Library Employee Internet Use Policy
Purpose and Scope of Policy
As part of the City of Haverhill’s commitment to the utilization of new technologies, many of our employees have access to the Internet. In order to ensure compliance with existing copyright and decency laws and to protect the City/Library from being victimized by the threat of viruses or hacking into our systems, the following policy has been established.
Be aware that the Internet does not guarantee the privacy and confidentiality of information. Sensitive material transferred over the Internet via email may be at risk of detection by a third party. Employees must exercise caution and care when transferring such material in any form.
Employee use of the City’s/Library’s email and Internet system is not private. All email messages and Internet sites visited by City employees are automatically stored on the MVLC’s computer back-up systems. Further, employees should be aware that even when a message is deleted, it may exist on a back-up tape. The Haverhill Public Library reserves the right to retrieve, save, monitor and review all messages created, sent or received at any time, with or without advance notice or prior consent. The Haverhill Public Library further reserves its right to retrieve, save, monitor and review all web sites visited by an employee and all information and/or data accessed, created, sent, displayed, stored, downloaded and/or printed through the employee’s access to the Internet, at any time, with or without advance notice or prior consent. Further, employees are reminded that information accessed and/or distributed over the email system and the Internet may be considered a public record pursuant to MGL c. 66.
Any infringing activity by an employee may be the responsibility of the City/Library. Therefore, the Haverhill Public Library may choose to hold the employee liable for their actions. You may not promote personal political beliefs, personal business interests, discrimination, sexual harassment and/or any unlawful activity.
It is the City of Haverhill’s policy to limit Internet access to official business. However, employees may be authorized to access the Internet for occasional and reasonable personal use (with Department Head approval) so long as it does not interfere with work performance and is in strict compliance with the other terms of this policy.
Employees using City of Haverhill or Library accounts are acting as representatives of the City/Library. As such, employees should act accordingly so as not to damage the reputation of the City/Library.
The Library encourages employees to use email for job-related professional development. Participation in distribution lists is expected to be job-related. Any electronic communications, which communicate personal opinions, not formal Library policy, should state this clearly.
Guidelines For Personal Use
The Library permits personal use of staff computers by employees subject to the following understandings:
- Personal use will be on an employee’s personal time (before or after regularly scheduled work time, during breaks or lunch).
- Personal use of computers will not interfere with any work-related activity.
- Personal use will be considerate of coworkers’ time.
- MVLC “mailserv. accounts” are restricted for business use only.
Prohibited Use During Work Time and in the Library Building
Employees shall not place employer’s material (copyrighted software, internal correspondence, etc.) on any publicly accessible Internet computer without prior permission by the Information Technology Department or Library Systems Administrator.
Employees are not allowed to download or install any form of software, screen savers, games or programs, without the knowledge or consent of the Information Technology Department or Library Systems Administrator.
Examples of prohibited use include (but are not limited to):
- Copying of Library provided software for personal use
- Use of personally owned or “bootlegged” software
- File-sharing software (Kazaa, Morpheus, Napster, etc.)
- Downloading MP3’s and/or video clips
- Online gaming
- Online gambling
- Online radio
- Participation in social chat channels and bulletin boards for personal purposes
- The sale or purchase of personal items on the Internet
- Any form of commercial use of the Internet
- Use of the Internet that violates copyright law
- Use of the Internet to harass employees, vendors, patrons, and/or others
- Use of the Internet for political purposes
- Use of aliases while using the Internet
- Sending anonymous messages
- The release of untrue, distorted, or confidential information regarding City or Library business
- Knowingly causing any other person to view content which could render the City/Library liable pursuant to equal opportunity or sex discrimination
It is not acceptable to use City/Library computers for any purpose or in any manner that violates local, state, or federal laws and regulations
The introduction of viruses or malicious tampering with any computer system is expressly prohibited. Any such activity will result in disciplinary action and possible termination of employment.
It is not acceptable for a City employee to access the email or personal data files of another staff member without that person’s permission. Only administrative and network staff have the right to access these files.
United States copyright and patent laws protect the interests of authors and software developers in their products. It is against federal law and city policy to violate the copyrights or patents of others on or through the Internet. Employees may not download or use copyrighted material without obtaining written authorization.
Regular deletion of outdated email is required.
If the Information Technology Department or Library Systems Administrator encounters any problems relating to Internet and/or email usage, the problem will be brought to the employee’s attention. If the problem persists, the Information Technology Department or Library Systems Administrator will notify the Department Head of the violation.
Violations will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. If it is determined that the employee has violated one or more of the prohibited use regulations, appropriate disciplinary action will take place. Such action may result in losing Internet and/or email privileges, reprimand (verbal and/or written), suspension or up to and including termination of employment consistent with the terms of the applicable collective bargaining agreement and or City/Library policies.
Keeping documents that are considered obscene or discriminatory within the computer account for Internet access can also result in disciplinary action.