Computer, Laptop and WiFi Use Policies

Computer Use Policy

HCPL provides computers for public use for access to the library catalog, a variety of software programs, and the Internet. At this time, the Library does not provide electronic mail accounts to the public. 

  • Users may bring their own USB flash drives to use at computer workstations. 
  • Users may print documents to library printers: the cost is 10¢ per page, 50¢ for color (where available). 
  • There is a maximum limit of 1 hour of computer time per session when others are waiting. 
  • Users may not make any attempt to damage computer equipment or software, alter software configurations, or install software. 
  • Users may not disconnect or render Library computers inoperable by disconnecting electrical connections, network connections, or any accessory plugged into the computer. 
  • Users may not plug personal non-County equipment into the Library’s computer network. 
  • Users may save their files to USB memory sticks, provided no software must be installed on Library computers to enable the USB storage device. 
  • Library workstations may not be used in any activity which is deliberately and maliciously offensive or libelous. 
  • Library workstations may not be used for any illegal or criminal purpose including violation of copyright laws. 

Users should be aware that software or files downloaded from the Internet may contain a virus. The Library is not responsible for damage to a customer's disk or personal computer, or for any loss of data, damage or liability that may occur from customer use of the Library's computers. 

Violations may result in loss of access. Unlawful activities will be dealt with in an appropriate manner. 

Laptop Use Policy

  • A limited number of laptop computers are available for use. 
  • All laptops have wireless networking and may be used anywhere in the building, all Internet access on the WIFI network is filtered. 
  • Users may print documents to library printers from library laptop computers: the cost is 10¢ per page, 50¢ for color (where available).

What’s needed to borrow a laptop for use in the library

  • A valid library card on file with Harris County. (The card must be present and belong to the customer presenting it.)
  • 12 Years of age or older.
  • In good standing, borrowing privileges will be suspended if $25 or more in fines or fees are unpaid.
  • Only one laptop per person may be checked out.

Loan Period

  • The loan period for using laptops in the library is 2 hours.
  • Laptops must be returned 15 minutes before closing.
  • Renewals are allowed if no other customer is waiting for a laptop.
  • Staff will go over the checklist with the user and give the user a receipt upon return.


  • Please return laptops to a staff member at the desk from which they were borrowed.

Fines and Fees

  • The borrower agrees to return the laptop equipment in the same order and condition as when
  • received and if such equipment is damaged or lost while on loan, agrees to reimburse the
  • library for the cost of the laptop.
  • Removal of an HCPL laptop from the lending branch will result in a replacement charge for the laptop. Law enforcement officers will be notified if a laptop is removed from the library.


  • Laptops should not be left unattended. Leaving laptops unattended will result in the loss of laptop checkout privileges.
  • Users are responsible for the laptop while it is checked out. The Library is not responsible for loss while checked out to the user.
  • Do not tamper with the security features of the laptop. Doing so will result in the suspension of borrowing privileges and fines.
  • Personal software may not be loaded onto the laptop. No user files will be retained on the hard disk.

Wireless Access 

Wireless connectivity is available at all branch libraries. Users with a notebook or laptop PC equipped with a wireless network card conforming to the 802.11b/g standard are permitted to bring their own computers for access to the Internet. 

  • Wireless users may receive email through their regular email programs but must use web-based email such as Yahoo or Hotmail in order to send email. 
  • All Internet access on the library WIFI network is filtered.
  • Printing is not available for computers not owned by Harris County Public Library. 
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