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Policy 58: MU Libraries Public Computer Use Policy

University of Missouri Libraries

General Policy Manual Policy No. 58

MU Libraries Public Computer Use Policy

  • Scope of Policy
    • This policy applies to the use of all public computers and related equipment by all library patrons (faculty, staff, students and visitors). This policy does not supercede other policies mandated by Adaptive Computing for equipment under its jurisdiction, nor does it supercede any policies imposed on the branch libraries by IT personnel, or the units in which they are housed.
  • Purpose
    • The MU Libraries develops collections, resources and services that meet the educational, instructional and research needs of the University community. Use of MU Libraries workstations is a privilege, and access is intended to support and promote educational purposes, and support the instruction, research and service programs of the University.
  • Specifications
    • Computer Use
      • The University of Missouri-Columbia prohibits use of its resources, regardless of medium:
        • for any illegal activity
        • for harassment or intimidation
        • for commercial profit
        • for promotion of political or religious agendas except in public debate (such as a public network news or listserv forum) or with written authorization per Collected Rules and Regulations of the University of Missouri, Section 110.010 (additional conflict of interest laws and policies, and requirements may apply)
        • for publishing obscene, pornographic or indecent materials
        • chain letters
        • for unauthorized copying or distribution of text, images, sounds or software or other data including licensed software or copyrighted data otherwise accessible for use
        • for activities that place people or equipment at significant physical risk (including exposed electrical connections, ionizing radiation, heat, food or drink in a public computing site)
      • The University has official policies regarding acceptable computer use, which can be found at
      • The following is considered unauthorized use and is prohibited:
        • knowingly or carelessly performing an act that will interfere with the normal operations of computers, peripherals or networks
        • attempting to circumvent data protection schemes or uncover security loopholes
        • using the network to gain unauthorized access to any computer systems
        • masking the identity of an account or machine, which includes, but is not limited to, sending email anonymously
        • attempting to monitor or tamper with electronic communications of other users, or reading, copying, changing, or deleting files or software of other users
        • using a computer account that you are not authorized to use
    • Use of tangible and Internet accessible electronic resources on public computers is permitted, provided that this use does not compromise machine stability or security. The Libraries reserve the right to institute measures to maintain the integrity of its public computing facilities. Where these measures prevent the legitimate use of research materials, the Libraries will make a reasonable effort to identify alternative computing arrangements; however, the Libraries cannot guarantee access to every software program or package.
    • Persons conducting research have priority on public computers. Recreational users may be asked to yield the computer to researchers.
    • MU Libraries employees do not monitor nor do they have control over material and information accessed on workstations within the Libraries. Parents or legal guardians, not the University or Library employees, are responsible for minor’s use of the MU Libraries, including access to Internet workstations, and of informing them about materials they should not use.
    • The MU Libraries assume no responsibility to users for damages, direct or indirect, arising from the use of its computer and network facilities or from deletion of files from system and network hard drives.
    • Library users who are negligent, careless or intentionally perform acts that result in damage to computer equipment or software may be held financially responsible for any costs incurred by the library for repairs or replacement.
    • Library users are prohibited from attaching/removing network cables, hardware, and/or peripherals (excluding headphones and storage media) to/from library computers. This policy excludes peripherals that are circulated with the MU Libraries laptops.

Sponsored by: Michael Bland, Jr., Head, Library Technology Services, Michael Spears, John Meyer, Rhonda Whithaus, Lionelle Miller, Adam Banning, Diane Johnson, Cindy Cotner, Geoff Swindells
Submitted to Library Council: May 22, 2003
Approved by Library Council: July 24, 2003
Approved by Director of Libraries: July 24, 2003