All three of our branches have computers that are only available for children under the age of 18. Only a child or teen with a juvenile card can use these computers. This means that if an adult card tries to log onto the computer the user will be blocked. The library has many more computers available for adults than kids, and we will always direct any adult we see trying to use a children’s computer to the adult area. This method allows us to give our younger customers a fair chance when needing a computer and it also helps us keep our children’s area safer for children.
Children’s computers have the same rules as adult computers. This means that each child is given a 2 hour time limit, each child must have their library card with them, each child can print ($1 of printing is free every day), and each child must have a card that is in good standing with the library, meaning that the card does not owe more than $10. Also, parents have the choice to allow their child’s card Internet privileges. If you ever feel that your child is misbehaving on the computers, you can have staff remove your child’s Internet privileges.
With safety in mind, there are filters on the children’s computers that block access to certain sites. Many of our children do not have access to the Internet at home so we feel it’s important that they have a safe place to learn to navigate the Internet. With that being said, library employees grant all children the same privacy that we grant adults so we do not look over their shoulders to see what each kid is doing on the computer. We never stand in place for parents at the library. We also believe that work and play are both important in the world of children, and we do not give children doing homework priority over children playing games.
We are happy to help children at the computer whenever they ask. Most often, they need help printing because the library’s system for printing does not always make sense the first time you do it. We are also available for questions about Internet searches. Microsoft Word is also available on each computer, and we are happy to help if a question comes up about that program. The library pays for our customers to have access to a multitude of programs through our website, such as Brainfuse which offers free online tutoring, and we will happily show those to kids as well.
As stated above, the computers in the children’s area are for use by children only. If you are a parent helping your child who is using the computer, we will not ask you to leave the area. We, of course, support all parents helping their children navigate computers. If you are a parent using your child’s card so that you can use the computer, we will ask you to go to the adult area, even if you have a kid somewhere in the library. The children’s computers are meant to be used by children and children only.
Did you know that there are laptops available for adults to use in the library? These laptops can be checked out and used in any area of the library. If you have a child who is in the children’s area and you need to get some work done, you can easily check out a laptop and bring it into the children’s area with you. The laptops have a time limit of two hours, can send documents to be printed, and cannot leave the building. In order to start using our laptops, you must sign a user agreement so we can switch the status of your library card. If this is something you are interested in, please bring your card and ID to the circulation desk and a library employee will be happy to help you. It’s fast and free.