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Home / About Us / Policies / Public Computers Acceptable Use Policy

Public Computers Acceptable Use Policy

I. Statement of Purpose/Objectives

Access to electronic resources through workstations in Rod Library is provided in support of the educational, research, and informational activities of the University of Northern Iowa community.  Public workstations throughout the library enable researchers to gain expanded access to resources beyond the library’s collections. Persons who use this service are expected to follow the guidelines of this document, and are responsible for utilizing the workstations and resources only for purposes consistent with the missions of the university and the library.

II. User Community

The University of Northern Iowa community consists of the students, faculty, and staff of the university. However, Rod Library also extends its services, resources, and expertise to users outside the immediate university community. Thus, members of the public may also use the public workstations, provided they are using them for educational, research, or informational purposes.

III. Guiding Principles

The principles of academic freedom and privacy that have been applicable to written and spoken communications in the university community apply in full to the electronic communications and information environment. These principles are set forth in the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and, more specifically, in the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights (

As a guide for the ethical use of computer software and intellectual rights, Rod Library also endorses the following statement distributed by EDUCAUSE, a non-profit consortium of colleges and universities committed to the use and management of information technology in higher education:

Respect for intellectual labor and creativity is vital to academic discourse and enterprise.  This principle applies to work of all authors and publishers in all media. It encompasses respect for the right to acknowledgement, right to privacy, and right to determine the form, manner, and terms of publication and distribution.

Because electronic information is volatile and easily reproduced, respect for the work and personal expression of others is especially critical in computer environments. Violations of authorial integrity, including plagiarism, invasion of privacy, unauthorized access, and trade secret and copyright violations, may be grounds for sanctions against members of the academic community.

Use of the library’s computing and networking services is governed by the policies set forth in this document, other relevant Rod Library and university policies, including the UNI Policy on Use of Computer Resources (, the UNI Policy of CopyrightProtected Computer Materials (, and all applicable federal, state, and local laws, including sections in the Iowa Code ( related to computer crime (Chapter 716A). Internet traffic between the University and other locations on the Internet is also subject to the acceptable use policies of the university’s Internet provider, ICN, the Iowa Communications Network.

IV. A. Acceptable Uses

Users should respect the intellectual work and creativity of others as described in the EDUCAUSE Code of Software and Intellectual Rights.  The library licenses electronic resources for the use of the user community. Users should use the data obtained from licensed resources in accordance with the terms of the licenses. Licenses negotiated between the library and vendors may vary from terms published online. Questions about the terms of specific licenses should be directed to the Head of Technical Services, Rod Library.

  • Users should carefully evaluate information obtained through the Internet. The library does not guarantee the timeliness, accuracy, or usefulness of information obtained via the Internet. Users should be considerate of the needs of others and limit use of library public computers to a half-hour time period if others are waiting.
  • Users should demonstrate common courtesy by not disrupting the work of others.
  • Users should be sensitive to the public nature of shared facilities and take care not to display images, sounds, or messages in a way that will negatively affect those who find them objectionable or offensive. Display of Internet content should comply with the university Discrimination and Harassment Policy ( and state and Federal laws.  Members of the UNI community have priority in using library public computers. 
  • Users may be asked to show their UNI identification at times of high use, and users not affiliated with the University may be asked to give up their place to allow use by UNI community members.

IV. B. Unacceptable Uses

  • Users may not violate license agreements, copyrights, or intellectual property rights of the producers of computer software or resources. The university and Rod Library will not condone the infringement of the copyright laws.
  • Users may not break into, tamper with, or otherwise alter computer software and hardware.
  • Users may not copy, steal, or damage software or hardware owned by the university and the library.
  • Users may not introduce viruses or computer programs into library public computers.
  • Users who are conducting research on library resources have priority. Reading or sending electronic mail should be curtailed if others are waiting. Game playing, word processing, or using these workstations for personal profit is not allowed. Electronic mail, word processing, spreadsheet packages, and other Internet applications are provided in ITS Student Computer Centers and departmental computer laboratories on campus.

IV. C. Printing

Printing at Library workstations is funded through the student computer fee. Users may not provide their own paper for use in Library printers. In accordance with ITS policies on printing in the Student Computer Centers (see
• Users are allowed to print only ONE copy of a document. We do not allow printing multiple copies of a document (i.e. resumes or dissertations). Use a copy machine to duplicate copies.

Printing is provided for Academic needs or purposes

Acceptable Examples:

  • Personal Writing (class projects, papers, etc.)
  • Reasonable amounts of Research/Study documents (40 pages or less per document)

Unacceptable Examples:

  • Research/Study documents exceeding 40 pages per document
  • Longer documents should be read online, emailed to patron, or copied to disk where permitted
  • Documents using high amounts of print toner (poorly designed documents such as one
  • Powerpoint slide per page or negative print images)
  • Multiple copies for class handouts
  • Flyers, etc. for Student Organizations

V. Enforcement

Unauthorized or inappropriate use of library computers or licensed electronic resources is prohibited and is grounds for sanctions which can include suspension or loss of computing privileges, disciplinary action, or legal action.  Students are covered by the Student Conduct Code (
Faculty and staff are covered by University Policies and Procedures (

Rev. 2/25/2009

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