Patron Computer and Internet Access Use Policy

Access to the Service

The Mathews Memorial Library (MML) is pleased to offer its patrons Internet access as a free public service. Access may be blocked, suspended, or terminated at any time for any reason including, but not limited to, violation of the terms of this policy, actions that may lead to liability for the Mathews Memorial Library or the citizens of Mathews County, disruption of access for other users or networks, and violation of applicable laws or regulations. All Internet content available on the library’s public computers or available through the library's wireless network on patron-owned computers and other wireless devices is filtered to block access to material that is defined by the Code of Virginia as child pornography (§18.2-374.1:1), obscenity (§18.2-371) or harmful to juveniles (§18.2-390) or material that promotes activity that violates federal, state or local law.  Requests to bypass the technology protection measures for purposes of enabling access for bona fide research or other lawful purposes must be made to authorized library personnel.

Acceptable Use Guidelines

Use of the service and any associated activities shall not violate any applicable law or regulation or the rights of the Mathews Memorial Library, the residents of Mathews County, or any third party.

  • Use of the computers at Mathews Memorial Library, requires that individuals be a registered patron of the Mathews Memorial Library with designated computer use privileges based on acceptance of the terms of this policy. Temporary use is granted to non-patrons who produce a picture ID and substantiating identification.
  • Patrons wishing to use a library computer must sign in at the computer sign-up station using their own valid Mathews Memorial Library patron ID card number prior to using the computer.
  • Children or young adults under the age of eighteen must have their parent’s permission to use computers with Internet access at Mathews Memorial Library. A signature by a parent or legal guardian on the patron application will indicate the permission.
  • Users of library workstations are limited to two thirty-minute sessions per day. However, if no one is waiting, the user will be granted unlimited thirty-minute time extensions for each session. There are no time restrictions for wireless access.
  • Users are allowed to print electronic files or copy them to personal media or media (diskette or CD-R) provided by the library. The charge for printouts is $.15 per page. The charge for media is $1.00 each. Printing services are not available from your wireless device.
  • Users should be aware the library workstations and/or personal wireless devices are located in a public place and may be viewed by other people. Privacy and confidentiality cannot be assured.

Unauthorized Use

Unauthorized use of the Internet Access Service will result in the loss of access privileges. Parental notification may be sent if a child under age of 18 violates guidelines. Restoration of privileges may be requested after one year. The following are prohibited:

Illegitimate Use of Internet Services
Using another person's library card, or other forms of misrepresentation to gain access to library workstations or wireless service.

Personal Software
Using or installing personal software on library workstations.

Spamming and Invasion of Privacy
Sending of unsolicited bulk and/or commercial messages over the Internet using the Service or using the Service for activities that invade another's' privacy.

Intellectual Property Right Violations
Engaging in any activity that infringes or misappropriates the intellectual property rights of others, including, but not limited to, patents, copyrights, trademarks, service marks, trade secrets, or any other proprietary right of any third party.

Obscene or Indecent Speech or Materials
Using the Service to advertise, solicit, transmit, store, post, display, or otherwise make available obscene or indecent images or other materials deemed inappropriate as defined in any local, state, or federal statute. Mathews Memorial Library will notify and fully cooperate with law enforcement if it becomes aware of any use of the Service in any connection with child pornography or the solicitation of sex with minors.

Defamatory or Abusive Language
Using the Service to transmit, post, upload, or otherwise make available defamatory, harassing, abusive, or threatening material or language that encourages bodily harm, destruction of property or harasses another.

Disruption of Other Library Patrons
Accessing any sound, visual or other type of file that may disrupt other library patrons.

Forging of Headers
Forging or misrepresenting message headers, whether in whole or in part, to mask the originator of the message.

Accessing illegally or without authorization computers, accounts, equipment or networks belonging to another party, or attempting to penetrate security measures of another system. This includes any activity that may be used as a precursor to an attempted system penetration, including, but not limited to, port scans, stealth scans, or other information gathering activity.

Intentional Damage
Damaging or attempting to damage any Mathews Memorial Library computer equipment or software.

Distribution of Internet Viruses, Trojan Horses, or Other Destructive Activities
Distributing information regarding the creation of and sending Internet viruses, worms, Trojan Horses, pinging, flooding, mail-bombing, or denial of service attacks or like matters.

Consuming Excessive System Resources
Obstructing other people’s work by using excessive bandwidth or any other activity that disrupts the use of or interferes with the ability of others to effectively use the Service or any connected network, system, service, or equipment.

Facilitating a Violation of this Agreement of Use
Advertising, transmitting, or otherwise making available any software product, product, or service that is designed to violate this Agreement, which includes the facilitation of the means to spam, initiation of pinging, flooding, mail-bombing, denial of service attacks, and piracy of software.

Export Control Violations
Transferring of technology, software, or other materials in violation of applicable export laws and regulations, including but not limited to the U.S. Export Administration Regulations and Executive Orders.

Other Illegal Activities
Using the Service in violation of applicable local, state and federal laws and regulations, including, but not limited to, advertising, transmitting, or otherwise making available ponzi schemes, pyramid schemes, fraudulently charging credit cards, pirating software, or making fraudulent offers to sell or buy products, items, or services.

Children & the Internet

  • Parents or guardians must sign application to allow children under age 18 to use the library’s computers.
  • Children with permission will receive a library card indicating parental consent. This card must be presented each time to use the library’s computers with Internet access.
  • Juveniles and young adults under age 18 are allowed to use only the public access computers located in the Youth Wing and the Teen Territory of the Library or patron-owned laptops or other wireless devices.
  • Parents are responsible for monitoring their child's use and selection of all library materials and services, including the Internet on the Library's workstations.
  • Parents are responsible for ensuring their child understands and abides by the terms of this policy.

Wireless Network Usage Guidelines

The Mathews Memorial Library provides a public Wi-Fi network for patron usage.  This wireless network uses standard WPA encryption to offer a more secure and private Internet connection for library patrons.  This requires that patrons obtain the Wi-Fi encryption key at one of the library’s circulation desks and enter it in the appropriate place on their laptop or mobile device.  At the time the patron requests access to the Wi-Fi network, they are asked to present their library card in order that library staff may verify that the patron has agreed to the library’s “Public Computer and Internet Access Use Policy” and is in good standing, i.e. their account is not blocked due to excessive overdue items or fines or any other reason.  Patrons who are not registered patrons of the Mathews Memorial Library and visiting the area may also use the Wi-Fi network by presenting a valid picture ID at the circulation desk.  The picture ID is requested to ensure that the individual does not have an existing library account.  The patron is then presented a copy of the library’s “Public Computer and Internet Access Use Policy” which they must subsequently agree to by signing the “Visitor Computer and Internet Registration” form.

The Mathews Memorial Library provides access to research databases including NewsBank, Literati, FindIt Virginia, Ancestry, and Heritage Quest.  Various authentication methods are employed by vendors to ensure that these services are available only for library patrons.  The purpose of authentication is not, however, for creating a personal account for patron access to private search data.  Users within the library are authenticated using industry-standard IP address authentication to gain access to these databases via the library’s LAN (wired network) and Wi-Fi networks.  Remote authentication methods for users outside of the library vary between different databases.  Some databases require library card number and other databases are authenticated through a referral from the library’s website homepage.  Within certain database websites, the user can choose to create a personal account to customize their experience by saving data such as search terms and articles. You don't need a personal account to access any products and any data saved in a personal account is completely private and not accessible by library staff.

  • Library staff is not to be considered experts or resources for configuring personal equipment.
  • Users will be required to present a valid patron ID or other appropriate identification each time the service is used and enter a wireless encryption key on their wireless-enabled device in order to access the service.
  • Wireless service is available only during normal library operating hours.
  • The Mathews Memorial Library assumes no responsibility for the configurations, security or files on your laptop or wireless device resulting from connecting to the service.

Staff Assistance

Library staff will assist patrons with computer and Internet use as time permits. Staff assistance is available primarily to help patrons with computer functions that carry out the library’s mission of providing access to information. Formal computer instruction may be provided at designated times. Trained staff may not be available at all times and cannot be considered “experts”.

Rights of Patrons

The standards of the Board of Trustees of The Mathews Memorial Library for traditional library media shall apply to electronic media as well, Including the Internet. Library staff will treat the contents of electronic files as private and confidential. Applicable Federal and Virginia laws as well as policies of MML will govern any inspection of electronic files, and any action based upon the inspection.

Notice of Policy Violations

The Mathews Memorial Library requests anyone who believes that there is a violation of the Patron Computer and Internet Access Use Policy to notify the staff immediately or direct the information to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Mathews Memorial Library does not monitor information accessed through the Internet and cannot warrant that the information is accurate, authoritative, complete or inoffensive. All users of this service agree to hold Mathews Memorial Library harmless from any and all claims, losses, damages, obligations, or liabilities, directly or indirectly relating to the use of the online catalog, the Internet, or the databases, software, and hardware provided by Mathews Memorial Library caused thereby or arising there from. In no event shall Mathews Memorial Library have any liability for lost profits or from indirect, special, punitive, or consequential damages or any liability to any third party, even if the Mathews Memorial Library is advised of the possibility of such damages.


This policy was adopted March 2014.  Addendum for wireless network usage adopted June 2016.