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Visitors: Computer Access

Visitors' Guidelines & Acceptable Use Policy for Computer Access

Due to high demand for public computers caused by the increased enrollments at MU and because funding for the computers comes from student Instructional Technology Fees (ITF), the MU Libraries must ensure that current UM students, faculty and staff have sufficient access to online resources. The MU Libraries will continue to support the information and research needs of all users, but we must limit the amount of time computers are used by guests and visitors in order to meet the needs of students and researchers from the University.

The following guidelines will govern visitor use of public computers in Ellis Library.

Current University of Missouri students, faculty and staff will be able to sign-on to any public computer in Ellis Library using their current UM email ID and password. Upon logon, they will be permitted full access to the Libraries’ online resources, to the Internet, and to selected software licensed exclusively for University affiliates. UM students, faculty and staff have priority on all computers.

Certain computers designated for Library Catalog access are not restricted, so that all users may identify holdings in the Libraries’ collections quickly.

Visitors to Ellis Library are eligible to use computers under the following guidelines:

  • Library visitors must request a guest account in order to access library computers. To receive a guest account the visitor must agree to adhere to the Acceptable Use Policy governing computer access for visitors (see Appendix A). A copy of this policy will be given to the visitor upon receiving the guest account.
  • Use of the MU Libraries’ electronic resources is a privilege and may be revoked at any time due to violations of the acceptable use agreement or disruptive behavior. Library staff reserves the right to revoke the guest account and computing privileges.
  • Library visitors will be allowed to access the computers for a maximum of 2 hours per day. UM affiliates have priority on all computers, and visitors may be asked to surrender the use of a computer upon request by a Library staff member.
  • Library visitors will not be permitted access to resources licensed only for use by MU affiliates.
  • Upon request, access to government resources for persons under 18 will be provided without a guest account.

Appendix A
Ellis Library Visitor Guest Account for Computer Access
Acceptable Use Agreement

Ellis Library Visitor Guest Account holders agree to respect the following rules governing acceptable use of the MU resources.
The University of Missouri-Columbia prohibits use of its resources under the following circumstances:

  • 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, including 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 is policy 110.005 Acceptable Use Policy.
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

Parents or Legal Guardians of minors understand that they are responsible for the information accessed on the Internet by the minor and that the University of Missouri-Columbia does not utilize filtering software. 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 University or Library employees) are responsible for a minor’s use of all resources in the MU Libraries, including access to Internet workstations.

For additional information, view the Computer Authentication FAQs for Guests or email