Policy covering the use of library-provided personal computers and internet access

Christchurch City Council’s principles for library provision are “Library facilities and services increase leisure and learning opportunities and community participation” (Christchurch City Council Libraries 2025 Facilities Plan, September 2008, revised May 2015)

Personal computers (PCs) are available for use by all Library customers who agree to the conditions of use. Customers can access the internet and undertake a range of activities. PCs are available at all libraries in the network with the exception of the Mobile Library.

The Library has always provided information in variety of formats and access, creation, and modification of information in a digital format is a natural extension.

Two Internet access services are provided by Christchurch City Libraries:

Both services are provided free of charge to library customers.

Christchurch City Libraries offers internet access in alignment with its Content Development Policy “The Library commits to the concepts of intellectual freedom and access to information within the parameters set by statute. The Library will provide information required for customers to participate in the democratic process and will attempt to represent varying points of view on a broad range of subjects so that all members of the community may be informed and make individual judgements.”

The internet is an interactive and dynamic medium that is continuously changing. Christchurch City Libraries uses filtering software to try and eliminate access sites that contravene its content development policy, but recognises that no single organisation has complete control over internet resources. Information on the internet may be inaccurate, illegal or considered controversial by some customers. Christchurch City Libraries is not responsible for the information contained in these sites.

This policy aligns with the UNESCO Public Library Manifesto and the Public Libraries of New Zealand Strategic Framework.


  1. All Internet computers are open for use by any Christchurch City Libraries customer who agrees to comply with the conditions of use.
  2. All sites on the internet will be available unless they conflict with Christchurch City Libraries content policy.
  3. Customers must have an account on the Library public computer booking system (Pharos) to use the computers.
  4. Customers without a library membership can use the computers with a temporary account.
  5. Library staff will assist customers in searching for suitable sites. Staff assistance in these situations follows the terms laid down in the Library reference service policy.
  6. As defined in the Care of children and youth in libraries policy,  parents and caregivers, not librarians, are responsible for supervising their dependent’s activities in the Library, including their use of the internet.
  7. To manage demand and ensure fair access, the Library may apply a variety of time limitations through its computer booking system (Pharos).
  8. Printing is available from all internet computers and is controlled and paid for using the Library public computer booking system (Pharos).
  9. Internet access is provided by Christchurch City Libraries to its customers on a best endeavours basis. The library can not guarantee that access to the internet will be available.
  10. On Library provided personal computers customers can:
    • Access email via a web browser (webmail)
    • Use the following range of Library provided software to create, view, save, modify and print (where relevant):
      • Open Office (Writer word processor, Calc spreadsheet, Impress presentation package, Draw drawing software and Base database)
      • Microsoft Office (Word word processor, Excel spreadsheet, PowerPoint presentation software, Publisher, and Access database)
      • Internet Explorer web browser
      • Firefox web browser
      • iTunes for playing music and video files
      • Quicktime for playing video files
      • Adobe Reader for viewing PDF files
      • Shockwave and Flashplayer for viewing multimedia online
      • J-Zip for compressing and decompressing files
      • Audacity for editing music files
      • Picasa for editing digital images
      • Skype for voice conversations (customers will need to provide their own headset)
      • VideoLan Media Player for viewing digital video
      • Windows media player for playing music and watching video
      • Windows Movie Maker for making digital video
      • Programmers Notepad for creating and editing text files
      • Connect and access USB storage devices
      • Read from, and save to memory cards using the built in card readers available in all PCs
      • Connect and use personal headphones
      • Use the internet to connect to services using port 80 port 443 and port 21
      • Access chat services via browser based methods
      • Access Social Networking sites such as Facebook
      • Access online games using a web browser where they do not conflict with the public internet use policy
      • Retrieve data stored on CD-ROM and DVD-ROM
      • Save data created by any of the installed applications to CD and USB flash drives.
  11. Customers are unable to do the following:
    • Run some chat client software
    • Access system tools
    • Directly access the file system from Internet Explorer or Windows Explorer
    • Save to the C drive
    • Run application software other than that installed on the library computers

Conditions of use

When customers are using the Internet they agree:

  • To maintain computer and network security
  • To avoid viewing indecent or pornographic material
  • To abide by the copyright laws of New Zealand

Any files containing viruses or suspected malware on removable media (e.g. USB flash drives, external hard drives or similar) maybe removed by our security systems automatically. Once removed, these files may not be recoverable. By connecting these devices you agree to this policy. Christchurch City Libraries reserves the right to withdraw internet access to customers ignoring this request.

Other information

Computer consumables are available to purchase from Libraries to assist customers in their use of the Personal Computers. These are personal headphones and USB flash drives. Customers wishing to use any of these items have the choice of purchasing them from the Library or bringing their own items into the Library for their personal use.

The library has a small stock of headphones and microphones available for use by customers who are not able to purchase or provide their own. These items are available for use by members who provide their library card as security. Non-members are required to provide a driver's license, student card, or similar form of ID.

Customers are reminded that any customer data stored on the PCs is automatically removed after the end of each session. Customers wishing to save data to USB or CD should check that they have sufficient time left in their session to complete the operation of saving the data. Writing large files to CDs can take ten minutes or more depending on the size of the file. The Library can not be held responsible for any data lost during the customer’s use of the PCs.

USB flash drives are the recommended, and preferred, media for transferring data to and from Library PCs.

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