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Computers & Internet

The Milwaukee Public Library (MPL) wishes to provide equitable computer access to citizens. All MPL locations provide desktop and laptop options for patron usage. MPL also provides robust wireless connectivity at all locations.

Library Computer Acceptable Use Policy

Internet Access:
The quality, accuracy and timeliness of information on the Internet varies from site to site, and sites may be controversial or of a mature nature. MPL does not monitor, has no control over, and does not accept responsibility for material in other sources on the Internet. At their own discretion, library users access the Internet and are responsible for the results of their searches.

Responsibilities of Computer Users: MPL requires computer users to respect the rights and sensibilities of all library users. Some Internet sites are inappropriate for viewing in a public setting. Users should refrain from the use of Internet sounds and visuals that may disrupt the ability of other library patrons to use the library and its resources. Library staff reserves the right to end Internet sessions when sexually explicit or pornographic materials are displayed. (See also Illegal and Unacceptable Uses).

Internet Safety: In compliance with requirements of the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA), MPL currently restricts access by minors to inappropriate matter with the use of filtering software.  Adult patrons age 18 years and older may elect to disable the filter for unrestricted Internet access for any lawful purpose that meets MPL guidelines. Parents and guardians are solely responsible for supervising their children's Internet sessions. Library staff cannot monitor parental restrictions.

Copyright: U.S. Copyright law (Title 17, U.S.C.) Prohibits the unauthorized reproduction or distribution of copyrighted materials, except as permitted by principles of fair use. Users may not copy or distribute electronic materials (including electronic mail, text, images, programs or data) without the explicit permission of the copyright holder. Any responsibility for any consequences of copyright infringement lies with the users; the MPL expressly disclaims any liability or responsibility resulting from such use.

Hardware: Users may not download Internet content to library computers or network.  Users are not permitted to store or download any data to the library’s computer network.  Anyone tampering with any library hardware or networked programs will be denied access to library computers in the future, and also may lose their library privileges.

Disclaimer: Users access the library computer hardware or network at their own risk. The Milwaukee Public Library is not responsible for equipment malfunction, loss of data, any damages to the user's data etc. or electronic transactions of any type which are related to the public use of library computer resources.

Illegal and Unacceptable Uses: People may use the library computers only for legal purposes. Examples of unacceptable uses include but are not limited to the following:

  • Display of sexually explicit or pornographic materials;
  • Harassment of other users or violation of their privacy;
  • Libeling, slandering or maliciously offending other users;
  • Violation of copyright laws or program licensing agreements;
  • Attempting to crash, degrade performance or gain unauthorized access to MPL's or to other computer systems and networks;
  • Damaging equipment, software or data belonging to MPL or other users.

Violations may result in the loss of Internet and/or library privileges. Illegal use of the computers also may be subject to prosecution by local, state or federal authorities.

Computer Use Procedures

  • If no computers are available, check with library staff.
  • Computer work stations are designed for use by one person at a time.
  • Computers in the children’s area are for use by children ages 12 and younger.
  • Computers in the young adult area are for use by persons between the ages of 13 and 17.
  • Certain computer terminals may be designated for library programs or specific database use.

Library Laptops

  • Laptop computers are available for in library use at all Milwaukee Public Libraries (with the exception of MPL Express at Silver Spring).
  • Laptop users must have a current laptop agreement on file.
  • Library laptops must not be left unattended.
  • Any library assigned laptop must be used only by the person who checked it out.
  • Patrons who lose or damage a library laptop will be charged up to $1500.00
  • Laptop users must return the laptop to the desk or kiosk at least 30 minutes before closing.

Time Limits: To ensure access for all patrons, the library has installed software on all computers to manage user time limits. The standard session time is two hours per day.  Library staff reserves the right to limit computer sessions.

Hours of use: All computers in the Central Library Betty Brinn Children's Room and Library issued laptops automatically shut down 30 minutes before closing. All other library computers automatically shut down 15 minutes before closing.

Printing: The printing charge is 15 cents per page for black and white copies and 50 cents for color copies.  The Milwaukee Public Library is not responsible for loss of data that may occur when printing.  Patrons are required to pay for printed materials.

Saving Files and Documents: Milwaukee Public Library computers do not allow the user to save documents or personal files to the library network. All documents that are saved must be saved to a personal storage device.   USB key-drives may be purchased at the library check out desk. The Milwaukee Public Library is not responsible for loss of data that may occur when saving documents.

Failure to comply with this policy or with library staff directions may result in restriction or termination of the user's library privileges and may result in prosecution under local, state or federal laws.

Privacy Policy
The Milwaukee Public Library is committed to protecting the privacy of its Web site visitors and users. We believe strongly that users deserve to have their personal privacy protected while using the Internet.

MPL does not share or sell any customer information with any third party at any time. However, the Milwaukee Public Library, as a department of the City of Milwaukee, is a governmental agency and must comply with state and federal guidelines concerning open records and freedom of information.