Policy UL-AD07 Use of Public Access Workstations

Main Policy Content


  • Scope
  • Purpose
  • Compliance with University and Libraries Policies and Rules
  • Courtesy and Responsibility
  • Use of Electronic Resources and the Internet by Minors
  • Procedures
  • Cross References


The University Libraries are active participants in the worldwide community of scholars.  The Libraries' mission is to optimize organized access to information in all formats to advance the instructional, research, and public service goals of the University faculty, staff, and students at all University locations, and of the citizens of Pennsylvania.


The University Libraries maintains an environment that provides open access to all information resources.  In support of that interest, the University Libraries attempt to maintain a safe and healthy environment in which library users and staff can be free from harassment, intimidation, and threats to their safety and well being.  The University Libraries provide appropriate safeguards against such behaviors and enforce policies and procedures addressing those behaviors when they occur.

The primary purpose of public computer workstations is to support teaching, learning, and research through access to the Libraries' collections, databases, and to other online information resources.  In order to protect all library users' right of access to all information resources, to ensure the safety of users and staff, and to protect library resources and facilities from damage, the University Libraries may sometimes place restrictions on the time, place, or manner of access to library computer workstations.  The University Libraries make every effort to insure that its policies and procedures governing the use of all library facilities and resources are not in violation of the American Library Association's Library Bill of Rights.


The University Libraries abide by federal laws, the statutes of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, local ordinances, and the University policies that guide behavior at Penn State.  These statutes, laws, and policies also include the regulations and guidelines relating to harassment, respect for copyright and intellectual property, and the Libraries' Code of Conduct regarding appropriate library behavior and appropriate uses of University Libraries property.  For example, physically abusing a computer workstation or altering hardware, software or data configurations is strictly prohibited.  Failure to comply with University regulations and policies may result in a loss of library and computing privileges or other disciplinary action.


The University Libraries are unable to guarantee the privacy and/or the confidentiality of patrons using the Internet.  Nor is it possible to prevent other library patrons from observing online information or images they may find inappropriate.  All patrons using online and Internet resources are expected to show common courtesy and respect for both the privacy and the sensibilities of others.


In pursuit of the University Libraries' mission to provide faculty, staff, students and the community with optimized and organized access to information in all formats, the Libraries have refrained from blocking access to any materials available through its electronic resources and the Internet.  In all cases in which minors are using the University Libraries, including its public workstations and other information resources, parents and other adult care-providers are responsible for overseeing and supervising the minor's use of the University Libraries.  Parents and other adult care-providers should be aware that allowing minors to have unsupervised access to electronic resources and the Internet could result in their access to information or images that parents may find inappropriate for their children.  For the purposes of this policy, all Penn State students are considered adults.


Individuals with questions about this policy or grievances to review should contact the Assistant and/or Associate Deans.


Other Policies in this manual should also be referenced, especially the following:

UL-AD01 Patron Use of Computer Software
UL-AD04 Code of Conduct

Effective Date: June 2001
Date Approved: June 4, 2001 (Dean's Library Council)

Revision History (and effective dates):

  • July 11, 2006 - Revised to reflect campus reorganization
  • July 4, 2001 - New Policy

Last Review Date:  December 2021