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Public Computers

Public Computers and Internet Access

The Austin Public Library provides free internet for all ages. All locations including Recycled Reads and the Austin History Center have free unlimited wireless access. More information is below or on our Computer related FAQs.

Connection to Wireless Internet

The Austin Public Library also offers free wireless Internet access at every location. The wireless network is called Austin Public Library. No account ID or password is required but once your device is connected you must open an internet browser and accept the terms of use to fully get online.

Creating a Public Computer Account

To use an internet computer at the Library you must understand and agree to comply with our Acceptable Use Policy for Public Use Workstations. If you have a Library Card, you can use that to log into a computer. Otherwise talk to a staff member aobut setting up a login you can use at any Library location.

Time Limits and Reservations

Session durations vary from location to location, as do the number of computers; there is no limit to the number of sessions you can use in a day. You may make a reservation for the current day within a Library location, for that location only. Reservations for public computers may not be made online or over the phone.

Software and Hardware

Each workstation has been set up with the software listed below:

  • Windows 10
  • Microsoft Office 2013 or 2016
  • Internet Explorer
  • Google Chrome
  • Firefox
  • RealPlayer
  • Java
  • Adobe Reader
  • Adobe Flash Player
  • Microsoft Silver Light
  • JAWS
  • Magic (text magnifier)

For most software and plug-ins, you can view the version by going to Help in that program’s menu and choosing About. You may not install additional software or change software or hardware configurations, but you can use personal flash drives, CDs and DVDs. For adaptive equipment, see the Assistive Technology section.


Black and white printing is available from all public computers. We do not offer color printing at this time. The cost for printing is $.20 per side payable at the self serve station or the circulation desk.

Mobile printing is available all locations, except Austin History Center and Recycled Reads.


All Library locations have black and white copy machines. Copies are $.20 per side. Most machines accept bills and will provide change.


Scanning to a USB or via email is available at all Library locations using the copy machines. There is no charge for scanning.


Web filter software is installed on most of the workstations. Customers may submit a Request for Reconsideration form to ask that the Library permanently unblock or block a specific site. Forms are available at all Library locations. An unfiltered workstation is available for adults 18 years or older at all Library locations except the Central Library, Hampton at Oak Hill Brnach and St. John Branch. To use an unfiltered workstation, customers must show a photo ID that includes their birth date. For more information, visit Acceptable Use of the Internet and Library Public Use Computers and the Austin Public Library Privacy Policy.

Assistive Technology

We have a variety of assistive technology available to use within the Library. Please note that Library staff is not able to offer training for assistive technology.

All public computers, except at the Central Library, have JAWS and NVDA screen reading software as well as the screen magnifier MAGic. A large-type MAGic keyboard and BIGtrack Trackball (to use instead of a mouse) are available upon request at all locations. At the Central Library, 2 adaptive computers located on the 6th floor (North) have JAWS/NVDA reading software. Headphones and a screen magnifier are available upon request – just ask a reference librarian stationed on that floor near the living room area on the south side. There are also 8 desktop computers located on the 5th floor (West) running JAWS/MAGic reading software, but they do not have MAGic keyboards.

Optical Character Recognition (OCR) text capture and audio readout equipment is available at:

  • Austin History Center: Kurzweil Reading Edge (Please note that as of 06/06/19, this is temporarily unavailable.)

Tabletop magnifying equipment is available at:

  • Yarborough, 2 devices: Telesensory Aladdin Genie Magnifier Reader and Optelec Clearview 300

Laptop and Electronic Device Checkout

Adults may check out laptops at the Ruiz Branch and Carver Branch for use within the building. Laptops check out for four hours.

To use a laptop:

  1. You must have an Austin Public Library Card in good standing.
  2. You must show a current, acceptable photo ID that matches the photo ID associated with your Library Card.
  3. First time users must read and sign Laptop User Agreement form.

At the Milwood Branch, you can check out a laptop, Chromebook, or Macbook from a kiosk. At the Central Library, you can check out a laptop, Chromebook, or AfterSchool Edge from a kiosk. You must have a Library Card in good standing, and accept the onscreen agreement form. Devices from the kiosk are also for use within the building and check out for four hours.

Free Classes

The Library provides a variety of free computer classes and drop-in computer help labs , including regular one-on-one technology assistance at the Willie Mae Kirk Branch and a Computer and Job Search Lab at the Carver Branch. For classes, see the full schedule on the Events Calendar. Click the name of the class to see the class description. Classes do not require advanced registration unless otherwise noted in the description. If you have questions, please call us at 512-974-7400, Option 1.

See the Computer Training Information Guide for more Computer Lab times and locations, and to learn about other agencies that provide classes and tutoring.

Other Free Internet Access Locations