Staff Usage of Library & Electronic Communication Systems

Effective Date: 10/16
Reviewed and Revised Date: 07/21


It is the policy of the Ela Area Public Library (hereinafter “the Library”) to provide guidance for the appropriate use of electronic information and communications systems by Library employees, to ensure these systems are used in an appropriate, productive and lawful manner. Electronic information and communication systems are provided to Library employees for assistance in the performance of their duties. These include, but are not limited to: mail and shipping services, photocopiers, fax and scanning equipment, audiovisual equipment, telephone system, voicemail, computer and network resources, email, analog and digital storage media, the Integrated Library Systems (“ILS”), the Library’s website and social media sites, and the Internet.

By using any of the aforementioned systems, Library employees agree that they will comply with these policies. All Library employees are responsible for reading, understanding, and complying with the policies and procedures specified below. It is the obligation of each Library employee to reconcile any questions or misunderstandings about this policy by contacting the Library employee’s immediate supervisor for clarification.


Library electronic and communication systems are to be used exclusively to advance the Library’s mission and operations. Library employees may use these resources only for purposes related to the discharge of their duties as employees, their official business with the Library, and other Library-sanctioned or authorized activities.

Library electronic and communications systems may only be used for legal purposes and may not be used for any of the following purposes or any other purpose which is illegal, immoral, unethical, dishonest, damaging to the reputation of the Library, inconsistent with the mission or operations of the Library, or likely to subject the Library to liability. Unauthorized uses (some of which may also constitute illegal uses) include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Harassment, libel or slander
  • Fraud or misrepresentation
  • Destruction of or damage to equipment, software, or data belonging to the Library or others
  • Disruption or unauthorized monitoring of electronic communications
  • Installing unauthorized licensed software
  • Violation or circumvention of computer system/network security
  • Unauthorized use of computer accounts, access codes (including passwords), or network identification numbers (including e-mail addresses) assigned to others
  • Copying and/or using software, images, music or other intellectual property to which they have not obtained the proper rights to do so
  • Soliciting money for causes not related to Library business without the express permission of the Library administration and Board of Trustees
  • Advertising or selling products or services for personal gain
  • Development or use of unauthorized mailing lists
  • Use of computing facilities for private business purposes unrelated to the mission of the Library, posting or sending obscene, pornographic, sexually explicit, or offensive material, or, intentional or negligent distribution of malicious software such as viruses or worms

Although the Library is restricted from soliciting information (e.g. user names and passwords) to gain access to an employee's social media account, the Library reserves the right to inspect and examine any electronic content on any Library owned or operated communications system, computing resource, or other electronic device at any time.

When posting content about Library related subjects and issues as an individual, Library employees should make clear that their opinions and recommendations do not represent the Library, its Board of Trustees, or the Library Administration.

All documents and files created by Library employees during their work time using Library equipment become the general property of the Library.


Library employees shall not share or disclose the passwords for their individual accounts, or allow other staff or persons to log into the network under their individual account. Passwords used to access public workstations, or workstations used by multiple staff members, must not be shared with anyone who does not work for the Library. The use of personal passwords assigned to a Library employee is not grounds for an employee to claim privacy rights in the electronic or communication systems. The Library reserves the right to override personal passwords.

Only authorized Library employees may manipulate sensitive information, such as account data, shared network files, patron records, and bibliographic records. Modifying or deleting data, records, or files belonging to another staff member, department, or committee to which you have not been granted authorized permission is strictly prohibited.

Library employees are not allowed to download or install software from any source without authorization from the IT Systems Department.

The Library's postage meter is for business purposes only and should not be used for personal correspondence.

Personal telephone calls should be as brief as possible and should not be made or accepted at a public desk. Personal long-distance telephone calls on Library phones may be made in emergency situations only and the Library Administration should be notified either before or soon after such calls are made.

It is the responsibility of Library employees to maintain the contents of their mailboxes; this includes deleting unwanted e-mail messages and keeping remaining messages to a minimum.


Library employees must abide by the security policies and procedures set by the Library Administration and Board of Trustees. If Library employees are aware of any security risk or abuse of the computer or the Internet system, they must notify their supervisor and the IT Systems Department immediately.


All Library employees are expected to comply with this Policy. Any violation of this policy by a Library employee will subject the employee to discipline, up to and including termination. Any Library employee who sees or perceives a violation of this Policy must report that violation to his supervisor or the Library Supervisor.  No Library employee should take any action that will risk his safety or the safety of others.


Library and/or system administrators may establish more detailed guidelines, as needed, for specific electronic and communication systems. Such guidelines will be considered extensions of these policies and be held to have equal force. The Library reserves the right to modify, revoke, suspend, terminate, or change the language and/or sections within this Policy, in whole or in part, at any time, with or without notice. If from time to time when changes are necessary or revisions are made, all employees of the Library will be given revised copies. From time to time, the Library may also adopt policies that relate to, supersede or extend beyond the scope of this Policy.  Employees shall be notified in writing when new policies that affect them are enacted.


The Library makes no warranties of any kind, whether expressed or implied, for the electronic and communication systems that it is providing to the staff. The Library will not be responsible for any damages suffered, including the corruption or loss of data resulting from user error, computer error, equipment malfunction, or service interruptions. The Library denies any responsibility for the accuracy, quality, or the objectionable nature of information obtained through the Internet.

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