New York State Library
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Internet for Public Use at the NYS Library

The New York State Library (NYSL) provides users with access to the Internet. The Internet is a global electronic network that provides dynamic resources and facilitates communication. The Library staff cannot control access points that often change rapidly and unpredictably. Users are responsible for the choice of sites that they visit, but must follow Library rules regarding activities that are not allowed.

Use of NYSL's computer systems does not provide the user with any expectation of privacy. The information on these systems may be monitored or disclosed at any time by authorized personnel.

As with other materials, restriction of a minor's access to the Internet is the responsibility of the parent or legal guardian. NYSL is not responsible for the supervision of a minor's use of the Internet.  A permission slip, signed by a parent or guardian, is required for children 9-15 to use the Internet. Children under the age of nine are not allowed to use the Internet at the NYSL, unless accompanied by an adult (18 years of age or older).

NYSL is not responsible for the content, timeliness, accuracy, or usefulness of information accessed via the Internet. Use of any information obtained is at the user's risk.

NYSL is not responsible for any damages resulting from information downloaded on disks.

Using interactive services such as online payment of bills or purchase of materials involves discretion on the user's part regarding the security of such information. NYSL does not accept responsibility for any personal information that is transmitted over the Internet. 

Library staff may not be able to assist patrons with detailed word processing and e-mail questions.

Customers may bring in their own disks, CDs or flash drives. Disks, CDs and flash drives brought in by customers must be scanned for viruses.

Assignment of particular terminals for public use is at the discretion of the Library staff.

Permitted Activities

  • Use for up to thirty minutes if others are waiting
  • Compliance with copyright law
  • Customers may access web-based Internet e-mail using their own account. The library does not supply accounts, nor is it responsible for delivery or content of any messages.
  • Information gathering, research, and word processing

Unauthorized Activities

  • Downloading programs or other material to the hard drive
  • Criminal and illegal acts, including, but not limited to, viewing obscenity (as defined in New York State Penal Law Section 235.00) and/or child pornography, sexual harassment, theft, and unauthorized access
  • Violation of copyright
  • Hooking up nonlibrary equipment to library equipment (i.e. laptops, cameras, IPODS, or scanning devices )
  • Downloading music or streaming video to disk, CD, or flash drive
  • Use of any program which changes the nature of the computer for the next user
  • Access or attempted access to resources to perform unauthorized tasks
  • More than one person at a terminal at the same time unless special permission has been granted.

Failure to observe these rules may result in the loss of the right to use Library computer workstations and the loss of library privileges if appropriate. Users are required to show identification (i.e. driver license, employee ID, nondriver ID). Picture ID is preferred.  In addition, a user is responsible for any costs, liabilities or damages caused by the user's Library Internet access.

Posted: September 2003
Updated: January 5, 2010

Last Updated: June 2, 2021