Guidelines for Computer Use (4.401.102)

The Bellingham Public Library has computers that allow users to search the library catalogresearch databases, and the internet, as well as to create documents in a variety of formats.

There is a limit of two individuals at each computer.

To ensure the equitable delivery of all library services, staff is limited in how much time can be given to computer instruction.

Download the “Guidelines for Computer Use” brochure (PDF)

Internet Access

  • Library users may access the internet computers with a library card from either the Bellingham Public Library or Whatcom County Library System. Visitors without a library card can receive access by requesting a guest pass.
  • The library uses Internet Reservation software to enhance self-service and ensure fairness. Patrons can reserve a computer up to a week in advance from the in-house Internet Reservation Station or online. Patrons who are ten minutes late to their reserved computer will forfeit their reservation.
  • Internet access is limited to 90 minutes per person, per day. Patrons who abuse the time limit will be asked to leave the Internet computers immediately.
  • Abuse of the Internet Use Policy and/or Guidelines for Computer Use may result in being excluded from Internet use for up to thirty days. Continued abuse can result in the termination of Internet privileges.

Wireless Internet Access (Wi-Fi)

We are pleased to offer free public wireless access in all library buildings through the City of Bellingham’s wireless network.

  • The wireless network is not secure and use is at your own risk. Virus, security, and privacy protection are the responsibility of the user.
  • The library is not responsible for any damage to systems, data files, or functionality of devices resulting from connecting to the wireless network.
  • Staff may not be able to assist with connecting to the wireless network. Patrons are responsible for configuring their own equipment.
  • Printing is not available from the wireless network.
  • The wireless network cannot be used for illegal purposes; for the distribution of materials using peer-to-peer applications; nor in any other way that violates the library’s Internet Use PolicyRules of Conduct, or other applicable library or City policies. Devices used for such activities may be blocked from the network.

For more information, see our Wireless Internet Access Brochure.

Additional Information

These guidelines and the Internet Use Policy are consistent with the Library’s Rules of Conduct, which have been adopted by the Library’s Board of Trustees and are posted in the library. Failure to use library computers appropriately and responsibly may result in revocation of Internet use privileges, library privileges and/or criminal prosecution. Users may NOT:

1. Attempt to gain access to the Internet using another patron’s library barcode number.
2. Engage in any activity which is disruptive to other library users or staff, such as viewing material inappropriate in a public setting or listening to music and/or video files at a high volume.
3. Use the public computers to gain unauthorized access to the library’s network or computer systems or to any other network or computer system.
4. Consume large amounts of system resources or deliberately crash the library computer system.
5. Make any attempt to damage computer equipment or software.
6. Make any attempt to alter software configurations or install any software.
7. Make any attempt to access the Internet on the catalog or database computers.
8. Violate copyright laws or software licensing agreements.
9. Violate Federal, State or local laws or regulations.