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Computer Usage/Internet Policies

Computer Programming

Computer Usage

Some of the computer stations are available for general usage, including e-mail, chat, and games. Other computer stations serve a dedicated purpose and are to be used for the purpose of research, genealogy, online catalog, online classes, or other specialized or educational purposes. Content generated at any workstation must not have illicit or obscene references, or reflect illegal or commercial activities.




  • In most circumstances patrons should have a current library card to begin a session in Minden, Springhill, and Cotton Valley. When a patron does not have a library card, a guest pass may be issued. If the patron has a library card but does not have their card with them, then the library card number of that patron may be given out if the patron can present a valid form of identification. Patrons are and should be encouraged to get a library card. Session times vary by branch. Check at your local branch for details.

  • Children’s stations, located in designated children’s areas, are for those persons under the age of fourteen. Only the parent or guardian accompanying the child who is thirteen or under may use the children’s stations.

  • If patrons are working on a project and no one is waiting for a computer, requests for extra time to be added to a session may be made.

    • Requests for additional time must be made far enough in advance so that a staff member has time to add the additional minutes to the session before it ends.

  • In Minden, Springhill, and Cotton Valley, if patrons need to step away from the computer for more than a few minutes and wants to save their session, the option for Hide My Screen is available under Other Options on the session timer.

  • If the library is busy, staff will attempt to accommodate each person by limiting the time increments and/or scheduling sessions.

    • There will be a 5 minutes grace period to start a scheduled session, after which time the computer will be reassigned.

    • Preference will be given to those patrons who have not had time on a computer.

    • Patrons who leave a computer station and exit the reference area during their allotted time will have 10 minutes to return before the computer is reassigned. Exceptions will be made at staff’s discretion.

    • Under special circumstances library staff reserves the right to further limit the time allotted to each individual patron.

  • Patrons can bring their own storage devices or purchase one from the library for a fee.

  • Public access computers are set to automatically shut down at approximately 20 minutes before the library closes.                                                                                                                                                       

  • Any data that has not been saved to a portable device will be permanently lost upon end of session. The library cannot be held responsible for lost data or damage to storage devices.

  • Patrons can make copies and printouts for a set fee. See fee schedule here. 

Internet Usage by Public

The Webster Parish Library provides access to the Internet in support of the Library's role as a leading provider of public access to information and lifelong learning. Because the Internet is a vast and unregulated information network, not all sites are consistent with the Webster Parish Library's philosophy, mission, or collection policies.

Although the filters required by federal law are in place, we cannot fully protect patrons from information and images that they might find offensive. It is our practice to make every effort to screen sites that can reasonably be construed as "obscene".

The Library cannot be held responsible for internet content patrons may find offensive. By using the library’s computers, electronic devices, or any other Internet accessible devices, the user agrees to waive rights to any claim against the Library, its employees, trustees, officers and agents arising from the use of the internet.

Not all information found on the Internet is accurate, current, or complete. Locations and addresses of sites change rapidly and unpredictably. Patrons are cautioned to exercise critical judgment on the validity and value of information or images located.


  • Users of the library’s Internet may not use the Internet for any purpose prohibited by local, state, or federal law; misrepresent one’s self by access code, password or signature; alter hardware or software nor make copies of copyrighted or licensed software or data unless such use is authorized.

  • Patrons may not use a library Internet public workstation for any of the following reasons:

    • Illegal, unauthorized, unethical, or commercial purposes.

    • Child pornography is illegal and will not be tolerated at the Library.

    • Manipulation of internal hardware and/or software. (Including uploading of any software)

    • Transmission or downloading of any material in violation of local, state, or federal laws.

    • 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 expressly prohibited.)

    • Hacking, harassment, threatening of others, unauthorized disclosure of personal information regarding minors, and other unlawful online activities.



The Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) was enacted by Congress in 2000 to address concerns about children's access to obscene or harmful content over the Internet.


The Library is compliant with the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA), and has technology protection measures (TPM or "filters") on its computers, designed to protect against access to visual depictions that may reasonably be construed as 1.) obscene, 2.) child pornography or 3.) harmful to minors.

  • Children's stations, located in the children's area, are designated for those persons under the age of fourteen and only the parent or guardian accompanying the child who is thirteen or under may use the children's stations.

  • Internet usage by minor children, including access to chatrooms and e-mail, is the responsibility of the parent or guardian. Children under the age of eighteen will not be allowed Internet access without the written permission of a parent or guardian on the child’s registration card.

  • In the presence of minors, any adult may be asked to close a site that is depicting or discussing information that is “harmful to minors.”


Adults may be advised that, while accessing and viewing sexually oriented materials is within the law for an adult, the risks and consequences of such exposure to minors is  significant.

  • Inappropriate, unauthorized access, including so-called “hacking,” by minors and other unlawful activities by minors online is strictly prohibited.

  • Unauthorized disclosure, use, and dissemination of personal information regarding minors is strictly prohibited.

  • Measures taken in order to restrict minor’s access to materials harmful to them:

    • Filtering

    • Computer Monitoring Capability

    • Educational Resources

    • Implementation of Policy


Internet usage is a privilege and should be treated as such. Library Staff have the right to determine the appropriateness of workstation use and can require a patron to leave the workstation for the remainder of the day. Supervisors can prohibit use for up to three days and the library Director or Assistant Director can suspend access for thirty days or permanently.



The internet can give you access to information, entertainment, job opportunities, travel experiences and much more. At the same time, it can leave you vulnerable to online scammers, identity thieves and more.

Here are 7 tips for staying safe on the internet:

  1. Protect your personal information. It's valuable.

  2. Know who you're dealing with.

  3. Use anti-virus and anti-spyware software, as well as a firewall, and update them regularly.

  4. Make sure your operating system and web browser are setup properly and update them regularly.

  5. Protect your passwords.

  6. Back up important files.

  7. Learn who to contact if something goes wrong online.


The Library encourages parents to be involved in their children and teens' use of the internet.

Here are 4 tips for youth for staying safe:

  1. Don't post your name, your age, or your hometown on any website.

  2. Always tell your parents if someone online asks for your personal information or asks to meet you.

  3. Never share your passwords with anyone but your parents.

  4. Follow your parents' rules for using the internet.

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