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POLICY TO ACCESS COMPUTERS AT HENNEPIN COUNTY LIBRARIES WILL CHANGE ON JAN. 2 TO PROVIDE MORE EQUITABLE ACCESS FOR EVERYONE
For information, call your local library or go online to http://www.hclib.org/pub/info/computers.cfm
Hennepin County Library will implement a new policy regarding access to its Internet computers. Effective Jan. 2, 2010, customers will need to bring their library card with them or know their barcode number to sign up for and use a computer.
This new policy will ensure fair and equitable access to the limited number of public computers in Hennepin County's 41 libraries (3 libraries are currently closed for renovation or construction). Other library systems in the seven-county Twin Cities metropolitan area as well as many libraries nationwide have a similar policy.
Customers' fines or fees will not restrict their access to a computer. The new policy applies only to computers that have access to the Internet, not to computers that access the library catalog, only.
The policy at libraries in Minneapolis has been to use library cards to access a computer. The former policy at suburban libraries, however, allowed library customers to use their library card or obtain a "guest pass" to log in to a computer. The new policy provides for consistency across the library system.
"Using your library card instead of a printed guest pass also is 'green' because it will save thousands of sheets of paper, in keeping with Hennepin County's 'Cool County' program," said senior librarian Sherry Anderson.
With the new policy, a Hennepin County Library card will give the customer access to a computer for one hour — first come, first served. (Exception: Express Computers, which are limited to 15 or 30 minutes.) If no one is waiting to use the non-express computer after the customer's time is up, the customer will automatically be offered 15-minute extensions until someone has a reservation for that computer.
Residents who live outside of Hennepin County but in Minnesota may use their library cards to access a computer after they have registered their card at a Hennepin County library.