Computer & Internet Use

Public Computer Use

Publicly accessible computers in the Houston Public Library are available for a variety of uses, which will be influenced by public need and demand.

The public access computers are available for use by both patrons and non-patrons at no charge.

Upon request, staff will issue a computer in ½ hour increments to a maximum of 2 hours total per day.   Additional time will be granted only if no other patrons are waiting to use a computer terminal.  Two hour allowance may not be granted in consecutive increments.

Patrons damaging the library computers will be charged for the full replacement or repair cost of the equipment.

Patrons may call ahead to reserve a public access computer for a specific time, date and duration.

Internet Use

Houston Public Library provides Internet access free of charge to meet the educational and recreational needs of the community.

The Houston Public Library does not use filtering software on any of its public Internet terminals.  Patrons have sole responsibility for deciding what material they access.

Patron responsibilities:

While using the Library Internet terminals, patrons must comply with the following:

Illegal use:                   Patrons are prohibited from using the Internet for illegal criminal purposes.  Criminal law forbids the display or dissemination of hate, child                  pornography, illicit drugs or obscene material.

Commercial use:        Use of the Internet terminals for commercial activities is prohibited.

Copyright laws:           Material downloaded or printed from the Internet is subject to copyright laws.

Software:                      Downloading software from the Internet is the financial and legal responsibility of the patron.  Patrons are not permitted to install software on the Internet terminals.  Patrons are not permitted to change the desktop or default setting on the public terminals.

Public standards:       Houston Public Library is a public venue and the Internet terminals are on public display.  The library reserves the right to ask individuals to discontinue the display of information and images that may be offensive to the public.

Liability:                        The Houston Public Library is not responsible for damage to any patron’s personal property that may occur during the use of an Internet terminal.  (i.e. disks, USB devices, etc.)

Library staff reserves the right to revoke Internet privileges and/or ban patrons from the library for inappropriate behaviour, language or use of the equipment.

At the library staff’s discretion, public access computer use may be restricted for any reason at any time.

Wireless service is available to persons wishing to use their own portable computer terminals.  The conduct of the patrons accessing wireless services is subject to the same restrictions as those using public access computers.

Printing is permitted and will be charged at the current rate.  (25 cents/page for black & white or 10 cents/page if patron supplies paper; $1.00/page for full colour pages or 50 cents/page if patron supplies paper.)

Suspension of Public Access Computer Privileges

Patrons who have been restricted from using the public access computers due to owing $5.00 or more on their accounts may arrange with the Library Director to pay down their account as follows:

A half hour of computer time will be granted for each $1.00 payment received.  The payment must take place when the computer is being used.  The library will not count extra money paid as a credit toward computer time during subsequent visits.