All reservations for Internet computer use are made in person, through the automated PC Reservation system. Users may use only their own library card to reserve computer time. Reservations may be made for the current day or the next open day. Reservations are held by the system for 10 minutes past the reservation time, and then cancelled if unclaimed. Use of the Internet computers is limited to a total of 120 minutes per person, per day system-wide.
At the Main Library, database computers are located one the second floor between the Reference Desk and the Local History/Genealogy area, in the Newspapers and Magazines area, and in the Public Computer Center. These computers may be used to access online reference sources, EPL databases, and Microsoft Office products. No reservation is required to use the database computers.
There are also several computers at the Main Library that allow access to various email accounts; these are available on a first-come, first-served basis, although users should limit their time on the email stations to 30 minutes or less. Express Print stations are available in the Public Computer Center, as well as computers for WorkOne filing.
The person to whom the station is checked out must remain at the station during its use. Access to the Internet stations is available during all open Library hours, but users of a station during the last and closing hour of the day will be logged off the station ten minutes prior to the closing of the Library.
There is a limit of two people per Internet station, except at the Young Adult stations at Main, where only person per station is allowed. Children are permitted to accompany an adult who is using a computer, but must be actively supervised. If children are disruptive, the adult and child/children will be asked to leave.
Library staff may assist users in the use of the Library’s web site, and offer limited basic instruction for accessing other sites from the web site. Staff cannot assist users in searching the Internet. It is assumed that the user has a basic knowledge of computer use, manipulation of the mouse, and searching the Internet. Also offered is limited, very basic instruction on the use of the word processing software. Public computer classes offer more in-depth instruction.
In the Public Computer Center and on the second floor of the Main Library, data will be printed to the copy machines. Copy machines are also located on the first floor of the Main Library near the Circulation Desk, and at all Library branches. Your location determines which machine your copies will be sent to. The cost is $0.15 per page for black and white and $0.75 for color.
Saving to Disk/Downloading
Users of the computer stations may bring in their own floppy disks or flash drives. All information must be saved to a floppy disk, CD, or flash drive. The information cannot be saved on a Library computer’s hard drive. New, formatted disks may be purchased for $0.50. USB flash drives may also be purchased for $5.00. No data may be uploaded from any type of storage device into the system. The price charged for the storage media is based on the cost to the Friends of the Elkhart Public Library, and is subject to change.
Software and other data downloaded from the Internet may contain a virus, which may be harmful to personal computers. Users are forewarned to use virus-checking software on such downloaded data prior to loading in personal equipment. The Elkhart Public Library (EPL) is not responsible for damages to a user’s computer and for any loss of data that may occur from use of the Computer Stations.
EPL does not loan headphones for use at the public computers; however, individuals may bring in their own headphones or purchase headphones at various public desks. The price charged for the headphones is based on the cost to the Friends of the Elkhart Public Library, and is subject to change.
EPL does not provide e-mail accounts. However, many web sites offer free, web-based e-mail. To decide which one is right for you, please visit http://www.emailaddresses.com/email_web.htm to choose one. EPL computer stations may be used to set-up and access this type of account. Library staff are not able to assist with setting up these accounts, or with uploading or downloading of e-mail attachments. EPL does not offer technical support for any free, web-based e-mail accounts. If you experience problems with an account, it must be resolved with the company providing the service.
Use of the Computer Stations by Minors (under age 18)
EPL expects parents and/or guardians to assume responsibility for their children’s use of the Internet and encourages parents to explore the Internet with their children. The Computer Stations in the Children’s Room and Young Adult Department access the Internet through filtering software. However, no filtering software can control access to all materials that an individual may deem inappropriate. Parents should supervise their child’s Internet sessions. EPL will not function in loco parentis.
In the Public Computer Center of the Main Library, access to the Internet is available to minors under the age of 18 only if an adult checks out the terminal and remains with the minor for the duration of use. The Branch locations may change the settings on their terminal(s) to reflect the age of the user.
Chat Rooms and Gaming
Internet Relay Chat and RPG’s are not available to the user via the EPL computer stations.
EPL provides wireless access at all locations. Wireless users assume all responsibility for any potential damage to their equipment and software.