Public Computers and WiFi
All branches have free public computers for use by our customers. These computers have the following programs and browsers:
- Windows 7
- Internet Explorer 11
- Microsoft Office 2013, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Publisher
- Google Chrome
Sign up with your library card at any branch. You'll need headphones for listening to audio and a USB flash drive for saving or printing personal files—both of which are available for purchase at the Service Desk.
Using Our Public Computers
Keep in mind the following rules and guidelines when using the library's public computers.
All customers using public computer stations must agree to abide by Baltimore County Public Library's Internet Acceptable Use Statement.
Customers using public computer stations at Baltimore County Public Library must have a Baltimore County Public Library card or have a library card from another Maryland public library that is registered with Baltimore County Public Library. Find out how to apply for a Baltimore County Public Library card.
- Fines or fees? Customer's library accounts must be in good standing to use our public computers. Customers with fines or fees greater than $25 must pay 10 percent of those fees in order to use a public computer that day.
- One-time users of the library’s public computers, including non-residents of Maryland, may register as guests. Guests must present a valid current photo ID at any branch's Service Desk for assistance.
- Forgot your card? Visit the Service Desk with a valid current photo ID for assistance. Customers who have lost or misplaced their library cards need to reregister for a card.
- Students ages 8 through 17 are required to obtain a library card in order to sign up for a computer.
- Children age 7 and under must be accompanied by an adult when using computers in any branch.
All computer sessions last 60 minutes and are automatically extended in 30-minute increments if there is no waiting list. If there is a waiting list, a notice will appear on-screen to let you know time is almost up. Your session will end automatically when your time expires. You may have an unlimited number of sessions per day if there is no waiting list.
You can print in color or black and white from public computers or from your wireless devices on our network in the branch for a fee.
Public computers do not have speakers, but customers may use their own headphones. Affordable earbuds are available for sale in our branches.
Sign Up and Get Started
To sign up for a public computer, go to the Computer Sign-Up station at any branch and follow the instructions provided. A valid library card registered in your own name is required.
When a computer is assigned, you have seven minutes to revalidate at the assigned computer with your library card barcode. If you do not revalidate within the time limit, the computer is automatically reassigned to the next person waiting.
All branches offer free WiFi internet access to library users with personal wireless-enabled devices, such as laptop computers, tablets, e-readers and cell phones.
Connecting and Using WiFi
To connect your wireless device, select BCPL-Guest in your device’s WiFi settings.
Once connected, launch an internet browser from your device. You are then directed to the library's Terms and Conditions page.
Read and accept the terms by clicking the Accept button to get internet access.
Use of the Baltimore County Public Library wireless network implies understanding of and agreement by you to be bound by the terms of our Internet Acceptable Use Statement . Please read it before using the service. Failure to comply with the library’s Internet Acceptable Use Statement can lead to suspension of library privileges and/or prosecution.
You are responsible for verifying compatibility of your equipment with the library’s wireless network.
The library does not guarantee that you will have wireless access at any specific library facility at any specific time or with any specific equipment. Service disruptions may occur, and some wireless equipment may not be compatible with the library’s wireless network.
Library staff are not able to provide technical assistance with your wireless device, with your connection to the wireless network or with your connection from that network to the internet.
You are accessing the internet via a public network. We cannot guarantee the privacy of information you transfer over that network or over the internet. Virus protection and the security of information stored on or transmitted by your wireless device is your responsibility.
The library assumes no responsibility for damage, theft or loss of a customer's equipment, software, data or other personal property brought into or used within our facilities.
Use your device's WiFi setup software to configure the following:
- Network Name (SSID): BCPL-Guest
- Network Mode: Infrastructure
- WEP: Disabled
- TCP/IP or Network Settings: DHCP enabled (sometimes called "Obtain IP address automatically")
- DNS: Automatic
- Gateway: Automatic
If your laptop or other WiFi device uses a removable wireless card, make sure it is installed according to the manufacturer's instructions.
You are responsible for understanding how to configure your own wireless device. Because there are many different types of wireless devices requiring many different configuration methods, library staff are not able to assist you with the configuration of your WiFi device.
WiFi printing is available to patrons in branches when connected to WiFi. To use this service while in a branch, install the library's printer software.