Computers with Internet for Public Use
|Computer Type||Total All Branches||Main||Coolidge||Putterham||Library Card Required?||Permitted Use|
|Public, Adult||26||17||9||0||Yes||Full Internet and MS Office; no filtering on most workstations|
|Public, Express||12||8||2||2||No||Full Internet and MS Office; Main Library blocks Game sites on these computers.|
|Public, Reference||8||8||0||0||No||Filtered Internet and MS Office; Email/Chat are blocked to increase availability to researchers.|
|Public, Teen||6||6||0||0||Yes||Filtered Internet and MS Office. Limited to teens aged 13-18 between 2 and 6 on weekdays.|
|Public, Children||11||8||2||1||Yes||Filtered Internet and MS Office. Limited to kids 12 and under.|
|Public, Low Vision||1||1||0||0||Yes||Full Internet and MS Office, plus software for visually impaired (Kurzweil 1000 and Jaws)|
|Subtotal||64||48||13||3||Internet & Office|
|OPAC||14||9||3||2||No||Online Catalog only; no Internet or MS Office|
|Signup Stations||5||4||1||0||Yes||No Internet or MS Office; Pharos Signup time control software|
|Print Stations||4||2||1||1||No||No Internet or MS Office; coin-op laser printer @ 15¢ per page.|
Wireless Internet Access
Wi-Fi and Plug-in access to the Internet from patron owned laptops, PDA's, and other devices are available in all branches. This access shares a T1 (1.5 MB per second) connection with many of our public computers.
Only normal Web-based (http, port 80, and https, port 443) traffic is permitted. You will need to use web mail clients such as Hotmail, GMail and Yahoo! Mail to send email using our connection, although you can use a POP or IMAP mail client such as Outlook and Eudora to retrieve your messages. We have blocked the sending function so that no one can use our open connection to send junk email. Chat, VPN, and other types of Internet connections are not available. Printing to the Library's printers is not available from Wi-Fi devices.
Use of this service is provided to enable "client" communications only. Running of server software, including web servers, e-mail servers, or kazaa-type file servers, is strictly prohibited. All users must adhere to the library's Internet Use Policy or face a loss of privileges and possible prosecution.
RCN generously provides the T-1 level (1.5 MBs) Internet Service free-of-charge. The Town's Information Technology department provided funds, support, advice, and expertise to enable the Library to use this Internet Service.
Plug-In Internet Access
The Main Library has standard Ethernet RJ-45 and electrical jacks available in many areas of the building for you to plug in your own device and get on the Internet. The enabled jacks are labeled "Plug-In". The Internet service is the same as our Wi-Fi. This service is not available in the branches because of the lack of wiring. You can send print jobs from your wireless device while in any of the Brookline libraries. Normal charges apply.
These library-owned computers provide full, unfiltered Internet access and are located in the adult areas of all three branches. Because of their popularity, we require signup with a library card. Use is limited to 30 minute sessions, but there is no limit on the number of sessions and sessions are automatically extended when no one is waiting. In addition to the Internet, these workstations also provide Microsoft Office XP Professional (including Word, Excel, Access, and PowerPoint), Windows XP and MS Office XP tutorials, and seven Magic School Bus programs.
Printing to vended (15 cents per page) black-and-white laser printers is available. You may open your files from or save your files to any of four locations: a 3-1/4" floppy drive, a CD-RW drive (only at the Main Library and Coolidge Corner), your own USB "flash" drive, or a shared public folder on a network server. You must provide your own removable media. Files stored on the shared public folder are accessible to everyone in our buildings, from any computer. There is no privacy, no security, and no backup procedure. We reserve the right to clean out this folder as needed, although staff will never delete documents, spreadsheets, or other obvious user-created files that are less than a week old. However, there have been instances of other patrons deleting other people's files within minutes of their creation, so we strongly recommend that users of our computers bring their own removable media and save only to that. Because floppy disks are unreliable and easily damaged or erased and because saving to CD-RW discs can be cumbersome and difficult, Library IT staff strongly recommend that the public use USB flash drives (aka memory sticks, thumbdrives, jump drives, etc.). The Library will probably begin phasing out floppy drives in the near future.
Sound and multimedia: We do not provide headphones, but you may attach your own pair to a jack on the front of these computers for sound. We have installed some standard plug-ins for multimedia (Flash, Quick Time, Real Player, Windows Media Player, Acrobat Reader, Java), but we make no guarantee that all such media will play well on our computers. We do not encourage the use of our computers for streaming media presentations and large media downloads because of the adverse impact on overall network performance. At some point, we may have to throttle or even block such uses.
These computers are located in the Main Library Reference and Periodicals Rooms and are intended for research and information retrieval. Their Internet access is filtered to prevent access to games, e-mail, chat rooms, bulletin boards and similar web sites, so that they are more likely to be available to customers with specific information needs. We realize that some bulletin boards and the like may have great research value, but to use those resources you will have to sign up for one of our Full Internet computers. Microsoft Office is installed on these computers. Printing and file-saving options are the same as for Full Internet computers.
Although we block most games from running on these computers, we do allow the use of Solitaire and a handful of other games that we use to teach mouse skills in library computer training classes, so that students can practice.
These computers are limited to two-hour sessions.
OPAC (Catalog-Only) Computers
These computers provide access ONLY to our Online Public Access Catalog as well as the specialized reference databases to which we subscribe. Microsoft Office is not installed on these computers, but WordPad and Notepad are available for note-taking and most word processing functions. Printing and file-saving options are the same as for Full Internet computers. These computers are available throughout all of our buildings, including the Main Children's Room.
Teen Room Computers
These computers are identical to Full Internet Computers except that their Internet Access is filtered for adult content. Only teens age 13-18 may use these computers between 2 PM and 6 PM.
Children's Room Computers
These computers are identical to Full Internet Computers except that their Internet Access is filtered for adult content, language, and violence. The desktop and Internet Explorer toolbar have been slightly modified to enable easy access to popular children's web sites, homework helper sites, and children's games. MS Office and printing are available. The Main Children's room has some headphones available by request at the Desk, or you may plug in your own.
Low Vision Computer
We have dedicated one computer at the Main Library for the use of limited-sight and blind patrons. This computer has Full Internet access and Microsoft Office as well as the specialized software packages, JAWS and Kurzweil 1000. JAWS is a screen reader: it reads aloud menus, commands, hyperlinks, and text to help blind people use complicated software packages such as Microsoft Office and Internet Explorer and to navigate web pages. Kurzweil 1000 recognizes and reads text from books, magazines, or newspapers placed on a flatbed scanner. Both Jaws and Kurzweil 1000 make extensive use of keyboard shortcuts and are quite complicated to use. Library staff can get you started using the software but cannot provide extensive training; for training, you should contact the Carroll Center in Newton.
The Main Library's Low Vision Computer is in a private study room and has speakers attached. Since use of the adaptive software is sporadic, we do make this computer available to seeing customers, with the proviso that they agree to surrender the computer immediately if someone with a need for the specialized software comes in. Generally, seeing customers are limited to 15-minute sessions on this computer; customers who need the assistive software can have one- or two-hour sessions.
Scanners: We have no flatbed scanners available for public use. This is one of our most requested services, and we are currently (11/11/10) looking at user-friendly products which will not be a burden for staff to support.
Library computers are Dell and HP computers. All computers have easily accessible USB ports on the front. USB devices, such as cameras and flash drives, can generally be used provided that they do not require drivers or software to be installed, or do not require alterations of the Library's security settings. Library staff cannot help you configure or use these devices.