Computer and Internet Use Policy

The mission of the School of Medicine Library is to provide quality library and information services to support the education, research, and service programs of the School of Medicine, and to strive to meet the routine health information needs of the people of South Carolina. In keeping with this mission, the Library offers the use of the Internet to all its patrons. The Internet contains a wealth of valuable information related to health, medicine, research, and many other areas of interest to School of Medicine Library patrons on the local, national, and international level. However, users should be aware that some information may be inaccurate, outdated or offensive. Library users are advised to exercise judgement and discrimination when evaluating the usefulness and reliability of material found on the Internet. The USC School of Medicine Library does not maintain and has no control over the information accessed through the Internet.

Guidelines For Computer/Internet Use

  • All regulations stated in USC's Student Guidelines for Responsible Computing are applicable to the use of library computers.
  • Library computers serve as access points for databases and web sites which assist USC School of Medicine faculty and students in their library research and class assignments. Librarians also use these computers to teach electronic resources to groups and individual patrons. These uses have priority over any other use by patrons.
  • Librarians reserve the right to limit an individual's use of library computers if others are waiting to access library resources. Patrons are limited to the use of one computer at a time.
  • The use of email at library computers should be related to library research and class assignments.
  • It is the user’s responsibility to be aware of any notices concerning copyrighted materials and to respect state and federal copyright laws.
  • Library computers may not be used for: the viewing of pornography, threats of violence, obscenity, or harassing communications.
  • Users MAY NOT display on library computers obscene or child pornography web sites (sites that are in violation of Article 3 of Chapter 15 of Title 16 of the South Carolina Code of Laws). Should you need to access materials in this category for legitimate research, you may contact Library administration for an appropriate arrangement.
  • Viewing of pornographic material may be grounds for sexual harassment charges by other users.
  • Downloading software from the Internet onto library computers, altering settings or files, and tampering with computer security in any way is strictly prohibited.
  • Conducting for-profit business at library computers is not allowed, nor may library computers be used for commercial transactions.
  • Restriction of a child’s access to the Internet is the responsibility of the parent or guardian.
  • During times of high traffic, social networking and gaming is discouraged.

If a person is observed (by Library staff or patrons) to be engaging in any type of activity on Library computers that is not allowed in this policy, USC Police will be called and the person will be asked to leave the Library.  Repeat offenses will result in disciplinary or legal proceedings.

Adopted March 2001 
Revised July 2005 
Revised February 2007
Revised August 2008 
Revised February 2009


Effective August 19, 2010, the following changes will take place regarding computer workstations within the School of Medicine Library:

  • Workstations are available for use by current USC School of Medicine students, faculty, and staff ONLY. USC School of Medicine students, faculty, and staff will be required to use their SOM network ID/password to log-on to these computers.
  • One 30-minute Express Workstation will be available for use by the general public (patrons who are NOT students, faculty, or staff of the School of Medicine).  
  • General public patrons must go to the Circulation desk to sign in.  Library staff will log public patrons onto the designated workstations.
  • General public patrons will be limited to 30 minutes per session.  If after the first 30 minute session no other patrons are waiting, an additional 30 minutes may be granted at the discretion of library staff. Total access time is limited to one hour per day.
  • The general public workstation will be available for Internet use only.  Microsoft Office and other software will not be available.
  • If at any time the Express Workstation is needed by a current USC School of Medicine student, faculty, or staff member, library personnel can ask that the general public patron give up the workstation for the length of time that is needed by the student, faculty or staff member.