Internet Computer Policy

The Marin County Free Library Creates Connections For Our Internet Computer Policy Community to Explore, Imagine and Innovate.

Basic computer access is integrated into the primary services of the Marin County Free Library. We are proud to offer staff support and computer access for our basic services:

  • Library Catalog
  • Librarian-selected electronic information
  • Electronic Government resources
  • Informational sites on the World Wide Web for personal research

Internet Policy

The Internet offers a wealth of material, enabling the Library to enhance and supplement its existing collection. It allows access to ideas, information, and commentary from around the world. While much of the information on the Internet is personally, professionally, and culturally enriching, there may be material that is offensive and disturbing to some individuals, or material that may be illegal. Not all the information available via the Internet is accurate, current, complete, or free.

In accordance with the American Library Association Library Bill of Rights, opens a new window, the Marin County Free Library provides unrestricted access to the Internet at every Library site. The Marin County Free Library will revise Internet policies and procedures as experience dictates.

Child Safety on the Internet

The Marin County Free Library supports parents and guardians in their efforts to guide their children's access to print, non-print, and electronic information. Children who use the Internet without supervision may be exposed to inappropriate or disturbing information and images. All MCFL branches have specially designated Public Use Computer Workstations that are recommended for children and youth. Parents have the responsibility to discuss the use of the Internet with their children in relation to family values and boundaries, and to monitor their children's use of the Internet.

Public Use Computer Workstations designated for children are reserved for patrons aged 13 and under. Librarians have selected web sites for these workstations that are of special interest to young people. An adult must accompany pre-reading children.

Patron Responsibility

Library patrons are cautioned that the Library computers are located in public areas, which must be shared by Library users of all ages, backgrounds, and sensibilities. Individuals are asked to consider this and to respect others when accessing information and images. Library patrons may not use a Public Use Computer Workstation to transmit or receive illegal (including harmful or obscene) or disruptive material. The Library will employ measures to prevent the illegal downloading of copyrighted material but does not accept responsibility for an individual’s illegal activity. Patrons are advised that Library Public Use Computers are not private or secure. Any information sent by an Internet terminal may be used by others to track people and their assets. The appropriate use of the Internet is the responsibility of the patron. Parents are responsible for the appropriate use of the Internet by their children. The Library does not filter or apply a technology protection device on public computers in any library location in the MCFL system.

Library staff may not be available to assist patrons on Public Use Computer Workstations. Please consult the reference librarian for information on available computer classes. Library patrons are expected to respect intellectual property rights by making only authorized copies of copyrighted or licensed software or data residing on the Internet.

Violation of the Library's Public Use Computer Policy, abuse of computer equipment, or tampering with computer programs or the operating system may result in the denial of access to Public Computer Workstations in all MCFL branches. The first violation will result in a one-week ban; the second violation will result in a one-month ban; and the third violation will result in a one-year ban. Severe offenses may result in earlier application of longer bans. Appeals may be directed to the Director of County Library Services.


Configuration of each machine is determined by the Library Technology Team. As technology changes constantly, any current configuration is based on the needs of patrons, public service staff, and technical services staff.

Each patron must use his or her own Library card for each session on a Public Computer Workstation. The length of each session will be determined by each branch, in order to allow usage by the greatest number of patrons. Patrons may reserve sessions at workstations available at each branch, or from computers at home, work, or school.

No more than two patrons may use a workstation at one time, except for scheduled group instruction.

There is a charge for each page printed at the Library. The Marin County Free Library is not responsible for unclaimed print-outs or unclaimed storage devices such as flash drives.

Patrons must bring their own storage devices if they wish to save files. Flash drives may be available for sale at some branches. Patrons may not save data to the hard drive. Time used for downloading is considered part of the Public Use Computer session.
WARNING: The Library is not liable for the consequences of Public Use Computer Workstation use in any way, including the transmission of computer viruses, loss of data or e-mail, or any harm resulting from the use of an unsecured server.

Other policies affecting patron use of the Library and Library materials include: (1) Patron Conduct Policy; (2) Collection Development Policy; (3) Library Bill of Rights, opens a new window (and associated interpretive documents); and (4) the Marin County Board of Supervisor's Resolution No. 2003-44 on the USA Patriot Act which was passed on May 6, 2003.

Approved by the Board of Supervisors 10/13/2015

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