Internet Use Policy

The Watertown Regional Library provides Internet access and Internet resources alongside its many physical resources.  The Library believes that the Internet is an essential research and learning tool for our patrons.  At the same time, by not being a full service Internet provider, the Library recognizes that it cannot control and is not responsible for Internet content viewed intentionally or inadvertently by our patrons.  Rather, each patron (and, for minor patrons, their parent or legal guardian) is wholly responsible for his or her own Internet use and any consequences that may result, including those that impact the Library, other patrons, and third parties.  Patrons are therefore responsible for determining appropriate Internet access for themselves as well as their dependent minors.

As a public resource accessed in a public space, Library computers, Library Internet, and Library wireless Internet access usage may be monitored by Library staff and observable by the general public.  All Internet connections are also open, susceptible to malicious programming, and able to be used by patrons to access pornographic, obscene, and illegal material.  While such use is prohibited by the Library’s Terms of Use, ultimately, the Library is unable to fully prevent such use, or to warrant the content, quality of or accessibility to the Internet and its resources.  Further, some Internet services may not be provided through the Library’s connections for financial, technological, or security reasons.  Therefore, patrons who use the Library’s Internet connections and computers do so at their own risk.  The Library is not responsible for lost data transmitted over its network or contained on its computers, and it is not responsible for damage to, or lost data on, personal devices that use the Library Internet, wired or wirelessly.

The Watertown Regional Library provides filtered access to the Internet to meet its obligations under SDCL 22-24-56.  All filtering software, however, is inherently imperfect.  The filter will not block all objectionable material, and it may also block some material that patrons otherwise have a right to access.  The degree of default filtering will depend on the patron’s age and Internet access point, with minors and wireless users having more restrictive filtering than adults.  Patrons have a right to request that a filtered website be unfiltered, and adults may request to have completely unfiltered Internet access.  Patrons should convey these requests to the Library staff member at the desk.  The Library reserves its right to refuse to un-filter websites that are obscene or pornographic and may be viewed by minors.

Terms of Use:

While using Library Internet and computer resources, all patrons must:

  • Refrain from engaging in or facilitating illegal activity (e.g., identity theft, harassment, child pornography, etc.).
  • Avoid unauthorized copying of copyrighted or licensed works—music, games, software, e-books, movies, etc.
  • Not view, display, print, send, or receive material that may reasonably be construed as obscene, including from any website that posts a warning stating that materials are for persons over legal age.
  • Respect the privacy of others by not misrepresenting oneself as another user; by not attempting to modify or gain access to files, passwords or data belonging to others; by not seeking unauthorized access to any computer system, or damaging or altering software or hardware components or any networks or databases, including those at the Library.

Any failure to adhere to these terms may result in loss of library privileges.

Adopted: April 30, 1996
Revised: March 30, 2017; September 8, 2021