Computer Use Guidelines

Public Access Computer Use

The library has computers available to patrons for word processing, checking your email, accessing the internet, etc. You must have a valid Daniel Boone Regional Library card in order to log on to these public access computers. Guest cards are available on a limited basis for patrons who live outside the service area. The library’s computers are available on a first-come, first-served basis only; they cannot be booked in advance. The computer workstations are designed for individual use. On occasion, two people may be allowed to use a computer together as long as they are not disruptive. There is no charge for using the computers, but there is a charge for printing; see the “Printing” section below.

Computers may be used by people of any age. Please note that anyone under age 18 must have a library card with a parent’s or guardian’s signature in order to log on to any computer. Although the library does not utilize filtering software, library staff can instruct patrons on how to use a filtered search engine upon request. There are computers designated for children in each library that do not have internet access but, rather, feature a variety of software not found on the rest of the public computers to better meet children’s interests and needs. Preschool and primary school-age children who need help reading instructions or need other assistance to use any of the computers must have an adult present to supervise their use.

Because the library is a public space that is shared by people of all backgrounds and ages, including children, the library requires that you use the internet computers in a responsible manner. This includes respecting the rights of others, not invading the privacy of others, and not engaging in any activity that is harassing as defined in the DBRL Rules for Behavior or that could reasonably be considered a violation of state or federal law. Failure to abide by these standards may result in a verbal warning, a written warning, loss of computer privileges or removal from the building.

The library cannot guarantee confidentiality or safety on the internet. Users should be aware that the library is not responsible for the content available on the internet and assumes no responsibility for the use of information obtained this way.

Staff members are available to troubleshoot some basic problems you might encounter, but they are not available for one-on-one tutoring and cannot give in-depth instruction in the use of the computers, software, or the internet. (The library offers a variety of computer classes for beginners that are free and open to the public.)

Time Limits

You may use the internet computers at least one hour per person per day. Depending on computer availability, your time may be extended for an additional hour or more.

Computers at the Columbia Public Library designated for word processing are also available. You may use these computers for up to two hours a day during the week and up to one hour a day on the weekends.

The internet computers will monitor your time and automatically shut down when your time limit is reached and ten minutes before the library closes. Your time is not counted per computer, but accrues with the use of any and all computer stations. You may not gain additional time by using another person’s card.

We also provide 30-minute computers at each library for those who only need a computer for a short while. If you use one of these computers for 30 minutes, and you still need additional computer time, you MUST move to a regular one-hour computer to use the rest of your daily computer time. You will no longer be able to log onto any 30-minute computer once you have already used a half hour of computer time that day.


The public access computers run Windows XP and are equipped with popular web browsers, Microsoft Internet Explorer, Word, Excel, Access, PowerPoint, and Publisher and quick links to several reference databases and a link to the library catalog. The computers in the Children’s Area of the Columbia library also have Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia and educational games; they do not have access to the internet.

Disk and Drives

You may not store personal files on the hard drives of any of the library’s computers. You must save any work you want to take with you to your own removable USB flash drive before your computer time is up. Most USB flash drives are compatible. You can purchase a USB flash drive for $5.00 at the check-out desk. Because of security and virus concerns, you may not load or use personal software on the library’s computers. This may also mean that certain types of files and programs, including email attachments, may not work or be accessible on our computers. You may use files or music on a CD you bring with you, but library computers cannot be used to record (save) files to CDs or DVDs. Headphones are available for $1.50, and earbuds are available for $1.00.


There is a charge of 10 cents per page for printing on the black and white printer, regardless of whether or not you keep all of the pages. At the Columbia library, double-sided printing is available and charged at a rate of 10 cents per printed side.

Only the 8 1/2 x 11 (letter-sized) white paper provided by the library may be used in the printers. No printing of labels or envelopes is allowed. Please ask for assistance if you are having trouble printing or do not know how many pages will print.  Please be sure to complete all print jobs before your computer time expires, and check to make sure everything has printed properly before you log out or close your document. Payment procedures vary by library location. At the Columbia Public Library, pay for and pick up your black and white printing at the nearest print kiosk, located by the Help Desk on the first floor and the Reference Desk on the second floor. In Ashland, Fulton and Holts Summit, pick up and pay for your printing at the nearest service desk.

Color Printer (Columbia Public Library only)

There is a charge of 50 cents per page for color printing, regardless of whether you keep all of the pages or not. The same paper-use rules apply. Color printing is available only on the second floor and a staff member from the Reference Desk must assist you. (When printing in color, please be aware that the colors on any given monitor may be different from the printed document.)


Anyone using the library’s public access computers, wireless internet (Wi-Fi), hardware, software or documentation does so at his or her own risk. The library does not accept responsibility for injury to or loss of documents. Users are responsible for saving their own work and for asking for assistance if needed.

Costs of repairing or replacing damaged or stolen equipment or software may be passed on to the individual(s) responsible for the damage.

Wireless Internet (Wi-Fi)

All four libraries have building-wide wireless internet access. It is solely the responsibility of the wireless device owner/user to provide updated antivirus protection and anti-malware software, and to configure personal equipment with appropriate security settings to control access from other wireless devices within library facilities and the internet itself, while using the library’s network. Wireless users assume all risks in this regard.


Violating the rules above, or any of the library’s “Rules for Behavior,” and/or abusing other computer users, staff, hardware, or software may result in the loss of computer privileges.