Back to top

Internet and Computer Access

Library Computers

Library computers are available on a first come, first served basis at all nine locations during their service hours, including limited days (Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday) at Monroe Street Library.

Printing costs are $0.10 per page for black & white, and $0.50 per page for color.

Advance reservations may be made by calling your preferred library location during their service hours.

See below for guidelines related to Library Computers & COVID-19 Safety.

Public Internet Stations FAQ

How many computers do you have available for the public to use?

We offer over 100 computers for internet access throughout all our libraries, but the number varies at each library.. 

Do you have time limits for computer use?

Yes. Time limits are 2 hours per person per day at all Madison Public Library locations offering computer access. Some locations may offer time-limit extensions, based on the number of computers available at the moment. You may only use your own card to log in. Inquire with staff if you need access and do not have a library card.

May I reserve a specific computer?

You may reserve a computer by calling our Library Telephone Service, 608-266-6300. You may choose a specific computer, or the first available computer.

What if I'm late for my reservation?

Your reservation will be held for ten minutes. If you do not log in to your computer within 10 minutes after your reservation start time, you may lose your reservation.

May I print from the computers?

Yes. All libraries offer access to a black-and-white laser printer. Printed pages are $.10 per page, even if you bring your own paper.

Do you have color printing?

You can print in color at all Madison Public Library locations. There is a $.50 per page charge, even if you bring your own paper.

How do I save my work?

You may save to or print from a USB flash drive on all public Internet computers. You can also save to an online cloud storage platform such as Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft's OneDrive, Apple's iCloud, and many others. Please note that nothing gets saved permanently to the computer as it erases all documents each time it restarts.

May I check my email?

Yes, as long as you have a web-based email account. The most common free providers are Gmail, Hotmail, and Yahoo! Mail.

Do you offer help or training with specific software?

Our librarians can often provide brief assistance with common programs or basic Internet functions. Some libraries offer one-on-one instruction tailored to your needs. Check out calendar for training opportunities.

What are my rights as computer user?

You have the right to unmonitored use, providing you comply with the library's Guidelines for Use of Computers and Computer Networks Policy and Behavior Policy. For more information about customer privacy, see our information sheet on the USA Patriot Act and Madison Public Library Records.

Wireless Access

Patrons may bring in and use their own devices on the library's wireless network.

Library Computers & COVID-19 Safety

Guidelines for Safe Computer Use

  • Patrons and staff are required to wear a mask according to the current Public Health Madison & Dane County order. A face mask will be available for those who ask for one upon entering. 
     
  • Hand sanitizer is available.
     
  • Food is not allowed at this time.
     
  • Computers may not come with headphones. Patrons are welcome to bring their own, or ask to borrow a pair from library staff.