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  • Internet Workstations

    The Library is pleased to offer Internet enabled workstations at all five branch locations. A valid Santa Monica Public Library Card or Computer Pass is required to start a session on the Internet workstations.  Our Getting a Card page provides further information on how to register for a card.

  • Workstation Reservations and Sign-On

    Internet Stations are managed by a reservation system to promote equitable use of this popular resource.  There are two methods of gaining access to an Internet Station: Reservation and Walk-Up.


    • Each branch has one or more Reservation Stations located near its Internet Stations. The Reservation Station services only those workstations in its assigned area - i.e. you cannot use a Reservation Station at one location to reserve an Internet Station at another branch or department.
    • The Reservation Station will prompt the patron for a valid Library Card number and PIN.  Upon successful authentication, the system will ask if you wish to be assigned to the next available PC or reserve a station for a later time that day.
    • The Reservation Station will attempt to book a 60 minute session, subject to workstation availability and the amount of Internet time you have already used that day.
    • The PC Reservation software will not allow you to reserve time extending to after the Library closes. Depending on the time, you will either be offered a shorter reservations or denied a reservation altogether.
    • The system will establish a reservation for a specific PC and time.  You will have the option to print a receipt that summarizes the reservation details.
    • When requesting a reservation for the first available station, the system will assign the first station known to be available at the time of booking.   The availability of workstations could change if someone cancels a reservation or completes a session early.  Therefore, it is possible for someone to sign up after you and get a workstation before you.
    • If you have not logged on within the first 5 minutes of your scheduled reservation, the system will cancel your reservation.  The workstation will then become available for other users. You can make another reservation for the same day if a time slot is still available.
    • You may log on to your reserved workstation up to 9 minutes prior to the reservation time if the workstation is not in use.
    • 15 minute express stations cannot be reserved ahead of time. Guest passes are issued for the 15 minute stations.


    • A patron may choose to use an unoccupied workstation on a walk-up basis.
    • If a walk-up patron already has a reservation, s/he will be prompted to relinquish that reservation.
    • The workstation will notify the walk-up patron if a pending reservation would prevent him/her from getting a full 60-minute session. 

    Time Limits

    • Access to Internet Stations with a valid Santa Monica Public Library is limited to a maximum daily allotment of 120 minutes, subject to workstation availability.
    • Individual sessions can be scheduled for up to 60 minutes.  If using a library card, upon completion of a session, the workstation may offer up to three 20-minute extensions (based on workstation availability). 
    • There is no set limit on the number of sessions per day.  Patrons may choose to end a session early and bank their remaining daily allowance for use later in the day.
    • If you have not logged in within the first five minutes of your scheduled reservation, the system will cancel your reservation.  The workstation will then become available for other users.
    • To preserve time remaining on your daily limit, click the End Session button at the end of each use.
    • If a user’s reserved time is over and additional time has not been granted by the reservation system, the system will automatically close all programs on the computer. The computer will provide warnings when a user's session is about to end.
    • Internet Stations automatically shut down 5 minutes before closing and cannot be reset by staff.
    • 15 minute express stations are limited to 15 minutes at a time and limited to 1 use per person per day. Once the session is over the computer will restart and the previous user will be expected to give the next person in line their turn.

    Saving Your Work

    • Users are responsible for intermittently saving their work to a portable storage device or online account.  Options for saving data files include, but are not limited to: storage via e-mail or other Internet service, CD-Rs and USB storage devices. The Library is not responsible for lost data.
    • Data stored on the Library computers will be purged at the end of the session.

  • Frequently Asked Questions

    How much does it cost?
    There is no charge to use an Internet workstation when using your valid Santa Monica Public Library Card. Computer Passes may be purchased for $2.00 each; a Computer Pass allows up to 60 minutes of use on the Internet workstations.

    Is there a time limit?
    A session can be scheduled for up to 60 minutes. There is no set limit on the number of sessions per day.

    Do I need to reserve a station in advance?
    Internet workstations are available on a walk-up basis or via a same day reservation.

    Can I download music and view videos?
    Yes. Information can be downloaded and saved to a USB device, DVD or CD.

    Are headphones available?
    At the Main Library Computer Commons, patrons with a valid Library Card can check out a pair of headphones at the Commons Desk.  Headphones must be returned to the Commons Desk before closing to avoid a replacement fee. The Fairview, Montana, Ocean Park, and Pico branches also have headphones available for use at their Internet workstations.

    How can I learn more about using the Internet at SMPL?
    Further information is outlined in the Library's Internet Use policy.

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