Guidelines for Computer Access,
Information Services Department,
Central Library

The Somerville Public Library is pleased to offer free Internet access to the public. 

  • There are currently 23 total computers in the Reference area of the main library that are connected to the Internet.
    • 9 of these computers are sign-up machines with printing.
    • 3 of these Chrombase Machines are Internet use only. First come, First serve.
    • 1 Apple computer, which is also first come, first serve.
    • Two 15-minute machines for express use and printing.
    • 6 Chromebooks, in house use only, 2 hour limit.

 Patrons may print to a large shared printer that serves all the sign-up machines.  Please read the policy and procedures below  and click here for detailed information about Internet use at the library.

Internet Safety

  • For Teens: Click here for a brochure of useful tips for safety when using social media.

Internet Access Rules and Procedures

  • All Internet sign-up for the computers in the main reading room of the Central Library requires a Minuteman Library card. Simply sit down at any numbered computer and enter the library card number on the back of your card (under the bar code) but leave out the spaces...enter it as one continuous number. The initial signup is for 2 hours. The Minuteman computer policy is for a maximum total use of 2 hrs. per day.
  • If a patron only wants to use part of an hour (e.g. 15 or 20 mins., etc.), the balance of the hour will be saved for use later the same day.
  • Patrons must use their own card and can only sign up for themselves.
  • Chromebooks will be checked out to a patron with a library card for a 2 hour limit. After the 2 hour limit, patrons will be charged $5.00 per hour.
  • Only one person at a time may use any single computer.
  • Problems with the machines/network/Internet are often beyond the control of library staff.  If you lose a portion of your time due to such problems, librarians may try give you more time, at their discretion; but this may not always be possible.
  • Printing is done to a central printer shared by all internet terminals, and must be pre-paid in cash at the printer (no credit/debit cards). The charge is 15 cents per page for black and white or 30 cents per page for color. There are no free pages.  Pages not picked up by the time the library closes will be discarded.  You must pay for all of your printouts.
  • Print procedure: For any of the signed-up internet computers:  
    ​​​​​     1. Press print and wait for a minute;
         2.  A blue screen will appear on the screen for you to send your print to the central, shared printer;
         3. Type your name or initials in the first field to identify your print job, and click "Send to print release station" in the lower right hand corner; (do not fill out any other fields - pin number, etc.):
         4 Go to the shared printer; find your print job(s) in the list of print jobs; and note the cost;
         5. Put quarters, dimes, or nickles (no pennies or other coins - they jam the machine) in coin box to cover cost of print (coin box will give change).  There is a dollar bill feeder.  Print jobs cannot exceed $5.00. (Larger jobs must be broken into two or more print jobs at originating internet computer and resent).  Change is also available at Reference Desk or Circulation Desk (1st floor) if necessary;
         6.  Click check box next to print job on screen to select it;
         7. Click "Print" button:
         8. On next screen, wait for greyed out "OK" button to turn black:
         9. Click black "OK" button;
        10. Printer will print your print job; and coin machine will give back any change due to you.
  • The two 15 minute standup computers are express computers designed for short, quick use (check email, print tickets, etc.)  They are strictly limited to 15 mins.  They do not require a library card and are first-come/first-served. The patron waits in line if someone is using them. Printing is done to their own attached printers, and prints are paid for at the Reference Desk

Failure to comply with SPL Internet policies and procedures may result in the loss of your Internet privileges.