Computer & Internet Use Policy

Computer & Internet Use Policy

The mission of the Mahwah Public Library is to be an essential resource, connecting everyone in the community with ideas, information, technology and each other to further life-long learning opportunities and the cultural and business interests of its residents. In order to fulfill this mission, the Library provides access to computers, software and the Internet for use by patrons.

Computer Use in General

The Library provides computers, Internet access and age-appropriate software to its constituents in the children’s room, teen area and adult area. Patrons agree to abide by the general Code of Conduct and this Computer & Internet Use Policy while using the Library's computers. The Library also offers wireless Internet access to patrons who prefer using their personal Wi-Fi-enabled devices.

The Library uses a reservation system to ensure that computer use is fairly allocated among all patrons. Patrons may use the computers for 60 minutes per day; additional time may be available if no other patrons are waiting. Mahwah residents are requested to have a Mahwah Library card in good standing to use a computer. Non-residents may obtain a one-day guest pass from Library staff.

Patrons may download files to flash drives only. The Library is not responsible for damage to patrons' storage devices, or for any theft or loss of data, damage or liability that may occur due to a computer virus or malicious software contracted from patron use of the Library's computers, equipment, wireless network or Internet access.

Library resources may not be used to conduct or advertise a private business, to perform any illegal activity, to harass or defame others, to gain prohibited access to copyrighted materials, to modify/gain access to computer systems, files, passwords, or data belonging to others, or deliberately propagate computer viruses.

Use of the Library computers is free, however the Library charges for printing. The Library's computer workstations are set up for optimal usage by a single individual. In some cases, such as a parent/guardian with children, it may be important for two or more people to work together at a computer workstation. However, if the activities of a group interfere with the effective use of the Library by others, group members will be asked to correct the behavior, or leave the computer area.

Intellectual Freedom

The Library endorses the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights and the Freedom to Read. It is, however, understood that the Library’s Public Computers are located in public space. Staff reserves the right to request that a patron exit a website if the staff member judges the material to be inappropriate for public viewing.  Display or transmission of sexually explicit graphics or materials that are violent, obscene, pornographic or harmful to minors is strictly prohibited in the Library.


In accordance with New Jersey State law and the Library’s Confidentiality Policy, the Library recognizes the need to protect library users’ right to confidentiality regarding the questions asked, materials borrowed and information obtained through the Library. This extends to the use of electronic resources.

When a computer session is ended, all information about that session is automatically deleted. The Library does not, as part of its regular practice, retrieve or store any information, including websites visited, passwords, credit card numbers, or any other information a user has entered. At the end of the business day, all personally identifiable computer use and reservation records other than what is required for statistical reporting are erased.

Internet Access

The Library offers unfiltered Internet access on adult PCs and filtered internet access on teen PCs. Designated Children’s PCs have restricted internet access, as outlined below.

The Internet, as an information resource, enables the Library to provide information beyond the confines of its own collection. It allows access to ideas, information and commentary from around the globe. As such, while it offers a wealth of excellent information, it also enables access to material that may be controversial, unreliable, misleading, personally offensive, or illegal under U.S. law.

The Mahwah Public Library assumes responsibility only for the information provided on its home page,, which is designed and maintained by Library staff. The Library does not accept responsibility for the content, accuracy or suitability of information gained from other Internet sites. Users are responsible for determining that the information they access is acceptable, reliable and suitable to their needs.

Wireless Access

The Library provides high-speed, wireless, or Wi-Fi,” access for patrons who bring in their own laptop or wireless-enabled device for use in the Library. This service is free and there are no time limits for using the wireless network.

The public wireless network is “open” and unsecured. No special usernames, passwords or other credentials are required to access this network. Individuals wishing to use the network should be familiar with configuring their device to connect to a wireless network. Staff may provide limited assistance, but cannot configure or change settings on a patron’s device.

Wireless users are urged to take appropriate measures, including installing anti-virus software and a personal firewall, to protect their device and confidential information while using the wireless network.Use of the wireless connection is entirely at the risk of the user and the Library disclaims any and all liability for any damage to any patron’s hardware or software configurations.

Use by Minors

The Library affirms the right and responsibility of parents and legal guardians to determine and monitor their own children's use of Library materials and resources. The Library has neither the right nor the responsibility to act in place of a parent or guardian (in loco parentis) and assumes no responsibility for the use of the Internet by minors. Parents are responsible for establishing and enforcing family computer guidelines for their minor children. Children younger than middle school-age must use the Children’s Room.

Policy last reviewed: 13 July 2013

100 Ridge Road, Mahwah, NJ, 07430 201.529.READ