Rules and Procedures for Public Internet Computers

Intended Purpose and Managing Availability of Public Access Internet Computers

Internet access is provided as an additional research tool for library patrons. Library staff is authorized to manage Internet computer availability. Users are expected to comply when asked by Library staff to relinquish a computer.

To help maximize the availability and utility of the limited number of Internet computers, please observe the following policies, guidelines, and procedures.


Procedures and Time Limits for Internet Computer Use

To log on to an Internet computer you will need to have your current Alameda Free Library card in hand. Library guests and customers without their Alameda Free Library card will be given one temporary pass per day for 20 minutes of computer time.

Internet computers are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

  • Typically, time slots will be 120 minutes per card per day with no extensions.
  • No more than two people at a single computer.
  • Prints cost 15 cents per page for black & white and 85 cents per page for color; please pick up and pay for your print job at the copier alcove.

Internet computers in the Children's Department are for the use of children under the age of 13, their caregivers, and teachers. Use children will take precedence over other users in the Children’s Department. In branches, staff may reserve their Internet computers for exclusive use by children during periods of the day throughout the week. These times will be posted.

Procedures may be slightly different at the two branch libraries. Please call if you have specific questions and for current information about time limits and reservations.


Responsible and Courteous Use

Internet computers must be used in compliance with the Alameda Free Library's Policy on Public Use of the Internet and Behavior in the Library Policy. All users of the Internet computers in the library are expected to use this resource in a responsible and courteous manner, consistent with these policies.

Internet users are asked not to gather around Internet computers creating a physical impediment or an abnormal noise level affecting other library users.

People of all ages, backgrounds, and sensibilities frequent the library. Be aware that others may inadvertently observe the computer screen. Consider this when accessing potentially offensive information or images. Filtering software on the computers in the children’s areas provides some courtesy safeguards for Internet users and other library occupants. As with other resources of the library, respect the privacy of Internet users.


Assistance with Using the Internet Computers and with Research

Library staff is available to assist Internet users in accessing the Internet and software on library computers, to offer searching suggestions, to demonstrate printer functions, and to answer questions as time permits. Staff cannot provide in-depth individual assistance. The Library offers classes, which teach basic computer and Internet-searching skills. Please ask staff for information about local opportunities for more in-depth instruction on Internet or personal computer use.

Librarians can be of particular assistance for reference searching on the Internet. Internet access expands the resources available to the researcher through the Library. However, the Internet is not always the best or most expedient source for needed information. Please ask a Librarian to help when in doubt about the best route to find the information you are looking for.


Downloading Information from the Internet; Virus Security

To prevent computer viruses, you may not use your own computer software programs or disks on the Library Internet computers. Downloading information from the Internet is permitted, provided this is done on your personal USB memory device at the time of download. Although the Library uses a virus checker on the computers, this will not guarantee protection. Software downloaded from the Internet to your USB device may contain a virus.


Misuse of Computers

Misuse of an Internet computer may result in loss of computer privileges, loss of library privileges, and possible prosecution. Using the computers for expressly prohibited applications, for commercial purposes, or for criminal or illegal purposes constitutes misuse. Misuse includes:

  • tampering with settings, attempting to make unauthorized entry into other networks or systems,
  • invading the privacy of others or sending harassing or threatening messages,
  • failure to pay for printing,
  • mishandling, damaging, or jeopardizing the use of the search station,
  • failure to comply when asked by library staff to relinquish the computer,
  • and any violation of the Alameda Free Library's Internet Use Policy  and Behavior in the Library Policy.

Adopted by the Library Board on October 14, 1998

Revised & Updated by the Library Board on May 9, 2018