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IT in Libraries
Your questions answered

FAQs

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Can anyone use the computers?

Yes, and its FREE, all you need is your library card number and PIN. This is really simple to do, just fill in a form and you will be given your library card and PIN for instant access to the computers.

Bedford Borough Libraries offer a 60 minute session free of charge per day and then charge for additional time. 
Find out more about charging in Bedford Borough here.

Central Bedfordshire Libraries offer 120 minutes free access and then charge for additional time.
Find out more about charging in Central Bedfordshire here.

If you do not have a PIN, request a PIN here, or see a member of staff in your local library. If you are not a library member click here to join online.


When are the computers available?

The computers are available for use when the library is open - however they are all automatically switched off 15 minutes before the library closes.


How much will using the computers cost?

Bedford Borough Libraries offer a 60 minute session free of charge per day and then charge for additional time. 
Find out more about charging in Bedford Borough here.

Central Bedfordshire Libraries offer 120 minutes free access and then charge for additional time.
Find out more about charging in Central Bedfordshire here.

If you do not have a PIN, request a PIN here, or see a member of staff in your local library. If you are not a library member click here to join online.


How long can I stay on a computer for?

This varies depending on which library authority you are in.

Central Bedfordshire Libraries users are allowed 2 hours free, you can then book as many additional paid sessions as you require as long as there is sufficient credit in your account and the computer has not been booked by another customer.

In Bedford Borough Libraries users can access the computers for up to 3 hours a day, and as long as there is credit on your account you will not have to log off and log on again after an hour.


Can I book a computer?

There is at least one PC available for online booking in each library, though many offer more than one.  However, there will always be machines available which do not need to be booked.
Follow this link to book a Library PC online.


I’m not a member — can I still use the computers?

No, you need to be a member to use the computers.  However, you don't have to be a full library member to make full use of the computers you can join as an Instant Member.


I’m under 16 - can I use the computers?

Yes, you need to join the library in the normal way, getting the consent of one of your parents, your carer, or your guardian. You will be given a library card and your own PIN and you will be able to access the Office software.  To use the Internet you need your parent or guardian to sign a special form, or section of the membership form. 


What assistive technology do you provide?

You have access to the Microsoft accessibility settings on all the PCs. We also offer large and contrast keyboards and mice in all our libraries. Just ask a member of staff for more information. 


I want email — can I have it?

Yes, you are able to sign up for one of the Internet based email services like MSN, GMail or Yahoo mail.


Can I look at whatever I want on the Internet?

The Web’s a wonderful information and entertainment resource of great value to everyone as long as the machines are treated with care, and you are considerate to other library users.

However, there are sites that are illegal or encourage discrimination against sections of the community — as a responsible organisation the Library Service will block access to these sites.

We have filtering software on our Internet access, but unfortunately we can’t guarantee that our blocking software will block all illegal sites, so you still need to be careful and vigilant.  Please report any sites that you feel should be blocked, or those that have been blocked incorrectly, to a member of staff.


 Is there anything else I can’t do?

There are common sense rules about treating the machines with care, and being considerate to other library users.


Can I bring my own paper and print for free?

No, even if you bring in your own special paper you will still have to pay a fee.


Can I bring my own memory stick in and save for nothing?

Yes, but the computers will automatically check the memory device for viruses. If it detects a virus it cannot remove you will not be allowed to use that memory device.


Can I bring my own software in and load it onto your computer?

No, for security reasons you can only use our software.


Can I bring in my own computer and connect it to your network and printers?

No, for security reasons only authorised equipment can be connected to the Library Network. You are free to use a laptop computer in the library, but you will not be able to connect it to any of our equipment.


Can I connect my personal device to the library computers and download?

It may be possible to connect your personal device, such as e-book reader, smartphone, i-product, to the library computers if you bring the cables, but you may not be able to download.  Success will depend on the requirements of each device and the proprietary software that it uses.  If your device does not work we will not be able to configure the library computers to suit your needs.

Attaching and downloading files using the library computers is done at your own risk.
You may find that logging onto the library WiFi hotspot (if available at the library you are using) enables you to connect to the internet and successfully download updates or e-books.


I’m new to this - will your staff teach me how to use the computers?

They will be able to show you the basics, then they’ll show you some of the computer-based training packages that will help you to teach yourself. You can work through these at your own pace.

If you want further training the staff will be able to give you the contact details of colleges and other local training organisations. The library staff won’t be able to make any recommendations, and these organisations may make a charge for their courses.

We also have collections of books to borrow and for reference only that may provide you with additional help.


To find out more return the Frequently Asked Question page or Contact Us.


Page last updated: 4th March 2016