Saturday, September 24, 2011

Computer Policies and Library Internet Policies

When a patron recently asked if they could transfer MP3 files from our computer to their MP3 player, I had to take a look at our Computer and Internet Use Policy.  It appears that this is okay to do.  Library computers are reserved mainly for research purposes, and anyone can be asked to leave the computers if he/she is doing something not in compliance with the policy.  We do not allow individuals to download software to the computers, but apparently they do not need to download any software to transfer music files burned to the Media Player Library to their MP3 player. 

As someone who has been satisfied with older technologies (What can I say?  I love to read books and watch movies.) I have never learned how to transfer music files from a CD to an MP3 player or an iPod.  With the Media Player all that needs to be done is to highlight the music files in the library's album and drag them to the Sync window/tab.  End result was that the patron left satisfied; she was able to do what needed to be done.

However, let me say that after reviewing the computer and internet use policy, it pleased me that the policy encourages information literacy skills.  This information-literacy plug appears in the disclaimer toward the top of the policy:
With the exception of certain commercial information products, such as indexes and full-text databases, the Library neither selects nor controls the contents of Internet sites. The Library disclaims responsibility for such content that may be inaccurate, incomplete, out-of-date, controversial, or offensive to some. Users are urged to question the validity of information which they retrieve from the Internet and carefully evaluate its value and appropriateness for their purposes. They should also be aware that most Internet materials are copyrighted and existing copyright laws govern their use.
Overall, it seems that this is a great computer and internet use policy.  One of the things I like the most is that it is not lengthy, requiring little time to read and understand it, unlike I thought it would be. 

Does your library's internet use policy encourage information-literacy competency skills?

"Sansa Fuze MP3-Player."
Photo by Oliver Karthaus.

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