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Computers & Internet Access

The Library has more than 65 computers for public use at our four locations, with high-speed internet access and Microsoft Office programs for word processing, spreadsheets, and other projects. Printing is available for $0.10 per page in black and white. Library staff can help you locate a computer with the specific resources you need.

Sign up for a computer with your Library card (or you may show valid ID to receive a guest pass). We also offer free WiFi (wireless Internet access) at all of our branches if you have your own Internet-ready devices.

When you use a Library computer or the library’s WiFi network, you agree to comply with the library’s Computer Rules (below), Rules of Conduct,  and Acceptable and Safe Use of Electronic Resources Policy.

The Public Computing staff at the Main Library is happy to answer your public computing questions at publiccomp@portland.lib.me.us or (207) 207-871-1700 x708.


Computer Rules

The Portland Public Library’s electronic resources may be used only for purposes which are legal and consistent with the Library’s mission. In order to provide access for as many people as possible and to ensure use of the systems in a manner consistent with the Library’s mission:

  • You must use your Library card or Library-issued guest pass to use a computer. Using a card other than your own for computer access is prohibited.
  • Usage is limited to no more than 60 minutes of computer access per day;
  • Your library account must be current (unexpired, if original card was temporary) and in good standing (less than $10 owed in overdue or replacement fees);
  • One or two person(s) will be allowed at each computer (limits posted);
  • Display of sexually graphic materials on computers screens is strictly prohibited.
  • Comply with the library’s Acceptable and Safe Use of Electronic Resources Policy. Unacceptable uses by patrons of all ages include, but are not limited to:
    • Any illegal activity;
    • Harassment of other Library or computer users or staff;
    • Libeling or slandering others;
    • Unauthorized copying of copyright-protected material;
    • Violations, or attempts to violate, computer system security and/or software license agreements;
    • Unauthorized access to files, data, or passwords of others;
    • Disruption or unauthorized monitoring of electronic communications;
    • Intentional exposure of other individuals (particularly children) to material or images they (or their parents) may find personally unsuitable;
    • Incurring any costs to the Portland Public Library.

NOTE: You are responsible for any use of your library card number, including computer use. If you are aware that someone is using your card number, we urge you to replace it immediately at any of our branches. If you owe more than $10, speak with Lending Services staff about payment options.


Tips for Wireless Internet Access

PPL offers wireless Internet access for wireless-capable laptops and devices at all locations. Printing is not currently available within the wireless network.

To use PPL’s WiFi, you must have:

  • A wireless network interface card and laptop or device with 802.11b protocol or better.
  • The ability to configure your laptop to use the library’s connection. Library staff will not handle your computer equipment.

To get started:

  • Configure your Wireless Network Connection TCP/IP and DNS to automatic (i.e., DHCP).
  • In View Available Wireless Networks pop-up (right-click wireless icon in system tray), click checkbox “Allow me to connect to the selected wireless network, even though it is not secure.”

Please note:

  • Library staff will not handle your computer equipment.
  • The Library’s Acceptable and Safe Use of Electronic Resources Policy applies. Display of sexually graphic materials on computer screens is prohibited.
  • We cannot guarantee that your work is secure. Avoid revealing passwords or personal information.
  • Check your battery! Be considerate of other library users when you plug into an outlet, and do not unplug library equipment.
  • Please limit your use of the Portland WiFi network to 90 minutes a day.

Our network is 802.11b/g compatible. The Library is not responsible for any damage, theft, alterations, interference or loss of any kind to a user’s equipment, software, data files or other personal property brought into or used within the Library. All virus and security protection is the responsibility of the user. You use this network at your own risk.