Computer and Internet Use Policy

The library provides access to the Minuteman Library Network catalog, a collection of electronic databases, and the Internet on public access computers in the library. Many of these services, where copyright allows, are also available from home computers via the Internet.

Rules governing use of these machines in the library are designed to address the following goals: 

  • Equitable access to the services by all users
  • Ready availability of a machine for users coming into the library.
  • Limited provisions for library users to plan their use of machines.
  • Minimal use of library staff time regulating the use of machines.


Therefore these rules apply to use of the library computers:

  • There will be one fifteen-minute limit computer for quick look-ups.
  • Use of all other computers in the reference and children's room is limited to one-hour total computer time per day per patron. 
  • Patrons using the Internet computers must login using their Minuteman Library Network card number.
  • Patrons must be responsive to library staff's requests in regard to enforcement of the rules above.
  • No more than two people may use a computer at one time; this number may be limited further if access to other machines is blocked. For time limit purposes, a patron who is part of a group is considered to be using the computer even if not at the keyboard.
  • Use of the computer by a patron indicates that the patron has agreed to operate within the posted rules.
  • Tampering with software or hardware may result in the suspension of the privilege of using the library's computers. Patrons should not turn machines off and on or reboot the system.


Laptops are available at the circulation desk and can be used in the library for up to 4 hours.

  • A library card is needed to check out the laptop
  • Patrons must be at least 16 years old.
  • Laptops are first come first serve only. No reservations.
  • Laptops are not to be removed from the library.
  • Laptops should be returned to the Circulation Desk at least 15 minutes before the building closes.
  • The Library and the Minuteman Library Network assume no liability for damage to user data or loss of user privacy sustained while using Library equipment.
  • Any damage or malfunction should be reported immediatley.


Concerns about this policy should be addressed to the Library Director.

Policy adopted by Library Trustees 10/12/99; Revised 10/15/02; Revised 6/14/05; Revised 5/02/14.



The Bedford Free Public Library endeavors to develop collections, resources, and services that meet the diverse educational, cultural, informational and recreational needs of Bedford residents. The Library makes information available in a variety of formats  (including print, audiovisual, and electronic materials) and provides access to the information resources of the Internet via the Minuteman Library Network's computer system.

The Internet allows access to ideas, information and commentary from around the globe. It offers a wealth of material which enables the Library to enhance and supplement its existing collection. However, these resources are not selected by the Library's professional staff as traditional library materials are.

The Minuteman Library Network Home Page directs users to specific sites on the World Wide Web which are authoritative, helpful to users, and appropriate to the Library's mission and goals. They are meant to serve as starting points for individual explorations. It is the nature of the Internet to encourage easy movement from one link or Web site to another. Users often move beyond the Minuteman Home Page to other Internet resources. The Library does not monitor and has no control over what information is accessed on the Internet at library computers.

Much of the information on the Internet is authoritative, accurate, and culturally enriching. There is also material that may be considered offensive or disturbing, or that is illegal. Some information is neither accurate nor current. Parents should be aware that some information found on the Internet may not be suitable for children, or may not reflect their personal values. A URL-based software program, designed to help block unintentional access to sites which may be inappropriate for young children, has been installed on the Children's Room computers. It is important to acknowledge that no program can provide total protection. Parental supervision is strongly recommended. As with other materials, parents and guardians, not the Library or its staff, are responsible for the information selected and accessed by children.

The Bedford Library supports the ALA Library Bill of Rights and a supplemental document entitled "Access to Electronic Information, Services, and Networks". The Bedford Library adheres to the Acceptable Use Policy of the Minuteman Library Network's Internet provider, Genuity, which states that it is not acceptable to use the Internet access provided through MLN for illegal purposes or to transmit threatening, obscene, or harassing materials. The Library expects all who use the Internet to comply with all applicable U.S. laws, including current copyright laws. The Library does not retain records of individual patron computer use.

Rules and procedures for using library computers are stated in the Computer Use Policy, which may be found at the Reference and Children's service desks and posted near public computers.


Amended 10/12/99, Confirmed 5/8/01; Amended 2/12/02