Internet Use Policy

The Allen Public Library provides its patrons with Internet access as an important part of its mission to serve the educational, cultural, informational and recreational needs of Allen's diverse community.

Accessibility and Responsibility

To use the public Internet computers, a patron must have an Allen Public Library card, and the account must be in good standing (outstanding fines of less than $10).  Patrons who are ages 5-17 must have parent/guardian permission for Internet use on their (minors') Library accounts.  Patrons may only use their own Library card to access the computers.  Use of another patron's account may result in the account's suspension.

Allen Public Library provides computers with Internet access in the adult, teen and children's areas of the Library, and supports the right and responsibility of its patrons to direct their own and their children's Internet usage.  The Library recognizes that the Internet is open to a diverse population of users and is not subject to any regulation or control of its content.  Some Internet sites may display material that is offensive, disturbing and/or illegal.  Library staff cannot act in the place of parents in supervising children's use of the Internet or take responsibility for the material they may encounter.

Balancing these rights and concerns, Allen Public Library provides filtered access to the Internet on the Children's and Teen'scape computers and offers parents the option of approving unfiltered Internet access for older children or of sitting with the child during Internet sessions.

The Library encourages parents and guardians to work closely with their children in selecting materials consistent with personal and family values, and in learning to evaluate Internet resources for their currency, accuracy and reliability.

Due to the public nature of our computers, the Library cannot guarantee access to all websites or networks.  

  • Children younger than age 5 are not eligible for a Library card, but an accompanying adult 18 or older my use his or her Library card to log in to the Children's computers.  Children under age 9 must be accompanied by an adult caregiver 16 or older at all times, including during their computer sessions.
  • Children ages 5-11 are eligible for their own Library card with which they can access the filtered Children's Internet computers if their parent/legal guardian has given permission in person on the minor's Library card application.  Children under age 9 must be accompanied by an adult caregiver 16 or older at all times, including during their computer sessions.
  • Children ages 11-12 are eligible for their own Library card with which they can access both the filtered Children's and Teen'scape Internet computers if their parent/legal guardian has given permission in person on the minor's Library card application.
  • Teens ages 13-17 may use either the filtered Teen'scape Internet computers or the unfiltered Internet computers in the Adult area without the presence of a parent/legal guardian but only if their parent/legal guardian has given permission in person on the minor's Library card application.
  • Adults age 18 or older may use the unfiltered Internet computers in the Adult area or the filtered children's computers.  Adults are not permitted to use Internet computers in Teen'scape.

Privacy and Confidentiality

The Allen Public Library seeks to protect the First Amendment rights of its patrons and their individual rights to privacy.  However, limited space for computer stations means that images on the screen are visible by others in the area and the Library cannot provide absolute privacy for its online patrons.

Users are also cautioned that the Internet is not a secure environment and the Library cannot take responsibility for protecting users' personal information.  Patrons should never give personal identification information to unknown or unverified sources on the Internet.

Computer users are responsible for logging off at the end of each session to prevent accidental access to transactions, files or communications by unauthorized third parties and are expected to respect the privacy and confidentiality of other computer users.  The Allen Public Library respects the confidentiality of those using its electronic resources and will only release Library records as required by law.

Acceptable Use

The Allen Public Library provided Public Internet PC access and public WiFi as a service to the community.  The use of these resources by Library patrons is intended for but not limited to research, learning, job searches and applications, education and leisure.  The Library computers support standard Internet browsing and MS Office application.  Additional third-party software will not be installed or supported by Library staff.  The Library Internet resources are not to be used to run a personal business.

No user accessing or using computers or telecommunication resources owned and/or operated by the City of Allen can have any expectation of privacy.  The City of Allen reserves the right to monitor, intercept, archive, view or distribute any communications and/or content transmitted over the resource it owns, leases or operated subject to applicable laws.

The Internet access computers at the Allen Public Library may not be used by anyone to access inappropriate or illegal materials including but not limited to materials or an obscene nature or child pornography.  In addition, minors are prohibited from accessing materials considered to be "harmful to minors."  Library Administration reserves the right to determine those materials considered "harmful to minors," based on community standards. (see United States Code, Title 18, or Vernon's Texas Codes Annotated, Penal Code, Chapters 42 and 43.)

Materials obtained or copied from the Internet may be subject to laws protecting those works from unauthorized reproduction.  Unless the proposed use falls within the definition of "Fair Use," a work protected by copyright may not be copied without the permission of the copyright holder.  Internet users are responsible for compliance with all international, national and state laws governing copyrighted materials. (See United States Code, Title 17.)

No employee will permit any third party to connect any device to any Ethernet jack or wireless service without the express permission of the IT Director or designee, unless service is specifically provided for such purpose.  No person shall install or plug in any network device onto the City communication network under any circumstances whatsoever.  Only members of the IT department are permitted to access such equipment.

No person shall install or operate any equipment or service which has the effect of redirecting or proxying any network traffic to or from any other network or disguising the source of any network transmission.

Access to Computers without a Library Card

Adult patrons who do not have their Library card with them may be given their Library card number if they owe less than $10 in fines AND can produce a government-issues photo I.D.  Minors may be given their Library card number ONLY if they have Internet permission of their Library account, owe less than $10 in fines and can produce a photo I.D. or correctly answer identifying questions.

Guest passes

Guest passes are issued to Library patrons who do not qualify for a Library card due to residency or age restrictions. Guest passes are valid for the day they are issued.  There is a limit of one guest pass per patron per day.  The Library reserves the right to refuse access to patrons who do not comply with all Library policies.

  • Children ages 5-11 will be issued a guest pass with parental consent using the parent or legal guardian's government-issues photo I.D.  Children's guest passes are for use only on the filtered Children's Internet computer and are intended for limited-time usage and not continuing access.
  • Children ages 11-12 will be issued a guest pass with parental consent using the parent or legal guardian's government-issued photo I.D.  These guest passes are for use only on the filtered Children's or Teen'scape Internet computer and are intended for limited-time usage and not continuing access.
  • Teens ages 13-17 will be issues a guest pass with parental consent using the parent or legal guardian's government-issues photo I.D.  Teen guest passes are for use only on the filtered Teen'scape Internet computer or the unfiltered Internet computer in the Adult area and are intended for limited-time usage and not continuing access.
  • Adults ages 18 or older will be issued a guest pass using a government-issued photo I.D.  Adult guest passes are for use on the filtered Children's Internet computers or the unfiltered Internet computers in the Adult area and are intended for limited-time usage and not continuing access.  Adults are not permitted to use the Internet computer in Teen'scape.