These rules and policies have been created to facilitate the successful use of our computers by as many patrons as possible.

Printable Computer/Internet Policy


  1. Minuteman Library Card: Patrons must present their own valid Minuteman library card. Using another patron’s library card is not allowed and can lead to the loss of internet privileges. Out-of-state guests may request a temporary library card; this accommodation can be made for a period of one week.
  2. Computers are Provided for Research, Reference, Study, Reading and Browsing: Using library computers for illegal activity is strictly prohibited and will result in the loss of library privileges and possibly criminal prosecution. Consideration of other library users is expected. Computer users will refrain from the display of images in public areas that are not appropriate for public viewing. Staff may intervene upon receiving a complaint or at their own discretion.
  3. Patron Computer Sign-Up: Patrons must sign-up using the PHAROS queuing computer; it will assign a computer randomly. You must use the computer assigned to you. If there is a wait, it will show you your place in the queue. Patrons are responsible for watching the queuing screen to see when a computer is assigned to them. Once a computer has been designated for you, reservations in the queue are automatically removed after an allotted amount of time if the patron fails to use the assigned terminal.
  4. *****Computer Session Time****: Computer users are allowed 120 minutes on public desktop computers per day in total. This time can be used in one session or multiple sessions during the day. Your session may be cut short if you log on during a closing hour.
  5. One Person Per Computer: Except in the Children’s Room, only one person may use a computer during any given time. Groups wishing to use a computer for study purposes may borrow a laptop and/or sign up for a study room.
  6. Printing: Printing is $0.10 a page, $0.25 for color, both desktop and wireless printing. You may only print on paper provided by the library.
  7. USB Drives: Library patrons may save their work on USB Drives. The Waltham Public Library is not responsible for damage, loss of data, or liability that may occur from patron use of the library's computers.
  8. Problems with Computers or Another Patron Should Be Handled By Staff Only: Computer users must not attempt to repair equipment or troubleshoot problems. Do not reboot computers. If there is a problem with another patron please seek assistance from library staff.
  9. Patrons Cannot Install Software on Computers: Library patrons may not alter the setup of the equipment (computers, desks, etc.), and are prohibited from installing additional software or hardware on the computers. Tampering with the hardware or software or the removal is considered vandalism.
  10. Technical Support: Because of the many different computer applications available to users, the library cannot provide technical support.
  11. Please Do Not Turn Off Computers: Users should log off before leaving the PC. The computer will automatically log off when the user's time is up and 5 minutes before the library closes. The computer will alert users a few minutes before their sessions are about to end. The WPL is not responsible for any work that has not been saved or sent. All saved and unsaved files on the computers' hard drives will be automatically deleted after the computer restarts.
  12. No Food or Beverage: Food (food, chewing gum, etc.) and drink (water, soda, coffee, etc...) are not allowed near any computer equipment, nor are they allowed on the floors near them.
  13. Privacy: The Library makes every attempt to protect the privacy of its users. However, the complexity of today's networking software prevents us from making any guarantee of privacy on our computers. Our time management software does record times of login, logout, and barcode. The WPL reserves the right in special cases to use that information to investigate serious breaches of its policies. The WPL and the Minuteman Library Network assume no liability for any damage to user data or loss of user privacy sustained while using our equipment.
  14. Wireless Access: The Waltham Public Library offers free wireless Internet during library operating hours. Library staff cannot provide the wireless card, configure equipment for patrons, nor help with troubleshooting. When using the Internet anywhere in the Library, you are accepting the Library’s Computer Use Policy.
  15. Laptops: The WPL has laptops with wireless access for patrons over the age of 12 to check out for two hours for use throughout the Library. Laptops may not leave the building. WPL Computer/Internet Policy applies to laptops. All saved and unsaved files on the computers' hard drives will be automatically deleted after the computer restarts. The laptops are not to be left unattended. If the laptop is stolen or damaged while checked out, the patron is responsible for its replacement ($500). Laptops not returned 4 hours after they are due will be reported stolen. There is a $10 late fee per hour that it is returned late. Laptops stop circulating one hour before the library closes, and they must be returned 15 minutes prior to closing, to staff at the Front Circulation Desk.
  16. Accessibility: It is a basic tenet of our customer service to make reasonable exceptions to our standard procedures for individuals on a case by case basis. Despite careful thought to design policies and procedures that promote the best possible experiences for our patrons, there are occasions when excellent service requires something different. All staff is empowered to not only make these accommodations, but to suggest them.
  17. Children and the Internet: The Internet PC stations in the Children’s Room have a filter which blocks graphics and text that are explicitly sexual and/or violent. However, filtering software cannot guarantee protection from all inappropriate sites, and it may interfere with access to some sites that parents may want their children to use. Unfiltered Internet access is available in the Reference Room of the Library.

    Game Computers: provide access to the Internet for children eleven and under to play games. Each child must sign in to use the game computers with his/her own library card. If all game computers are in use, the next child must sign in at the desk.

    Research Computers: provide access to the Internet for children eleven and under to do Internet research, type homework, etc. Each child must sign in to use the research computers at the staff desk.

    Parents/guardians of minor children should be aware that the Library is a public building, and Library staff cannot monitor individual Internet use. Supervision of a child’s use of the Library and its resources is the responsibility of the parent, guardian, or caregiver. We encourage you to work with your family to develop rules for the use of the Library and the Internet, and to learn about online safety. One useful source is: www.connectsafely.org.

  18. Violation of WPL Computer/Internet Policy may result in the loss of computer privileges.