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Public access computers usage guidelines

Current rules for the appropriate usage of the public access computers in Hillingdon libraries.

computer user

The service

Each Hillingdon library offers public access computers with Internet access, Microsoft Office, image editing, web page creation and other software packages, as well as at least one PC with document scanning, and one Fully Accessible PC with Supernova Screen Reader and Magnifier software to assist users with vision impairments.

Printing is available at a cost of 20p per black and white A4 page, and 40p per colour A4 page.

The following types of computers are available:

  • Adult public access PCs: available at all libraries.  Sessions need to be pre-booked (either online using the the self-service booking facility or through a member of staff).  Users can book up to two sessions per day, subject to availability.  Each session can last up to two hours for Library members, and up to one hour for non-members. Chargeable printing facilities are available.  Document scanning facilities and Supernova Screen Reader Magnifier software are available on at least one PC at each library, please ask staff for details.
  • Adult express PCs or iMacs: available to library Members aged 12 and over with a valid library card. Users can book up to two sessions per day, subject to availability and to a 15 minute enforced break after the first session.  Each self-service drop-in session can last up to thirty minutes. Chargeable printing facilities are available; on the iMacs the printouts will be sent straight to the printer and each sheet will be chargeable, therefore please ensure to only print what is necessary.
  • Children public access PCs: available at all libraries, reserved for use by children aged 14 and under. Additional Internet Filtering rules are in operation on them to prevent "unsuitable" material being found. Users can book up to two sessions per day, subject to availability. Sessions can be pre-booked (either online using the self-service booking facility or through a member of staff). Chargeable printing facilities are available.
  • Public access catalogue PCs: available at all libraries. Freely available for users to query Hillingdon Libraries Public Access Catalogue and Community Information Database, as well as to place item reservations and renew materials already on loan. No other Internet access or software is available. No printing facilities are available.

Using the computers

In order to use any of the public access PCs, you must book your session using Hillingdon Libraries Computer Booking facilities.

  • Your access to the service is completely at the discretion of Hillingdon Libraries, and it may be blocked, suspended, or terminated without warning at any time for any reason including, but not limited to, if you are considered by library staff to be in violation of Hillingdon Libraries Acceptable Internet Usage Policy, causing disruption of access to other Users or networks, and in violation of applicable laws or regulations. Illegal activities will be reported to the authorities and may result in prosecution.
  • You should ensure to finish your session promptly to facilitate other users.
  • The system will automatically end your session once your time slot has finished, you will be warned 5, 3 and 1 minute prior to your session ending.
  • Usage is subject to availability.
  • Library visitors can use an available PC, but Hillingdon library members with a membership benefit from longer sessions. Children below the age of 16 must have a valid library card in order to use a PC.
  • All users can book an available PC, however Library patrons with a valid library card and password may reserve a computer to use in any Library location via our online booking facilities. Current Hillingdon Library members who do not have a password can easily get one, by simply producing your library card when you next visit the library. 
  • PCs can be booked up to 1 week in advance
  • Please note that users more than 15 minutes late to claim their booked slot will lose their complete booking. However library staff will be able to reinstate the remainder of your booking if another user has not taken the time slot.
  • No guarantee is provided that you will be able to access the Internet service or third party website you require.
  • Computers will automatically shut down 15 minutes before the library closes.
  • It is your responsibility to print your work or to save it to an external storage device timely; failure to do so will result in the loss of your work.

Saving your work

You can temporarily save your files to the My Documents area of the hard drive of each PC, but it is your responsibility to ensure you save your work to an external storage device before the end of your session.

Documents may be permanently deleted at the end of your session and when the PC is shutdown, however it is your responsibility to delete any documents you save to the My Documents area and the Recycle Bin to ensure they are not accessible to subsequent users. 

The London Borough of Hillingdon is not responsible for any loss of material.


Please send your printouts to the default printer; you will be prompted to name your document to facilitate collection.

All printouts from PCs and iMacs are chargeable per page and can be collected from the staff counter.

Please be careful when printing that you are aware of how many pages you will be required to pay. Use the print preview option where available to check the quality and content of pages.


CD-ROMs can be used as long as they do not need any software to be installed on the computers.
The CD drive cannot be used for the playing of games.
Please note that you are prohibited from viewing DVDs on any computers belonging to Hillingdon Libraries.

Internet filtering

Filtering software is in operation on all library computers to prevent access to web sites hosting illegal, offensive or inappropriate material. Internet facilities such as cached content, translation services, Newsgroups and Internet Relay Chat are NOT available from any Hillingdon Library.
Please note that the rapidly changing nature of the Internet means that it is not possible to be completely effective in this.


  • Children's PCs also offer Free Internet access and a wide range of software, for the use of Children Only. There are additional Filtering software rules in operation on them to prevent any "unsuitable" material being found. As with using all library materials, children's access to the Internet elsewhere in the library is the responsibility of the child's parent or guardian.
  • Children under the age of 11 should use the Children's PC only, unless with the child's parent or guardian. Children aged 11-14 can use either the Children's PCs or the Adult PCs. Persons over the age of 15 should use the Adult PCs only, unless supervising a child. Please also be aware of safe surfing (Get Safe Online). You must be aged 12 or over to use an Express PC.
  • Children below the age of 16 must have a valid library card in order to use a PC.

The Library Service cannot monitor your child's use of the Internet.


Library staff will assist where possible but please be aware that staff may be unable to provide in-depth answers to IT queries. 

Internet security and usage warning

The service provided is not inherently secure and by using the Service, you acknowledge and knowingly assume all risks with security regards relating to accessing the Internet over an unsecured network. You also agree to all terms set forth in the Acceptable Internet Usage Policy and Disclaimer.

  1. The Internet is an unregulated, global environment and should be used with care. Information found on the Internet may not be accurate, complete or current. When using the Internet you must carefully assess the information. The Library does not control the information on the Internet and assumes no responsibility for the accuracy or appropriateness of information obtained from the Internet.
  2. Internet traffic on library computers is subject to the restrictions imposed by the library's content filter, however, some of the materials that can be accessed from the Internet may be of a controversial or offensive nature. Internet access is filtered to exclude inappropriate material however users must accept that filtering may not be 100% reliable.
  3. The Library assumes no responsibility for the security or privacy of any on-line transactions you conduct.
  4. The Library cannot be held responsible for any losses or unwanted attention resulting from sending confidential information via the Internet.
  5. The Library Service accepts no responsibility for technical malfunctions or loss of service that may prevent access to the Internet, or cause the loss of data.
  6. Material downloaded from the Internet may contain viruses. Although anti-virus and anti-spyware is installed on all computers, the library service does not accept any responsibility for any subsequent damage or losses caused by such viruses.
  7. The library makes no warranty of any kind, and cannot be held responsible for slow responses, the non-availability of any web site, communication failure, and any software or hardware malfunction.
  8. All transactions including banking, online shopping and payments conducted over the Internet are at the user's own risk. The London Borough of Hillingdon accepts no responsibility.

Hillingdon Libraries are not responsible for the misuse of personal information entered on websites, nor can it guarantee that library computers will access any purchased Internet content.

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Article utilities:  Bookmark and Share Print Print this page Last updated: 11 Apr 2017 at 15:18