Many students might think the college library and Computer Center have the same rules—but, in fact, they do not.
One distinct difference between the two is since the library is a state agency, state law requires that community members can use its resources on a limited basis.
The Computer Center is paid for with student fees. It’s open to students but basically closed to the public.
Pierce students each pay a $3.50 per credit up to 10 credits for a technology fee when they register for classes. Community members could pay $35 to access the Center’s resources for one quarter as well.
Another difference between the two areas focuses on users’behavior.
“If a student complains to us that another student looking at pornography offends them, we will ask them to stop. We warn them that if they continue to do it, the offended student might take action against them for sexual harassment, but this hardly ever happens,” Nelson said. “We do not forbid it; we only take action if another student is offended by it.”
Disruptive behavior also is frowned upon in the Computer Center.
Nelson recalls students who were playing Halo in the Computer Center, which is acceptable; however, they were shouting loudly. They were asked to take their game into an empty classroom, so as not to distract students doing their work.
She also remembers an example in which a student was using a portable hard drive with a cable stretching across the aisle students walked through. He was asked to stop using it because the cord in the aisle was a safety hazard.
Library patrons usually are guaranteed more flexibility as far as website they allowed to visit.
“Librarians are passionate about privacy,” says Christie Flynn, director of library operations at Puyallup campus. “We follow the librarian open view policy, which says, ‘I’m not going to judge what you view.’”
She says as librarians, their philosophy is students should be able to enter the library and view whatever legal content they want without restriction or embarrassment.
Students can check out privacy screens to obscure their monitors from others if they are uncomfortable with others seeing what is on their screens.
When asked about offensive material such as pornography, she said, “Open viewing policy, and patron privacy is core.”
She did, however, say that in the case of illegal activity, action will be taken against the offending student.
“Things like child pornography and conducting illegal business, that’s where we draw a hard line,” she said.
The library also reviews policies and procedures on a regular basis to make sure that we keep in touch with students’ academic needs.
For example, library staff members added Microsoft Office to the library computers because students wanted to use the library to write research papers in addition to doing research.
“We want to be responsive to you, so I wouldn’t want a student to think we are completely inflexible about the rules,” she said.
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