Using library computers

Anyone with a valid library card registered with Hennepin County Library may use a library computer. Computer sign up is available in person only, on a first-come, first-served basis. You must bring your library card or know your barcode number and PIN to use a computer.

Filtering software is used to filter out proxy sites, pornographic sites, and sites that pose a security risk to the network. As provided by law, patrons age 17 and older may request that the content filter be disabled on library workstations in order to access constitutionally protected content. Ask library staff for assistance.

Print

Cost per page (cash only):

  • Black and white – 10¢
  • Color – 50¢

Download

Download to disk or USB drive or burn to CD.

Scan

Scanners are available at all libraries, EXCEPT Osseo and Oxboro.

Software available on library computers includes:

Office 2010

  • Word
  • PowerPoint
  • Excel
  • Publisher

Media tools

  • ArtRage 2 Starter Edition
  • Audacity
  • GIMP (sophisticated graphics software)
  • Scribus (desktop publishing software)
  • Sketchup (create 3D models),
  • Tux Paint
  • Scratch

Using Wi-Fi at the library

Hennepin County Library is pleased to offer free wireless Internet access at all library locations when the library is open.

  • Most users can simply bring their wireless-enabled device to the library and turn it on.
  • The device will automatically recognize the wireless network, and a message will appear on your screen indicating that a wireless network called "HCL_Public" is available.
  • Open your web browser.
  • A greeting screen will appear (in place of your home page) asking you to abide by the Library's Internet Public Use Policy.
  • Click on "I Agree" and you can begin using Wi-Fi. No password is needed.

The library cannot guarantee that your equipment will work with the library network.

  • Use DHCP
  • No Proxy
  • No Bridging
  • Disable WEP encryption

Note: We are unable to support the 802.11 protocol.

Can your device “see” the network?

If not, make sure your device’s wireless is turned on and that you are trying to connect to the network named HCL_Public.

Have you opened a browser?

You need to get the Internet Use Policy page to load in a browser and select “I Agree” to fully connect to the library’s wireless network.

Are you having trouble getting the Internet Use Policy page to load?

If you've connected to the network and opened a browser, but the Internet Use Policy is not loading, then try navigating to http://www.hclib.org . This will often kick-start the Internet Use Policy page to load.

Have you tried all of the above but are still having trouble connecting?

If you have tried the above steps and are still having problems, then try disconnecting from the network and restarting your device. This often solves connection issues.

Wireless printing is available at all libraries, except Long Lake, Osseo and St. Bonifacius.

Learn more about printing for PC

Learn more about printing for Mac

Equipment

Coin-operated copiers (black and white only) are available at all libraries.

Cost per page (cash only) – 10¢

Brookdale, Minneapolis Central, Ridgedale, and Southdale libraries have microfilm and microfiche readers available.

Cost per page – 25¢

Energy Meters

Easy-to-use Power Check energy meters from Xcel Energy can be checked out for three weeks from Hennepin County Library.

The energy meters can be plugged into any standard 120-volt electric appliance to measure voltage, electricity cost, and electric consumption. They come with home energy assessment instructions, worksheets, money-saving energy tips, and information about rebates and incentive programs.

The meters will help you:

  • Identify high energy use appliances in your home.
  • Determine how much it costs to use appliances.
  • Predict your savings in reducing appliance use.
  • Calculate the cost-savings of replacing older equipment with energy-efficient models.
  • Identify "energy vampires" - appliances that use energy when switched off.

See the Xcel Energy website for instructions for using the meter in English, Hmong, and Spanish, as well as an instructional video.

Fax machines and typewriters are not available at any library location.

Assistive technology

MAGic is a magnification and speech program for low vision users. MAGic can magnify the screen up to 16 times the original size and "talks" to the user, repeating commands and helping to navigate the screen. Available at all Hennepin County libraries.

JAWS for Windows is a screen reader. Designed for people who are blind, it allows users to access hyperlinks and content on a webpage. Available at all Hennepin County libraries.

Open Book is an optical character recognition (OCR) software which allows a user to scan mail, books, articles, or printed microform to an application which reads it. Available at these libraries:

  • Brookdale
  • Brooklyn Park
  • Eden Prairie
  • Edina
  • Maple Grove
  • Minneapolis Central
  • Ridgedale
  • Plymouth
  • Rockford Road
  • St. Louis Park
  • Southdale
  • Westonka

Magnifies any print item (may be handwritten) up to 45-60 times its original size and projects it on a screen. Available at these libraries:

  • Augsburg Park
  • Minneapolis Central (MyReader)
  • Edina
  • Ridgedale

A Z-phone that uses video relay service is available in the Adaptive Technology Lab at Minneapolis Central Library for library customers who use ASL (American Sign Language) to use to make calls within the library or outside the building. The phone is available when the library is open and can be requested at the Fiction/Media Desk. The video relay service uses VOIP (voice over Internet protocol) and a high quality video camera with certified interpreters and is provided at no cost to qualified people through Federal Communication Commission funding.

Located on the first floor of Minneapolis Central Library, five workstations feature 21-inch monitors and scanners. Software available for users with vision loss includes JAWS, Open Book, Zoomtext, and Magic screen enlarger. The Adaptive Technology Lab has devices for users with physical limitations, including large keyboards, touchpads, trackballs, specialty mice, Dragon Naturally Speaking, and Kurzweil 3000, which is an assistive technology for cognitive disabilities.

Online resources

TypingMaster

Available only in a library. Self-paced online typing course with drills, speed tests, and games.

CustomGuide Interactive Training

Available only in a library. Interactive, guided tutorials including computer basics and operating systems and software from Microsoft and Mac.

Events