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Santa Clara City Library

Use of Electronic Resources

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The Santa Clara City Library offers a variety of electronic resources to link patrons to a world of information and learning. Among these resources are the following:

  • Computer workstations throughout the Library
    • SCCL online catalog
    • Internet access
    • Database subscriptions
    • Software applications (Microsoft Office 2010) 
  • Technology Center (classroom with 16 workstations)
    • Instruction in use of online catalog, database, Internet, and software applications (Microsoft Word® & Excel®)
    • General use by patrons when classes are not scheduled
  • Networked printers
  • "Wired" patron tables and wireless connections to enable patrons to use their own portable computers to access the Internet
  • Enhanced accessibility features for use by patrons with visual or physical impairments
  • Microfilm-fiche readers and reader/printers provide access to the Library's microform collections.

This policy establishes the Library’s expectations regarding the appropriate use of these resources. Patrons are expected to comply with this policy, the Library’s Rules of Public Conduct, and with any other procedures specific to the particular area. Failure to comply with any aspect of these policies may result in the loss of library privileges.


Public Access Computers

  1. A number of the Library’s workstations are dedicated to specific purposes and are to be used for these purposes only:
    • 2nd Floor workstations are intended to be used by adult and young adult patrons for research and reference purposes, searching online catalog & subscription databases, Internet research, document or spreadsheet composition, and job seeking activities. 
    • Priority for the use of workstations located inside the Heritage Pavilion is given to genealogy and local history researchers.
    • Technology Center workstations are for instruction, and for recreational use when not in use for classes (see Policy for Use of Technology Center, below)
    • Workstations in Children’s and Teen’s areas are for use by children and young adults only (see Policy for Internet use by Minors, below.
    • Priority for the use of the Library's enhanced accessibility equipment is given to patrons with special needs.

  2. Workstations not having a dedicated purpose may be used with software applications or to access the Internet in accordance with the guidelines set forth in this policy.

  3. Patrons may not move, unplug, remove, or modify library equipment in any way.

  4. Any attempts to alter configurations or software settings, to download or install programs, or to interfere with or disrupt the network setup or services in any way, are serious violations of this policy and may result in the loss of library privileges, criminal prosecution, or both.

  5. A maximum of two persons may use a workstation at any given time; patrons must respect the privacy rights of others as well as the rights of all library users to work in a quiet place.

  6. Files may be opened from or downloaded/saved to formatted floppy discs in accordance with item #4, and files may be attached to e-mail messages.

  7. Occasionally e-mail programs may not perform according to expectations. Neither the City nor the Library has any control over the operation of e-mail programs; any problems experienced should be explored with the individual e-mail provider.

  8. Permission to use these resources may be revoked at any time for failure to comply with the Library’s policies.

Personal Electronics

Free direct access to the Internet is available via wired tables or wireless connections. Patrons wishing to use their own portable computers in the Library are welcome to do so under the following conditions:

  • Users of library Internet access must comply fully with the Library’s Policy for Use of the Internet in the Library and the Policy for Internet Use by Minors (see below), and with the Rules of Public Conduct
  • All audio functions must be disabled or turned off
  • Personal electronics, including portable computers and cell phones, may not be used in the Quiet Study Pavilion


The Technology Center on the first floor of the Central Park Library is a training room equipped for regularly scheduled free public instruction in the use of the Library’s electronic resources and for professional development and work-related training of Library staff.

When classes are not scheduled, equipment in the Technology Center is available for use on a first come, first served basis to patrons holding current Santa Clara City Library cards. The Technology Center is the appropriate venue for recreational computer use (e.g., chat, e-mail, playing games, etc.).


As a service to patrons—and to complement its collections with electronic resources from worldwide information networks—the Santa Clara City Library provides free access to the Internet. Classes are offered to guide users in the judicious and responsible use of this dynamic resource. To provide fair and equal access to this popular research tool, each registered patron with a current library account may use the Internet for a specified period of time per day, depending upon patron age and location in the Library. Those wishing to use the Internet must log on using their own valid library account information; library cards/account numbers may not be shared. Use of free public access to the Internet at the Santa Clara City Library implies acknowledgement and acceptance of the following:

  1. The Internet provides easy access to many valuable sources of information; users should recognize, however, that information found or exchanged via the Internet might not be accurate, current, complete, or confidential.
  2. Outside of the Santa Clara City Library’s online catalog and web page, the Library has no control over—and cannot be held responsible for—the content available on the Internet.
  3. The Library’s resources are free and accessible to all; it is the parents’ responsibility to monitor the use by their children of all Library resources, including the Internet (see Policy for Internet Use by Minors, below)
  4. Public library workstations should not be considered private or secure, nor can the Library assure the privacy or security of personal information transmitted when accessing other Internet web sites.
  5. Material may be encountered on the Internet that is deemed objectionable or inappropriate by some. Therefore, users should be aware of the fact that they are in a public setting and take care to exercise responsible viewing practices.
  6. Exhibiting harmful matter to minors is a misdemeanor, whether in print or on a computer screen. Please remember that the Library is a public environment. (California Penal Code Section 311.11)
  7. The Santa Clara City Library adheres to the principles expressed in the following documents of the American Library Association (copies may be viewed at the Reference Desks in Children’s Services and on the second floor):
    Library Bill of Rights
    Freedom to Read
    Freedom to View
File sharing, downloading, or broadcasting across the Library's Internet connection is not allowed. The Internet connection is provided for Web browsing only. If your laptop is found to be broadcasting, it will be blocked off our network immediately. Blocks will be lifted at the Library's discretion.

COPYRIGHT NOTICE: Pursuant to federal copyright laws, any user of the Internet who copies, distributes, or displays a copyrighted work publicly without authority of the copyright owner or its agent is liable for copyright infringement. This includes copyrighted material downloaded, saved, or printed using Library computers.


To fulfill its mission of providing library services to all citizens, the Santa Clara City Library provides Internet access in the Children’s area and Teen Central. No more than two people may use a computer workstation at one time. Unless they are assisting a child with the Internet or the Library’s online resources, adults will not be allowed to use the computers in either the Children’s or Teen areas. As with all other library resources, the Santa Clara City Library affirms the responsibility of parents to determine the appropriateness of Internet resources for their children. Parents and their children should be familiar with the Policy for Use of the Internet in the Library (above).

The Children’s area provides computer workstations for the use of children aged 4 through 12, only. Any child aged 9 or younger must be accompanied by an adult when using the Internet. Children may use their own current library card to access the Internet.

Workstations located in Teen Central are limited to use by teens aged 13 through 17, only. Teens may use their own current young adult library card to access the Internet. For research and reference purposes, computer workstations are available on the second floor.
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