Library Technology Acceptable Use Policy

As part of fulfilling its mission to provide learning resources and information services that support and improve individual, family and community life, St. Louis Public Library provides internet access and many other technology resources.

The Library expects patrons to comply with the terms of this Acceptable Use Policy (AUP), the policies of the Library’s internet service provider, and all applicable federal, state and local laws, including but not limited to criminal, copyright, privacy, defamation, and obscenity laws.

Failure to abide by this AUP may result in loss of access to certain resources and/or St. Louis Public Library privileges. The Library will render all reasonable assistance to local, state or federal officials for the investigation and prosecution of persons using Library technology in violation of any law.

Use of the Library's resources and services shall be guided by the following principles:

  • Respect for the privacy of others.
  • Legal protection is provided by copyright and license to programs, data, and intellectual property.
  • Security and function of systems, network devices, and Library services used by other patrons.
  • Compliance with Library policies.

It is not acceptable to use the library’s resources and services for:

  • Any purposes which violate U.S., state, or local laws, including those regarding obscenity, pornography, and the delivery of any such material to minors.
  • Transmitting threatening, defamatory, obscene, or harassing materials.
  • Intentional or unintentional disruption of other Library users, services or equipment, to cause harm to other computer systems, or impede network traffic by utilizing excessive bandwidth.
  • Distribution of unsolicited advertising.
  • Making unauthorized entry into any systems accessible via Library computers or on its network.
  • Representing oneself as another person.
  • Developing and/or propagating programs that harass other users or cause harm to other computer systems.
  • Copying, file sharing, downloading or distributing commercial software or other copyright-protected works or material in any format (e.g. music, movies, or other audio or digital material) in violation of state, federal or international copyright laws.

Patrons must facilitate the fair use of the Library's limited resources by observing time limits on reservable systems and surrendering use of the system when the allotted time has elapsed. The Library reserves the right to terminate sessions that disrupt Library services or that involve user behavior that violates Library policies. Tampering with or circumventing time limits will result in the loss of some or all Library privileges consistent with the Appropriate Use of the Library Policy.

In addition to the useful and educational information available on the internet, a great deal of content exists that may be offensive or harmful to the user or others. Parents or legal guardians must assume responsibility for deciding which Library resources are appropriate for their own children. In compliance with the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) and Missouri law, the Library enforces a policy of internet safety that includes measures to block or filter internet access for both minors and adults to certain websites. In particular, the Library’s filtering software protects against access to visual depictions that are obscene, child pornography, or harmful to minors or pornographic for minors. Hotspots are not equipped with any internet-filtering capability and users are responsible for monitoring what their children access using the Hotspot.

Filtering software diminishes the likelihood that searchers will inadvertently retrieve content that some may find offensive but does not eliminate that possibility. Filters sometimes block access to sites that users would consider both inoffensive and useful.  Anyone age 18 or older (proof of age required) may request that the filter is turned off to enable access for bona fide research or other lawful purposes. The Library staff reserves the right to check all workstations for suspicious/inappropriate activity.

Parents of minor children assume responsibility for their children's use of the internet when using Library resources or services. Parents and children are encouraged to review resources such as the Netsmartz website ( to learn about modern internet safety, and to exercise both discretion and supervision when children are accessing the internet.

Users should be aware that the internet is not a secure medium and that third parties may be able to obtain information regarding users' activities. However, St. Louis Public Library will not release information on the use of specific Internet resources by members of the public except as required by law or as necessary for the proper operation of the Library.

Users should understand and acknowledge that Hotspots are unsecured, wireless networks and that any information being sent or received over the network could potentially be intercepted by another wireless user. Users are cautioned against transmitting their credit card information, passwords, and any other sensitive, personal information while using the wireless network. 

St. Louis Public Library does not assume responsibility for any damages, direct or indirect, arising from the use of the Library's technology resources, services, or internet or wireless connections, including the use of Hotspots.

Users of Library technology resources, services, and internet connection should be aware of the possibility of contamination by computer viruses and Trojans. Viruses may also spread to other computers including the user's own personal or business computers via email, or other means. Users are therefore warned it is not possible to provide a 100% virus-free environment and the user accepts such risks while using the Library's computing resources.

Users agree to INDEMNIFY AND HOLD HARMLESS the Library and its board members, its employees, and agents and representatives from any loss of data, claim, demand, liability, cause of action, suit, judgment, damages, or expense (including attorney's fees), arising out of any use or misuse of the Library’s technology resources, services, electronic devices, internet, or wireless connection.

Adopted by the Board of Directors, February 2018

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