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Library Computer Use Policy

The Van Wagenen Library Computer Use Policy is guided by SUNY Cobleskill’s Computer Resources Policy and the principles of intellectual freedom expressed by the American Library Association (ALA). As articulated in the campus Computer Resources Policy, “Priority use of network resources […] is given to students to complete class assignments and administrative offices to conduct college business. Recreational use […] is allowable ONLY when it does not disrupt authorized campus activities.” When demand for computers exceeds library capacity, priority of access will be given to SUNY Cobleskill students, faculty, and staff working on academic or administrative tasks.

Campus resources (including computers and network access) should not be used for purposes that are illegal, harmful, threatening, or that contribute to a hostile work environment. The library’s computers are not equipped with content-filtering devices and individual users are cautioned that materials they personally find objectionable may be discovered through our databases and on the open web. The Library cannot assume responsibility for objectionable content discovered by our users.

Librarians at Van Wagenen Library strongly support the ALA Statement on Access to Digital Information, Services, and Networks, which asserts “Users’ access should not be restricted or denied for expressing, receiving, creating, or participating in constitutionally protected speech.” We endorse the ALA’s Freedom to Read Statement and believe librarians have a professional responsibility “to contest encroachments upon that freedom by individuals or groups seeking to impose their own standards or tastes upon the community at large.”

Users viewing content that may reasonably be considered offensive to others are asked to be courteous citizens of our shared environment and make every effort to minimize the likelihood that other patrons will see their screens; likewise, users offended by content they see on someone else’s computer are asked to respect the intellectual freedom rights of others and, if necessary, move to another computer to avoid exposure to content that offends them. Recognizing that differences of opinion may exist regarding what content may be deemed offensive or disruptive, the Library will strive to maintain a safe, comfortable environment while simultaneously protecting the intellectual freedom rights of all library users. Librarians and library staff have final authority to resolve computer use disputes between patrons when necessary. Library patrons with concerns or questions about the implementation of our computer use policy should ask to speak with a librarian.