Computer Usage at the Southfield Public Library

General Computers

The Library has more than 100 computers available on a first-come, first-served basis. These computers may not be reserved in advance. Guests may use a computer for up to two hours; card holders may use a computer for a longer period of time if no one is waiting. General-use computers provide Internet access only and allow printing to a nearby black and white or color printer. USB drives may be used at these computers. You must abide by the Public Computer Use and Internet Policy and the Library Code of Conduct while using computers or equipment in all areas of the Library. These policies appear below.  The Library reserves the right to monitor and disallow equipment usage.

Computer Labs

The Southfield Public Library has two Computer Labs with a total of 28 computers available for public use. The Computer Labs are located on the first and third floors of the Library. The purpose of the Labs is to allow Library staff to provide instructional classes and to provide individual users with access to selected software programs for research, educational, and business use.  The Public Computer Use and Internet Policy and the Library Code of Conduct will be enforced in the Computer Labs. These policies appear below. The Library reserves the right to monitor and disallow equipment usage.

Computer Lab Policy

  • The Computer Labs will be open to individual users when classes are not scheduled. The Computer Labs are not available for rental. Computer use is free.
  • Equipment available: computers, printers, flat-bed scanner.
  • Computer use is first-come, first-served.
  • Guests may use a computer for two hours; card holders may use a computer longer if no card holders are waiting.
  • There is a limit of two (2) users per workstation.
  • There is a charge for printing. Color and black & white printing is available.
  • Software available: Microsoft Internet Explorer, Publisher, FrontPage, Word, Access, Excel, and PowerPoint.
  • Library staff will provide assistance with opening, closing, printing, scanning, and basic software functions. Patrons will be directed to online tutorials and printed resources for further instruction.
  • All computer users must leave the Lab 30 minutes before a scheduled class. Lab computers will automatically power down at closing.
  • Unethical, illegal, or misuse of equipment may result in a denial of computer privileges and/or further action by local authorities.
  • All equipment is used and data accessed at the user’s risk.
  • It is the user’s responsibility to provide their own storage media (CD-R/RWs) or (Travel / Thumb / Flash drives) and back up work frequently. The Library is not responsible for any corruption or loss of data due to power failures, computer hardware/software failures, network difficulties and/or users not periodically saving their work. Diskette use is not supported.

Permitted in the Labs:

  • Document creation or editing using the available Library software if the format is supported.
  • Headphones and USB storage devices that do not require the installation of software.
  • Internet searching for research purposes.
  • Downloading files to supported media.
  • Loading of personal paper in the printers (note: you must have approval from Library Staff in advance of loading paper; some paper may not be suitable for use in our printers).

Not Permitted in the Labs:

  • Unauthorized programs may not be uploaded to the hard drives or network.
  • USB port connection for equipment other than for handheld PCs, memory sticks, travel / thumb / flash drives and cameras.
  • Recreational use, including, but not limited to: watching films or videos, listening to music when not also doing research, using social networking web sites, engaging in Chat, or playing games of any sort.
  • Cell phone conversations. Please place your phone on vibrate mode and take calls outside of the Lab.

Public Computer Use and Internet Policy

The Southfield Public Library is dedicated to providing access to information on the Internet. The Internet offers access to a wealth of information that can be personally, professionally and culturally enriching. However, the Internet may contain dated, inaccurate, or incomplete information and material of a potentially offensive nature. The Library assumes responsibility only for the information provided of its own authorship on the Library’s web site. All computer users assume responsibility for their own use of the Internet.

All public computers are equipped with filtering software. Despite this provision, computer users may still encounter web sites or material they find offensive. For practical purposes, the Library may also block high-bandwidth consuming sites.

Disallowed, illegal or unethical use of Library computers is prohibited. Misuse of computer equipment may result in a denial of computer service or further action by local authorities. Such practices include but are not limited to:

  • Willful damage of Library computers or equipment.
  • Attempting to upload files or attempting to bypass local security measures or filtering.
  • Breaking in or out of any system.
  • Propagation of computer worms or viruses.
  • Transmitting threatening, obscene, or harassing materials.
  • Infringement of copyright laws.
  • Attempting to attach any unauthorized equipment to the Library computers or network.
  • Perpetrating fraud or engaging in other illegal acts.

Limits of Usage

Due to the great popularity of the Library’s public Internet access computers, it may be necessary to limit the time spent on a computer. Users are required to abide by Library staff’s requests regarding computer usage. Determination of the staff is final.

Special Strong Caution to Parents

The Southfield Public Library supports parents in their efforts to guide their children’s access to information. Parents who are concerned about what their children may encounter when using Library computers must accompany their children to the Library and closely supervise their use of services.

Non – Filtered Access

Non – filtered access is available from a small number of computers in the Library. These computers may only be used to access bona fide research content. Only users over the age of 18 or minors accompanied by a parent or legal guardian may use these computers. Proof of age and / or identification may be requested. Parents or legal guardians must physically stay at the computer with the child. Time limits may be imposed.

Appeal Process

If a user feels that a site is being blocked in error or that a web site should be blocked, users should speak to a librarian. The City Librarian will consider the appeal and this final decision shall be communicated to the complainant within five business days.

This policy will be reviewed by Library Staff on periodic basis. This policy was last updated/reviewed 8/15/07.

Approved by the Library Board on 11/20/07.

Library Code of Conduct (Behavior Policy)

The purpose of the Southfield Public Library is to provide library materials and services to the public. The Library is a place to study, read, write, research, and attend programs or meetings. The Library strives to provide a safe and orderly environment for everyone. The Library is responsible for establishing rules of conduct to protect the rights and safety of Library patrons and staff.

The Library requires that patrons shall be engaged in activities associated with the use of the Library while on Library premises. Those not so engaged shall be required to leave the property. Disruptive behavior will not be tolerated and may serve as grounds for removal from Library property.

The Library reserves the right to evict from Library premises and refuse further admission to any individuals, and/or groups who infringe upon the rights of Library staff or patrons in their proper use of Library facilities, or who create disorder on the premises of the Library so as to interfere with the functions for which the Library was designed, such behaviors include, but are not limited to:

Unattended Children: Children 11 years of age and younger are not to be left unattended in the Library. Children 11 years of age and younger must at all times be attended and supervised by a responsible adult (parent, guardian, other caregiver, age 18 years or older) on Library premises.

Violations of Law: Committing or attempting to commit an activity in violation of state, federal or local law, ordinance or regulation is prohibited including vandalism, theft or endangering the safety of others.

Interference with Staff: Patrons may not interfere with staff members’ performance of duties on Library property. This includes engaging in conversation or behavior that monopolizes the attention of a staff member for an inappropriate period of time; making inappropriate personal comments, sexual advances, harassment of a physical and/or verbal nature; or refusing to comply with staff requests.

Inappropriate Use of the Library Building: Patrons shall not use Library study rooms, meeting rooms, restrooms or any Library property in ways other than for designated purposes. Library premises may not be used for social gatherings, soliciting, laundering, shaving, hair cutting/trimming, bathing, sleeping or sexual activity of any type.

Harassment: Threatening others by staring, photographing, following, stalking, etc. is prohibited.

Hygiene: Offensive body odor due to poor personal hygiene, overpowering perfume, or cologne that causes a nuisance is prohibited.

Noise: Loud, unreasonable, and/or disturbing noises that interfere with other patrons’ use of the Library, or that can be reasonably expected to disturb other persons, including noises from electronic, entertainment, and communication devices, are prohibited. Cell phones and other communication devices should be set to vibrate, not ring. Patrons shall use headphones with all audio equipment. Talking, even in low tones, is prohibited in marked Quiet Zones. All conversations, including phone conversations, are to be kept quiet and short. Persons disrupting others may be asked to relocate, or leave the building.

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  • Food is limited to the Tower Lobby, Observation Deck, Café, Meeting Room and Fountain Terrace.
  • Beverages must be covered to be permitted in the Library.
  • Children 11 years of age and under must be accompanied by a responsible adult at all times.

Violations: Failure to comply with the Library’s established rules and policies could result in removal from the premises and/or termination of Library privileges, or, when appropriate, violators will be subject to arrest.

Southfield Police Officers will be asked to intervene, if necessary, to stop prohibited activities and behaviors, according to Southfield City Ordinance §9.131A and §9.132.

Suspension: Library staff members may ask violators of the Library’s Policies to leave the premises for the day. This is termed a suspension. These persons may return no earlier than the following day.

Banning and Appeal: Library staff members may also ban persons for repeated and/or serious offenses. A banned patron may not return to the library without the City Librarian’s permission. If they return to the Library without permission the police will be contacted to remove them from the building.

When a person is being banned, they will be given contact information for the City Librarian, who is responsible for reinstating library privileges. It is up to the banned person to contact the City Librarian by phone, mail or email to set up a meeting to discuss the situation and the length of the ban, which may be one week or longer, at the discretion of the City Librarian. At the meeting, banned persons under the age of 19 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. After the meeting, the banned person must leave Library premises until the date that the ban is lifted.

Southfield City Librarian
Southfield Public Library
26300 Evergreen Road
Southfield, MI 48076
Phone: (248) 796-4300

The determination of the City Librarian in a case of a banning may be appealed to the Southfield Public Library Board of Trustees in writing. Written appeals must be filed within 10 days of the City Librarian’s determination. Such appeals will be filed with both the City Librarian and the Library Board President. The Board will hold a hearing within 30 days after the appeal has been filed. The appellant will be notified at least 10 days before the hearing. Failure to appear on the assigned day of the hearing without prior notification to the Library Board President will result in denial of the appeal.

Library Board President
Southfield Public Library
26300 Evergreen Road
Southfield, MI 48076

The President of the Board shall conduct the hearing. At the hearing, the appellant may present evidence to support his/her case.

Within 30 days of the completion of the hearing, the Board shall issue a written decision stating their determination. The Board has the power to affirm or modify the City Librarian’s decision. The decision of the Board shall be final.

Posting: This policy as stated above will be posted in a public area of the Library and on the Southfield Public Library website.

This Library policy is reviewed and modified periodically by the Library Board of Trustees.

Date Approved: April 21, 2009