Acceptable Computer Use

Computer, Internet, and Wireless Use Policy

Westerly Library and Wilcox Park provides our patrons with free use of computers, free access to the Internet, and free wireless access. By using a public computer at Westerly Library and Wilcox Park, the patron agrees to abide by the following policies and terms, as well as our Rules of Conduct. Violation of these rules may result in the loss of computer access or library privileges. Library staff has full authority to enforce these policies and procedures as well as policies related to general behavior in the library.

Policies for Computer and Internet Access and Use

An Ocean State Libraries card is required for Rhode Island residents to use library computers. Guest passes are available for out-of-state visitors with valid identification.

  • Library cards are not transferable for computer use. The result of using another patron’s library card may be loss of computer access privileges.
  • Violations of any local, state or federal statutes are prohibited.
  • Attempting to bypass software on Public Access Catalog computers to gain full computer access is prohibited and will result of loss of computer access privileges and possible criminal charges.
  • The library makes no guarantees, either expressed or implied, with respect to any technology, equipment, software or other library materials.
  • Patrons use library computers at their own risk.
  • Users are responsible for compliance with all copyright notices and restrictions attached to web content as well as applicable state and federal laws.
  • Library users may bring their own headphones to plug into library computers or purchase earbuds at the Reference or Public Service desks for $2.00. Otherwise, the sound on all computers must be off. 
  • Files can be temporarily saved to public computers, but will be deleted upon reboot.
  • Library users who bring their own devices may connect to the wireless network and plug in their devices to designated outlets. However, they may not use outlets designated for library equipment or in staff-only areas, and they must make sure cords and other peripherals are not in walkways. Personal electronic equipment must be silenced unless headphones are attached. 
  • Computer users agree to take proper care of all equipment that is the property of the library. Users and/or their parent or legal guardian agree to pay replacement cost of any equipment or materials lost or damaged by the user.

Wireless Internet Access

The library provides wireless Internet accessible from all areas of the library. Properly equipped laptop and notebook computers will connect to the network in the same manner they would to other typical wireless networks. The wireless network is unsecured and patrons should use appropriate caution when transmitting personal information over unsecured networks.

Kids and Teen Computers

  • Computers in the Kids areas of the library are for children’s use only. Children in Grade 5 or under may use these computers for any purpose unless they are a parent/legal guardian/caregiver accompanying a child.
  • The Teen space may restrict the use of computers in those areas to people who are under 18 years old at any time when school is not in session (i.e., weekends, holidays, and after 2 p.m. on weekdays during the school year, summer).

Computer Use Information

  • Public computers automatically shut down 15 minutes before closing.
  • Because library computers are a shared resource available to the public, it is important to log out of all personal accounts before ending your computer session.
  • For more information about the confidentiality of computer records see Statement on Confidentiality and Privacy.
  • Supported software applications installed on all public computers include, but are not limited to: Microsoft Office including Word, Excel, Publisher and PowerPoint, and Internet browsers Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, and Google Chrome. Typical plug-ins such as Adobe Flash and Adobe Acrobat Reader are included.
  • The library does not offer email accounts.
  • Monitoring a child’s use and access to the Internet is the responsibility of the parent or guardian. The State of Rhode Island offers guidelines for discussing online safety with children at 
  • Maximum time limits for computer use are 2 hours over the course of the day. Guest cards receive 1 hour. Time limits are subject to change and may be altered at the discretion of library staff. 


  • Library staff has limited availability to assist users who do not have basic computer skills. The library offers one-on-one training sessions and we encourage library users who wish to improve their computer skills to take advantage of these sessions.
  • Library staff is unable to process financial and personal transactions on behalf of library patrons.


  • Printing is available from all public computers for a fee. Black & white printing is 15¢ per page and color printing is 50¢ per page. Refunds will only be issued for printing if the machine produces a blurred, black or otherwise unreadable copy or if the paper leaves the machine torn or wrinkled. Users should always use the Print Preview function before sending a print job to make sure the number of pages is correct, that no blank pages are included, and that the text on the page is complete.

Legal Information

  • Westerly Library and Wilcox Park does not monitor Internet use and cannot be held responsible for its content.
  • Westerly Library and Wilcox Park complies with the federal Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) which requires the use of filtering software on public computers to limit children's access to material that is (a) obscene; (b) child pornography; or (c) harmful to minors. For more information on CIPA please visit 
  • Filtering software may not block all material users might find offensive.
  • Adults, defined by the law as over 17, may choose to use unfiltered computers for bona fide research or other lawful purposes. An authorized library staff member may disable the filtering software if the above criteria are met. 
  • Users may not invade the privacy of others or engage in any activity that is harassing, bullying, defamatory, or threatening. These behaviors are a violation of RI state law §11-52-4.2 (Cyberstalking and Cyber harassment).

Approved by the Memorial and Library Association Board of Trustees April 12, 2016.


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