Internet Access Policy


The Wellesley free Library (WFL) is committed to providing access to informational, educational, recreational and cultural resources in many formats for library users of all ages and backgrounds.  Understanding that Internet access can greatly enhance the existing collection at the WFL, the WFL provides public workstations to allow all users who wish to use the Internet the opportunity to do so.  The public workstations are located primarily in the Reference Area and Children’s Department and to a limited extent at the Branch Libraries.

Wireless access is also available throughout the Main Library, Hills Branch and at the Fells Branch.  Laptop users accessing the internet using the WFL’s wireless access must comply with this policy.

No Guarantee of Privacy

Complete privacy is not a realistic expectation when using computers in a public library.  However, the WFL tries to protect users’ privacy to the extent possible given that the computers are shared.  The WFL does not maintain permanent records of what individual users view or the documents created.  The history file of sites visited is erased when an individual logs off a computer and when a computer is rebooted.  Each computer also resets itself after a certain specified time of inactivity.

The Wellesley Free Library and the Minuteman Library Network assume no liability for loss of user privacy while using WFL equipment or accessing the internet through wireless access proved by the WFL.

The WFL must make any information stored on its computers available if it is subpoenaed pursuant to law.  It should be noted that some search warrants or subpoenas can come with a “gag order” preventing staff from telling patrons or the public that information has been provided to law enforcement.

The library reserves the right — in extraordinary cases — to use information stored on its computers to investigate serious breaches of its policies.

Time Limits

At times, demand exceeds the Library’s supply of available workstations.  When this happens, users may sign up at the Reservation/print release stations.  Time control software on WFL computers limits computer use to one hour per session.

Prohibited Uses

The Library prohibits use of its computers and networks in a way that violates, local, state, or federal law.  Illegal activities or activities that interfere with or disrupt the network, users, services or equipment are prohibited and not protected by any Library Policy.  Staff is authorized to take action to protect the security of computers and the network, including confiscating any removable media, requiring a user to leave a computer or the premises, and contacting law enforcement authorities. Unacceptable or inappropriate uses include:

  • Violation of copyright or licensing agreements;
  • Violation of another user’s privacy;
  • Engaging in any activity that is reasonably deemed to be libelous, slanderous or deliberately offensive;
  • Representing yourself as someone else;
  • Transmitting harassing, threatening or obscene material;
  • Distributing advertising or spam;
  • Attempting to gain unauthorized access to the WFL or Town of Wellesley or Minuteman Library Network or any other network or computer system;
  • Disruption or interfering with network services and users, including:  using malicious software or hardware, hacking or phishing;
  • Any operation of the equipment, system or software not reasonably deemed acceptable.

Users are responsible for any damage to equipment or the network resulting from unacceptable use.

Saving documents and Data Loss

The Wellesley Free Library is not responsible for a user’s data loss.  Users who wish to save documents must use their own data storage device.  Anything saved to a WFL computer’s hard drive will be automatically deleted when the computer unexpectedly crashes, or reboots.  The staff cannot retrieve data once this happens.  It is recommended that users save frequently to personal storage devices.


Print service is available for a fee.

Copyright and Licensing

Users are responsible for complying with copyright law, licensing agreements and the policies of individual websites viewed.

Children’s Computers

Computers located in the Children’s Department and Young Adult Rooms are for the use of children and young adults only.  Parents and caregivers are responsible for supervising computer use by their children.  See Filtering Section below.  Adults are permitted to use these computers only when assisting a child.


The WFL is committed to free and open access to information and does not filter the Internet content available from computers in the adult areas of the Main Library and Branches.  Content filters are installed on all computers in the Children’s and Young Adult areas of the Main Library.  Parents must keep in mind that filters are commercial products; the WFL has only partial control over what the vendor has selected to block and the use of filters does not guarantee that all inappropriate material is rendered inaccessible.

Parents and caregivers are responsible for supervising computer use by their children.  Library staff is not responsible for supervising children using unfiltered computers in adult areas nor are Library staff responsible for the Internet content viewed by children even on filtered computers.

Chat, Games, Sound Recordings

The WFL reserves the right to block chat sites and games on workstations to facilitate access to the Minuteman catalog, databases and other resources.

Whether using a WFL computer or a personal laptop, users are expected to refrain from displaying graphics which are inappropriate for public viewing, or playing audio that may disturb other patrons.  Users must use WFL headphones or personal headphones to listen to sound recordings.

Quality of Information

The Wellesley Free Library and the Minuteman Library Network assume no liability for inaccurate or out-of-date information found on the Internet.

Staff Intervention

Staff may intervene upon receiving a complaint or at their own discretion.  The Library reserves the right to terminate a user’s computer session at any time.

Notwithstanding the above, this policy may be subject to exception at the discretion of the director and/or board of library trustees.

Approved on 3/7/2016 by the WFL Board of Trustees