San Diego

Accessibility Tools

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 Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Publisher available. Internet Explorer is the default web browser, but Google Chrome is also available.

Internet Access Services and Computer Use

PDF icon Internet Guidelines

The San Diego Public Library provides Internet access during hours the Library is open until 15 minutes before the library closing time. Library patrons are expected to use Internet workstations without library staff assistance. Library patrons should consult basic Internet self-help resources as library staff assistance is limited.

A valid library or Internet card is required to use a computer in any library location. The standard session length for Internet access is one hour, and patrons are granted unlimited sessions depending on computer availability.

Patrons must use their own library card to access the Internet and must have their card in their possession. Cards are non-transferable. The use of another patron's card is not permitted and may result in the suspension of Internet and computer privileges.

A patron may use an available computer without making an advance reservation. However, you may or may not be given a full-length session, if that computer has been reserved. A patron may also reserve a computer for a future time.

Reservations for the same day only may be made in advance, and must be made in person. Reservations are forfeited if a patron is more than 5 minutes late. Unused session time is non-transferable. The Library and its staff are not responsible for any time lost due to technical problems. Library staff reserve the right to cancel or change any reservation. All computer sessions end 15 minutes before closing time. For more details, please see PDF icon PC Reservations Information sheet.

Children and young adult users have priority over adults to computers designated for children and young adults. At their discretion, staff may allow adults temporary access to these computers. However, if a child or young adult user needs to use a computer, the adult's session must end and it may not be possible to reschedule on another computer.

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


The Library utilizes a DNS service and Cisco content filtering to filter Internet access to websites categorized as pornographic. 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:


The Library utilizes a DNS service and Cisco content filtering to filter Internet access to websites categorized as pornographic. Its purpose is to block access to material accessible through the Internet that might be deemed objectionable according to contemporary community standards. The filter is set to block pornography, peer-to-peer file sharing and proxy/anonymizing websites. It cannot be disabled by library staff. 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 objectionable material. Furthermore, staff of the San Diego Public Library System cannot be responsible for supervising minors while they are using public Internet access points within the Library. Parents and other guardians of minor children are encouraged to learn about the many benefits as well as the potential problems that may arise as a result of Internet access, and discuss them with their children.

Rights and Obligations of Patrons

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 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.
  • Patrons are expected to use the Internet workstation without Library staff assistance. Schedules for instruction or assistance, when available, are posted in the Library.
  • Patrons must use their own library card information to sign onto an Internet workstation via the PC Reservation system.
  • Use of another person's library card to sign onto an Internet workstation will result in that card's Internet and borrowing privileges being suspended until the original cardholder presents it, along with photo ID, to library staff for reactivation.
  • Patrons whose accounts have been referred to the City Treasurer for collection do not have Internet access privileges for Library workstations. All outstanding debt must be paid in full before borrowing and Internet access privileges can be restored.
  • Patrons who forget their library card number and PIN may have their account information given to them by library staff on a one-time basis. The date will be noted in the patron's record. Thereafter, the patron is required to obtain a replacement card.
  • Library cards that have been designated as Lost in the Integrated Library Systems (ILS) do not have Internet access privileges.
  • The Library does not provide email accounts.
  • Use of the Internet is free; however, patrons will pay for their printing.
  • Aside from personal data storage devices, patrons may not attach personal hardware or load software onto Library computers.
  • Patrons may download files to workstation desktops or personal data storage devices. Files may additionally be uploaded from workstation desktops or personal storage devices.
  • All files downloaded to Library computers will be automatically deleted at the end of the session.
  • The Library is not responsible for damage to personal storage devices or any data stored on them that may arise from their use with Library computers.
  • Violation of Internet access policies, including viewing of inappropriate sites, may result in suspension of library privileges. All Internet workstations may be monitored by Library staff.


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.

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.

The library discourages the use of personal Wi-Fi hotspots originating from cell phones, "MiFi" wireless routers, Wi-Fi controlled GoPros, Wi-Fi extenders, repeaters, and other similar networking equipment within the library, as they can disrupt the free wireless network.

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 ensuring that proper copyright protection procedures are followed.


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