Computers and technology

Use a computer or free Wi-Fi at any of our libraries; build skills through online tutorials and events at the library.

Using library computers

Internet Public Use Policy

Filtering software is used to filter out proxy sites, sites that pose a security risk to the network, and obscene materials as defined by Minnesota Statute 617.241, in accordance with the library’s Internet Public Use Policy. In some cases, patrons may request that the content filter be disabled. Ask library staff for assistance.

Available on library computers

Office 2016

Includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher, Access. Available at all Hennepin County libraries.

Media tools

Includes ArtRage 2 Starter Edition, Audacity, Blender (3D creation software), GIMP (sophisticated graphics software), Scribus (desktop publishing software), Tux Paint. Available at all Hennepin County libraries.


Download and save to USB drive or burn to CD/DVD. Available at all Hennepin County libraries.

Global Writer - multilingual word processing

Type in many different languages. Available at these libraries: BrookdaleBrooklyn ParkMaple GroveMinneapolis CentralRidgedale and Southdale.


Printing is available from library computers at all Hennepin County libraries or you can print from your own device.


Cost per page (cash only): Black and white – 10¢ | Color – 50¢

Hennepin County Library cardholders can print up to 50 black-and-white pages or 10 color pages (or any combination up to $5 in value) every week at no charge.

Print from your device

Instructions for printing from your device.

Microform readers/printers

Microfilm and microfiche reader/printers are available at these libraries: BrookdaleMinneapolis CentralRidgedale and Southdale.

Copying, scanning, faxing


We are temporarily not charging fees for copying to limit handling of cash.

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

Cost per page (cash only) – 10¢


Scanners are available at all Hennepin County libraries.


Faxing is available at no cost at all Hennepin County libraries.

Please note: You can send faxes but not receive them.

Wi-Fi at the library

Hennepin County Library offers free indoor and outdoor Wi-Fi service at all locations. Outdoor Wi-Fi is available from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. For information about where to find the strongest signal, please speak with local library staff. Antenna locations vary.

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  • 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.

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

  • Use DHCP
  • No Proxy
  • No Bridging
  • Disable WEP encryption
  • Do not use static DNS settings

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 . 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.

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Assistive technology

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Fusion by Freedom Scientific

Fusion includes both:

  • ZoomText - screen magnification and visual enhancements for low vision users which can magnify the screen up to 36 times the original size.
  • JAWS - a screen reader. Designed for people who are blind, it allows users to access hyperlinks and content on a webpage.

Available for use at all Hennepin County libraries.


OpenBook 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 for use on computers with scanners at all Hennepin County libraries.

Assistive listening system

This audio system is designed for use in large group meeting settings.  It includes a microphone and up to six individual listening devices, which are worn by users and amplify the speaker’s voice. Patrons reserving library meeting rooms can request this system when they make their room reservations. 

Available for use at all Hennepin County libraries.

PockeTalker Ultra

A personal listening device that amplifies sounds closest to the listener while reducing background noise.

Available for use at all Hennepin County libraries.

Concerto SoundClear Personal Sound Amplifier

Amplifier is perfect for meetings, watching television, socializing, one- to-one conversations.

Available in Assistive Technology at Minneapolis Central Library.

Folding lighted magnifier

A handheld magnifier that features a 2X magnification lens with an extra-wide field of vision with a built-in light. 

Available for use at all Hennepin County libraries.

High Definition Handheld Portable Magnifier with HD Camera

Provides a crisp, colorful HD picture. Easily reads news, prescriptions, library materials, and allows user to take magnified photos for later reference.

Available in Assistive Technology at Minneapolis Central Library.

A standard keyboard with large black letters on yellow keys, designed for use by low vision users. 

Available for use at all Hennepin County libraries.

An ergonomic mouse that uses less arm movement than a conventional mouse. The user rolls a trackball with the thumb, fingers, or the palm of the hand to move the cursor. Can be used with either left or right hand. 

Available for use at all Hennepin County libraries.

A Z-phone that uses video relay service is available at Minneapolis Central Library for library customers who use ASL (American Sign Language) 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.

Available in the Assistive Technology at Minneapolis Central Library.

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Assistive Technology at Minneapolis Central

Assistive Technology is located on the first floor of Minneapolis Central Library. Software includes JAWS Fusion. Other assistive technology includes Dragon Naturally Speaking, Talking Typer, Kurzweil 3000, OCR scanners and many devices, including various keyboards, mice and trackballs, adjustable height tables, pocket talker, and Z-Phone.

Learn more about the Assistive Technology available at Minneapolis Central Library.

Video conference rooms

A limited number of desktop computers are equipped with a webcam and headset/microphone for video conferencing on popular platforms like Zoom, Teams, Google Meet.

These computers are located in reservable, semi-private rooms and intended to support residents who need to attend online job interviews, classes, court hearings, trainings, telemedicine visits, and other video conferencing opportunities.

Video conference room reservations are made using the Library’s meeting room reservation calendar, LibCal:

Users can reserve up to 5 sessions each week, with a maximum reservation length of 2 hours each. Video conference rooms are intended for 1-2 participants and are not suitable for large, hybrid meetings.

Please note that specialized software (for example, proctoring software for online exams) cannot be installed on desktops.

Other technology

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.

Draft Check meters from Xcel Energy can also be checked out for three weeks.

These devices use an infrared sensor to measure energy loss and identify leaks. Use it on areas most commonly prone to energy loss such as the seams of your walls, windows, and doors. You may need to reseal windows, add weatherstripping or upgrade insulation to stop leaks.

Online resources


Interactive, guided tutorials including computer basics and operating systems and software from Microsoft and Mac.

LearningExpress Library

Resources for basic computer and academic skill building, job preparation, and career advancement. Includes interactive tutorials, online books, and test preparation tools for GED, SAT, ACT, TOEFL, and military and occupational exams.

LinkedIn Learning for Library

Access to LinkedIn Learning is restricted to Hennepin County residents and property owners. 

Formerly Video tutorials taught by recognized industry experts. Lessons are for all skill levels on a wide variety of topics, including business skills and software; web design and development; music, photo, and video editing; and 3D design and animation. Courses are available in English, French, German, Japanese, Spanish, Mandarin, and Portuguese. 

Library ID for mobile app: hclib.


Computers and technology

Get more comfortable with digital tools and learn computer skills.

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