Using the Library

Computers in libraries

Woman using computer

Using computers in Council-run libraries

The council-run libraries are:

  • Cowes.
  • Freshwater.
  • Lord Louis (Newport).
  • Ryde.
  • Sandown.
  • Ventnor.

If you intend to use the computers in these libraries frequently, it is advisable to register. You need to be a library member to do this, but joining the library is free and quick. You will need ID. Once you have joined the library, you will be asked to sign the 'Acceptable Use' policy, and create a password for your computer use.

Once you have registered, you can log in on any available computer at any time. You do not need to ask staff before doing this. If you want to be sure of securing a computer at a certain time, it is advisable to book a slot in advance. Contact your local library to do this.

If you're a visitor to the island, or if you envisage that you will only be using the computers occasionally, there is no need to register. Simply ask for a temporary login that can be used for just one session. You will still need to sign the Acceptable Use policy, and will need to provide us with your name and address, and show some ID.

Computer sessions normally last for an hour. It is sometimes possible to extend a session if nobody else is waiting. You cannot use the computers for more than 3 hours in a single day. Sometimes sessions will be less than an hour, for example if started shortly before closing time or another user's booking. An on-screen timer will tell you how long you have left.

Using computers in community libraries

The community libraries are:

  • Bembridge.
  • Brighstone.
  • East Cowes.
  • Edward Edwards (Niton).
  • Shanklin.

In the community libraries, ask at the desk about using the computers. You will be asked to write down your name and address, and then you simply sit down at any available computer and get started.


Children can use the computers, with a parent or guardian signing the 'Acceptable Use' policy on their behalf. Children under 8 must be supervised by an adult when using the computers.

Children researching homework can ask library staff for a special "homework club" login, which allows them to use the computers for homework, even if they are not registered users. The practicalities of this vary from library to library, depending on the number of computers available, so please ask in your local library for more details.

Children must log in to library computers using their own login or a homework club login. All internet use is filtered, but children's use is filtered more strictly than adults'. However, parents are reminded that no filtering system is foolproof, and they should supervise their child's internet use if they have any concerns.

In Lord Louis and Ryde libraries, several computers are set aside exclusively for children's use. These can only be used by adults if they are supervising young children, but parents are reminded that children remain their responsibility at all times.

Printing and saving

It is not possible to save anything on the library computers. Before the end of the session, you will need to save anything you want to keep on an external storage device (e.g. memory stick or similar; you will need to provide your own).

Printing is available for 20p a page. If you are a registered computer user in a Council-run library, you can pre-pay for a quantity of printing in advance. Alternatively you can pay for each print job as it comes. Print jobs will only be sent to the printer after payment has been received.