system will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.


AGE: Children under the age of 12 should use the computers available in the children's department. Any child using the second-floor computers should be supervised by a parent or adult guardian.

TIME: Use of the Internet computers is on a first-come, first-served basis. Users are given 2 hours of Internet access per day. This is broken up into thirty-three minute segments, with no break necessary in between each segment. Exemptions to the time limit are given by the reference librarian only in certain circumstances which include: research, homework, word processing, etc.

Patron Requests

Electronic information technology is emerging, expanding, and changing constantly. The Clarksburg-Harrison Public Library Board of Trustees encourages patrons to make use of the new technologies and welcomes comments and suggestions regarding policies governing use. Comments and suggestions may be made to the library director in person, over the telephone, or in writing.

Procedures for Use

The Library uses a program called CMS to verify authorized users and to keep track of time used on the computers. CMS does not keep any information from the sessions for any purpose other than those listed.

Technology Protection Measure

As a library in the statewide library network, CIPA filtering requirements will be met at the state level by the West Virginia Library Commission. When installed, the Clarksburg-Harrison Public Library will enforce the operation of the filtering program during any use of computers to which they apply.