Computer-Based Assistive Technology User Rules

Assistive technology is provided to make San Francisco Public Library resources accessible for people with disabilities. Equipment and software in AT rooms can be used to search in the SFPL catalog and research databases and the Internet. AT also can be used to produce documents, scan text and read it using a screen reader and/or reading programs such as Open Book, etc.

Assistive technology equipment in the AT rooms and study rooms is to be used only by people with disabilities who are unable to use standard library computers.

  • Users must have a valid San Francisco Public Library card.
  • New users must be added to a list of registered users.
  • Support staff, caregivers or personal assistants also must be added to the user list, with entry allowed only to assist registered users with disabilities.
  • In order to be added to the list, potential users and individuals assisting them may call  the Library for the Blind & Print Disabled at 557-4253 or the Access Services Manager at 557-4557 to schedule a user interview.

Registered users may use assistive technology equipment in the AT rooms for up to two hours per day.

  • AT rooms are intended only for active use of the technology provided. Users are expected to log on to the computers within 10 minutes of entering the room and for the duration of their use of the room, and must vacate the room upon logging off. (Individuals who simply need a private study room without AT technology may sign up to use study rooms at the Page Desks on Floors 3, 4, and 5.)
  • A maximum of 2 users and 1 assistant may be at a workstation at the same time.

Misuse of equipment, damage to equipment, or disruption of library service can result in a person being banned from using the Library’s assistive technology equipment.

The Library will not provide support for:

  • designing and / or maintaining Web sites
  • saving large files
  • image scanning and editing

(No image editing programs such as Adobe Photoshop or Corel Photopaint are installed on any public computers.)

Data should be saved only onto a USB flash drive.

  • No data, including voice files, should be saved onto the hard drive. USB flash drives are available for purchase in the Book Bay store, near the Grove Street entrance as well as many discount stores and pharmacies.
  • Library computers have virus detecting software that is updated regularly.
  • Software resets each machine back to their original settings at the end of each user session.
  • The Library is not responsible for any loss of data or damage to files or USB flash drives.

The Library does not accept donations of equipment or software.

  • Suggestions for new assistive technology software or equipment are welcomed. Please fill out an SFPL Suggestions & Comments form and address it to the attention of the Access Services Manager. Forms are available at public service desks and online:
    Your Comments or Questions

Food, beverages (other than water in a closed container) and smoking are not permitted.