Computers for Young Adults

Why not install computers in the Young Adult Room? They can get pretty noisy in the Reference Room.

Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts. The current arrangement of the public computers is in part so that the librarians can offer instruction and/or supervision to any patrons using them. Segregating some users would diminish the ability to do that. Also the electricity and Ethernet connections aren’t available in the YA Room, but upgrades of the infrastructure nature are certainly on the wish list at the library!
If distractions in the Reference Room are affecting your ability to use the library peacefully, two things come to mind:
Please let staff know while excessive noise is happening so that it can be addressed while it is occurring. Also, laptops are available to be borrowed within the library and can be taken to the 2nd floor which is designated for individual silent study only.

Deb Fasulo
Assistant Library Director


When groups of kids come in and use the computers as a group and make noise as if it’s an arcade instead of using respect toward the library, it’s impossible to concentrate and write at the computers.

Patrons of all ages can sometimes get a bit rowdy. You can help us keep the peace by letting staff know as soon as you encounter excessive noise in the library. That way we can address it directly at the time that it is occurring.

Another option is to borrow a laptop. That way you can take it to an area of the library that you find more peaceful, such as the 2nd floor.

Deb Fasulo
Assistant Library Director

Computer time

About the computer room:
A situation I’ve encountered twice is this:
When your hour is up and no one is waiting in the queue, you automatically get an extension. When that extension is over, very suddenly you get only 2 minutes to get your work printed and it can be not enough time. The time should be 5 minutes, perhaps. You can lose a lot of work.

I’ve checked into the software that manages public computer use and cannot find a way to change that setting. I can tell you, however, that as long as you send your work to the printer before your 2 minutes is up, the work is safe, even if you haven’t retrieved it from the printing software. Another alternative is to use a flash drive to save your work, so even if you’re not ready to print, at least you’ll have saved your progress and can print when you can have another turn at a computer. Or, you could email yourself the file to save it that way for future editing. Even one more idea might be to borrow a laptop to do your computing since those can be borrowed for 2 hours at a time and might be more predictable for you. I would suggest you consider any extension on a desktop as borrowed time, though, since we can never foresee when a queue will begin.

Thanks for taking the time to write!

Deb Fasulo
Assistant Library Director

Computer Queue

Suggestion: Post computer queuing monitors in additional locations in the library.

Although the queuing software estimates wait times, assignments very often come up sooner than estimated. Allowing patrons to get too far away may mean they miss their time slot. Additional monitors also require additional wiring, since the software cannot run wirelessly. So, for now, 2 monitors are all we can handle. Hopefully there’s a comfy carrel or chair in the Reference area where you can see one of them until your next turn comes up.

Deb Fasulo
Assistant Library Director

Laptop Sounds

Please – Disable speakers on library laptops.


Dear C.H.

I’m sorry you’ve found library laptop speakers to be bothersome. According to library rules, electronic devices in the library are not allowed to be audible to others, so earphones are offered for sale at public service desks. The speakers haven’t been disabled for a couple of reasons.
1.) If the speakers are inactive, so is the jack that provides sound via earphones.
2.) Sometimes there are valid reasons why the speakers need to be functional, such as for computer classes happening in a conference room or staff applications beyond public areas.
If you notice an electronic device being used audibly in the library, please alert a staff member while it is occurring so that it can be addressed directly.

Deb Fasulo
Assistant Library Director

Time limit on public computers

time to use all computers should be extended to more than 4 hours a day, its a public library with public access we should be able to do that till library closes not be limited…

Dear Patron,
Thank-you for your inquiry regarding the quota for using the public computers in the library. While I understand your frustration with the limit of four hours per day, the limit is necessary in order to better serve the large number of people who need to use our computers. While we would love to offer all of our patrons as much time as they needed, the demand for the computers does not allow us to do this. We need to make sure that everyone who needs the computer is able to get one and use it for a reasonable amount of time. We are glad to offer laptops to patrons over 18 years of age who have library cards, owe less than $5.00 in fines, and can produce an ID. You can use these laptops anywhere in our building for up to two hours. These laptops have both Internet and printing capabilities and can be checked out twice a day for a total of four hours a day (in addition to the four hours a day on the desktop computers in the reference area.) If the demand for computer use decreases, we will certainly revisit the daily limit, but at this time, we cannot do that.

Thank-you for your comment.

Laura Bernheim
Head Reference Librarian

Microfilm machines

I have been doing some work with the microfilms in the little research area. After spending a little time figuring out how to use the scanner, and how to save to my personal hard drive, I’m getting some work done. I’m glad the system works. BUT that computer is painfully slow! Why can’t you replace that ancient relic? Also, it would make sense to have more than one microfilm reader, even if the second one didn’t have a scanner.

D. H.

Dear D. H.,

The good news: now that we know our dream of having all the microfilmed newspapers made available online will not be happening any time soon, we are actively shopping for a second reader.

The sad news: the “ancient relic” of a computer at the microfilm scanner actually replaced an even sorrier one that preceded it! Thanks to a grant from the Gates Foundation, we are in the process of upgrading several of our public computers. This will go some way toward balancing the absence of capital funding for computer replacements last fiscal year and this. Meanwhile, our part-time computer specialist works hard to keep 35 public and 30 staff computers running, often using parts from retired PCs to keep other ones functioning. He is aware of the continuing problem at the microfilm reader, and will look for a way to upgrade that computer again.

Thank you very much for taking the time to write.

Kate Tranquada
Library Director

Internet access in the AV Room

Internet access in AV Room
Microsoft Word & printer.

Thanks for the suggestion. You’re correct that the two computers in the AV areas are only for Library Catalog searching and placing requests. Right now, there are 2 reasons why currently there are no Internet or Word-accessible computers in AV. One is that the space isn’t wired for any more computers or printers. The other is that computers and printers require staff time and expertise. The Reference staff is best equipped to help with that and so public computers are located nearest to them.

You are welcome to bring a laptop into AV to work and save any documents to a flash drive. You may reserve time at one of the desktops in Reference in order to print.

There is, however, another printing solution coming soon. There is already a project in the works to allow wireless printing and when that is up and running, you would be able to bring a laptop into AV and print away!

Best Regards,
Deb Fasulo
Assistant Library Director/AV Librarian



The staff is very professional, but need to get rid of some of the teenagers!


I am hoping that this will get to someone who can change some things about the teenagers – not necessarily all of them – but every time I try to study on the computer, the kids are always there just listening to music and talking! It is not social hour; they should be studying! The librarians are trying really hard, but there should be more guidelines, please!

The library is here to serve the informational, recreational and educational needs for patrons of all ages. The staff tries to ensure that no one’s behavior interferes with other patrons’ use of the library. Some days this is more of a challenge than others. One suggestion I might offer to patrons who require quieter computer time is borrow a laptop at the Main Circulation Desk on the first floor! They are available to check out, free, with your valid library card. The 2nd floor of the library is designated for individual, silent study and is a great place to bring a laptop. If there is specific inappropriate behavior happening, with patrons of any age group, which is affecting your ability to use the library, please alert the staff.

Best Regards,
Deb Fasulo
Assistant Library Director

Internet Queueing Station

In the Internet area, it would be good to have another monitor displaying who’s “up” in the queue to use 1-hour computers. Currently, one must get up and down to look at a monitor that is not well-located and is often in use by others. Since it is hard to judge when computes are free, one can easily miss their time, and then wait extra-long times to get on. Or how about having the comptuer make a quiet, non-invasive sound go off when computers open up?

Additionally, the current sign-up station is not accessible to persons with disabilities!

Thank you!

Thank you for the excellent suggestions about one of the most popular areas of the Library. I will work with our computer specialist to see how we can improve the visibility of the waiting list.

We have discussed different options for the queueing station to make it universally accessible and practical in terms of traffic flow, and have not yet come up with a solution that meets both criteria. Although the sign-up station is not currently accessible to everyone, reference staff can sign up users from the reference desk, and they are happy to assist anyone with computer reservations, including those who call ahead by phone.

Kate Tranquada

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