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Special Resources

Internet Access Services

The Library's Mission and the Internet

It is the mission of the San Diego Public Library to respond to the informational needs of San Diego's diverse communities by providing equal access to extensive and relevant resources that meet the educational, cultural, business and recreational interests of the public. In keeping with its mission, the Library provides users with access to the Internet and an office application suite. The vast network of information and resources available on the Internet enables the Library to provide information services beyond the confines of its own collection.

Desktop Applications

Internet workstations have Microsoft Office 2007 Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Publisher available. Google Chrome is the default web browser.


Printing, copying and scanning are available at all library locations with purchase of a copy/print card. Print fees for non-color copies are $0.20 per page.

Internet Access Services

The Central Library and all Branch Libraries provide access to the Internet during hours the library is open. Staff members are available to introduce library users to Internet searching. Library users may also consult basic Internet resources identified by reference staff members, however, patrons are expected to use Internet workstations without library staff assistance. At branch libraries, staff assistance may be very limited.

The San Diego Public Library is in the process of installing PC Reservation software at all library locations. If your local branch has the software installed, please see the PC Reservations Information Sheet (PDF) for details on how you can access the Internet with your library card.

For information about free wireless access at our libraries, please see our Wireless Computing page.

Not all Internet sources provide accurate, complete or current information, and some may contain material of a controversial or mature nature. The San Diego Public Library has installed filters on all its public computers to filter child pornography, adult/sexually-oriented materials and obscenity. The library cannot protect users from information they may find offensive. Library patrons access the Internet at their own discretion and they are responsible for any access points they reach. Parents and guardians of minor children, not the Library or staff, are responsible for their children's use of the Internet through the Library's connection.


On all public terminals, a commercially produced filter is installed to block access to adult/sexually oriented material available through the Internet that might be deemed objectionable. Each library facility shall have a sign informing the public that terminals are filtered (appendix A). In addition, an Internet Disclaimer may be placed on terminals displaying the following:


Internet workstations are equipped with, a commercially produced filter. Its purpose is to block access to material accessible through the Internet that might be deemed objectionable. This is accomplished through integrated Web Content filtering, anti-phishing and DNS. The filter is set to block the category "Adult/Sexually Oriented."

Given the nature of how information and sites become accessible through the Internet, the San Diego Public Library System cannot, and does not guarantee that the filter will block all material deemed objectionable. Furthermore, staff of the San Diego Public Library System cannot be responsible for supervising minors while they are using the Internet workstation. Parents and other guardians of minor children are encouraged to learn about the many benefits and potential problems that may arise as a result of Internet access, and discuss them with their children.

Rights and Obligations of Users

The Library strives to balance the rights of patrons to access various types of information resources with the rights of users to work in a public environment free from disruptive sounds and visuals. There are information resources on the Internet that are inappropriate for viewing in a public setting. Because the Library is a public place shared by people of all ages, library staff reserves the right to end Internet sessions when such material is displayed.

  • Patrons are expected to use the Internet workstation without Library staff assistance. Schedules for instruction or assistance, when available, are posted in the Library. Staff may be available to assist in accessing reference resources on the Internet.
  • The Library does not provide e-mail accounts.
  • Use of the Internet is free; however patrons are expected to pay for their printing.
  • Patrons may temporarily download to the Internet workstation desktop, all data will be lost after their session expires; patrons are encouraged to download to their own USB storage device.
  • Viewing of inappropriate sites may result in suspension of library privileges. All Internet stations may be monitored by staff or docents.
  • Patrons are expected to follow all Library policies and guidelines. Library Internet guidelines and policies are available upon request at each Library facility.
  • Use of the Internet is a privilege that may be revoked if abused.

Prohibited Activities

Illegal activities or any other activities that are intended to interfere with or disrupt network users, services, or equipment are prohibited. The Library reserves the right to adjust or limit functions within a specific software program or equipment setup in order to prevent service disruptions.

Copyright Issues

Materials obtained or copied on this computer network may be subject to copyright laws which govern the making of reproductions of copyrighted works. A work that is protected by copyright may not be copied without permission of the copyright owner unless the proposed use falls within the definition of "Fair Use." Violation of the copyright law may subject violators to an action for damages and/or injunction. The Library is not responsible for insuring that proper copyright protection procedures are followed.

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