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February 12, 2016

About the Library

Library Use Policies : Public Use of the Internet Policy

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Library Closed Monday, Feb. 15

All locations of The Seattle Public Library and the book drops at the Central Library will be closed on Presidents Day, Monday, Feb. 15.


Possible service interruption in online Library services Feb. 13 - 14

The Library will be performing maintenance on our network. While we are not expecting service interruptions during this period, there might be brief interruptions in online services. You will be able to search the Bibliocommons catalog, but may not be able to log in, place holds, renew items or use other catalog features. The former Library catalog (Horizon Information Portal) may experience outages as well. SPL Mobile, access to e-books, free music downloads and many databases and applications also may be affected.

Public Use of the Internet Policy


The Seattle Public Library provides access to a broad range of information resources, including those available through the Internet. The Library makes this service available as part of its mission to provide free and open access to information of all types in a wide range of formats for Library users of all ages and backgrounds.


The Internet is a global electronic network of ideas, images and commentary that may enhance resources already available in the Library. However, the Library cannot control the information available over the Internet and is not responsible for its content. Some sources provide information that is inaccurate, incomplete or dated; some sources may be offensive, disturbing, and/or illegal.


To help protect the privacy of users and the interests of other Library patrons, the Library attempts to minimize the unintentional viewing of the Internet to the extent that it is feasible to do so by intentional placement of computers and provision of privacy screens.



The Seattle Public Library upholds the rights of all Library users to read, seek information and speak freely as guaranteed by the First Amendment, regardless of format or technology. These are fundamental rights in a democratic society and are core values of the Library. 



In order to allow all users an opportunity to use the equipment, patrons are asked to comply with signup and time limitations.


All users are asked to respect the privacy of other users and not attempt to censor or comment upon what others are viewing.


The Library's Rules of Conduct and pertinent state, federal and local laws apply to all Library users.


Library computers and Wi-Fi may not be used for any illegal activity including, but not limited to:

  • Damaging or altering computer equipment, systems or software
  • Displaying, printing or sending any material that is illegal, libelous, threatening or harassing
  • Downloading or installing any harmful program defined as, but not limited to, spyware, viruses, Trojans, malware, or any other illegal utility on any computer
  • Violating copyright or trademark laws, software licensing agreements or intellectual property rights


Users engaging in these activities may lose computer privileges and/or be asked to leave the Library. Library staff may summon law enforcement authorities.



The Library affirms the right and responsibility of parents and legal guardians to determine and monitor their own children's use of Library materials and resources. To assist parents in their responsibility for their children's use of the Internet, the Library:

  • Provides specially designed Web pages for children and young adults, with links to age-appropriate Internet sites and to filtered search engines.
  • Provides computers with commercial filtering software for public use in the children's area at each location in The Seattle Public Library system. This filtering software will block many specific sites that may be offensive to some, but may not block out all materials that may be offensive to all users. Parents should inform their children of materials they do not want them to use and may wish to supervise their children's Internet sessions.
  • Considers placement of public computers in each library location to minimize inadvertent viewing of public computer sessions.



DATE ADOPTED: June 27, 2012


Internet Use Policy adopted Jan. 22, 2002