Computer Use FAQs

Will Harlan | June 25, 2018
Effective July 2nd, all Public Library of Brookline computer stations in the Main Floor lab will switch to one-hour express stations. This means that all computers stations on the Main Floor are accessible without a library card.

Additionally, we now have a collection of 60 Chromebooks across all Brookline libraries. We’re excited to offer patrons more computing options than ever before.

We understand that with any change a number of questions arise. This is a great opportunity to clarify some common questions we hear about computer use at the Public Library of Brookline.

Are children allowed in the computer lab at Brookline Village?

Patrons 11 years old and up may use the lab; the Library defines teens as ages 11-18. Children in this age range who are working quietly and respectfully will not be asked to leave.

What if I want to use the computer for longer than 1 hour?

As of June 11, each Brookline library made Chromebook laptops available for in-house use. Chromebooks may be borrowed for a period of three hours and can be renewed twice. A library card is required for checkout.

What if I can’t find a free computer?

Please ask the reference staff for help with borrowing a Chromebook laptop. If none are available or you would prefer to use a desktop station, you will need to wait until one frees up. We are no longer taking reservations for desktop computers.

How will this impact using the computers and printing?

The computers themselves are not changing in any way. The difference with printing is that no matter where you were sitting you will now use the computer number to retrieve your print job from the release station instead of reentering your barcode. For instance, if you were sitting at Computer #2 in the lab when you sent a job to be printed, you will enter “2” in the box at the release station.

Chromebooks can only offer wireless printing at this time. Anyone can use this service as long as they have an email address. There’s a link to the wireless printing signup page in the Chrome “Quick Links” list, as well as a bookmark to the FAQ page that explains the process. If you need assistance printing, don’t hesitate to ask a librarian.

What if I want to listen to music or watch videos?

That’s fine by us as long as you use headphones. If you don’t have your own, you can purchase a pair from us for $2 or ask to borrow a pair if we have any available. Check with the reference staff.

What if I don’t want to or can’t use a laptop?

If Study Room C is not booked, there is an accessible computer station available for patrons to use at Brookline Village.

We also have mice to lend out to patrons who have difficulty using a trackpad. Also, there are a number of robust accessibility options built into Chromebooks, which may be accessed via the bottom right section of the taskbar. If you need assistance using the Chromebooks accessibility options ask a Reference Librarian.

Is there a daily use limit for computers?

No. We have never had one and will continue to not enforce one at this time.

How will this impact the Girls Who Code program and other upcoming library technology classes for patrons?

Library technology classes will no longer be confined to the computer lab to run their programs. Instead, because they only need computers with access to a web browser, tech classes can use a Chromebooks to set up wherever there is a free space.

Do you have a question you don’t see answered here? Don’t hesitate to send us a message. We’re eager to help address your questions and concerns.