San Francisco Public Library
Español中文

Computer Help & Technology

Computer Help

Computer Classes

SFPL provides a variety of computer classes to aid in the use of Library and Web-based resources, including:

Some of these classes are available in Russian, Spanish, Mandarin, and Cantonese. For specific dates, times and locations each month, please visit SFPL's Public Events Calendar or pick up a paper copy of At The Library at any branch or a listing of Computer Classes at the Main Library.

Logging On and Off Library Computers

Office 2013

PIN Help

Questions and Answers about Library Computers

Staff Assistance

Staff will assist Library users in getting started on the Internet. We offer limited assistance with basic Internet and word processing tasks; however, SFPL cannot guarantee that staff trained in all aspects of Internet or Word Processing will be available to assist users at all times. Staff is not able to offer extensive explanations about the Internet or personal computer use or provide in-depth training. Time permitting, staff will try to answer specific questions about the Internet and offer suggestions for effective searching. Staff is expressly prohibited from recommending any specific commercial site over another or performing commercial transactions for patrons. Librarians may direct Library users to a variety of books on Internet and computer related topics and free SFPL computer classes.

Using Chinese Characters on Library Computers

WiFi Help

Computer Applications/ Software

Desktop Computers

Assistive Technology

Downloading & Saving Documents

Library users may save their work onto any USB-compatible storage device. Documents and software cannot be downloaded or saved onto Library PCs, including the desktop. To download or save files, please bring your own USB device (e.g. jump drive or thumb drive).

The Library prohibits the downloading of copyrighted materials in any form. Please follow all copyright laws.

Email access

SFPL does not provide email accounts nor do we endorse any email provider. Time permitting, staff can show you a sample of free email providers,* and provide basic instruction in signing up for an email account. Additional instruction in the use of email is available through free library classes.

*See the review of email providers at http://email.about.com/od/freeemailreviews/tp/free_email.htm. These sites are unaffiliated with SFPL and the Library does not endorse or recommend any one over another.

Headphones

Internet Access

Printing in the Library

Reserve Computers

Time Limits

Users with San Francisco Public Library cards requesting Internet computers and laptops on the reservation system are allotted a total of two hours per day in any combination. Sessions on PCs and laptops may be two one-hour sessions each day. Users may reserve a computer for their second hour after they have used their first hour. Reservations are highly recommended and can be made up to two days in advance. To apply for a library card, please visit Get a Library Card. Please also note:

Walk-up Use

Due to a limited number of workstations, Library users are encouraged to use the reservation system. However, walk-up use of public computers is available under the following circumstances:

Hardware

Computer types

Copiers

Fax

Headphones

Printers

Scanners

Typewriters

Laptops

Ethernet Ports in the Library

Patrons bringing their own Ethernet cables can connect their laptops to jacks installed at specified tables on floors 3, 4 & 5 in the Main Library. See locations on map

Laptops for Use in the library

Time Limits

Users with a San Francisco Public Library card requesting the Internet computers and laptops on the reservation system are allotted up to a total of two one-hour sessions each day. Users may reserve a computer for their second hour after they have used their first hour. Reservations are highly recommended and can be made up to two days in advance. To apply for a library card, please visit Get a Library Card. Please also note:

Wireless Network

Patrons will find wireless networks at all buildings in the San Francisco Public Library system. For locations of access points in the Main Library, see map.

Mobile Devices and Storage Media

Mobile devices

Storage media

Storage media (e.g. flash drives) should be used on Library computers only for the purposes of saving and retrieving files.

Printing

Rules, Policies & Procedures

Children and Teens

As with other library materials, restricting a child or teen's access to the Internet is the responsibility of the parent or legal guardian. It is recommended that parents or guardians discuss safe Internet practices with their children. For more information, please see SFPL's Internet Use Policy and the SFPL Kids webpage section: Going Online.

Computer Etiquette

Computer Policies

Computer Use Mission Statement

To fulfill its mission of providing free and equal access to information, knowledge, independent learning and the joy of reading to our diverse community, the San Francisco Public Library (SFPL) provides access to the Internet and to personal computers with a variety of software

Number of Persons Per Computer

Librarians may, at their discretion, limit use of computer terminals to one or two patrons as needed to ensure comfort, safety, use, or quiet and peaceful enjoyment of the Library for all Library users and staff. Patrons may be allowed to work collaboratively, if their behavior causes no disruption.

Privacy Policy