Reserving PCs: Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What does the Computer Reservation system do?
The Computer Reservation system lets library users reserve sessions on computers in any of the Fort Worth Public libraries and controls the number and length of sessions.
Q. Why is the library using a Computer Reservation system?
User demand for electronic information has increased dramatically. The new computer reservation system will help the library allocate this limited resource fairly among all its users. The new system also frees staff to spend more time helping library users find the information they need. The system will also provide the library with accurate statistics on computer usage to help plan for future needs.
Q. When will it start?
The library will begin installing the system in the Central Library and branches in early January 2006. We anticipate the system will be available in all branches by June.
Q. What is required to make a computer reservation?
A library card is required to reserve computers. Fort Worth residents may obtain a free library card from the Circulation Desk. Photo ID and proof of residency are required.
Q. What if I have fines or my library card has expired?
You can use the library’s computers even if you have outstanding fines or fees on your card. You will have to renew your card if it has expired.
Q. How do I make a reservation?
You may make a reservation by using the Computer Reservation station. You will need your library card or guest card. Just follow the on-screen instructions. Time spent making the reservation does not count against your session time.
Q. Can I still use the computers if I do not have a library card?
Yes. If you do not qualify for any kind of Fort Worth Library card, you may obtain a “Guest card” at the Circulation Desk.
Q. What privileges do guest cards have?
Guest cards only allow you to use the library’s computers. An ID is required to obtain an Guest card.
We encourage you to apply for a library card. Besides allowing you to check out library materials, your Fort Worth Library card gives you access from home to many commercial databases and special services. You can look up magazines and newspapers, place holds and renew materials from home.
Q. How much time can I have on the library’s computers?
You may have a maximum of 2 sessions each day. You may have a maximum of 2 one-hour sessions with a 30-minute break between sessions OR 2 fifteen-minute sessions each day. Regardless of the length of your session, if no one is waiting you may have additional time in 10-minute increments.
Libraries may designate some computers as quick look-up stations with 15 minute time limits.
Q. If I use my 2 sessions at one library, can I go to another library and get more sessions?
No, the daily 2-session limit applies to the entire library system.
Q. If there’s a free computer when I come in, do I have to use the reservation system?
Yes, you must use the reservation system to reserve a computer to use.
Q. If I need to leave my computer during my session, how do I keep someone else from using it?
You may leave your session in standby mode for up to 10 minutes. You must log in again when you come back to the workstation. However, if you do not return in 10 minutes, your session will be available for another user. The time the computer is in standby mode will be deducted from the time you are allotted for that day.
Q. What will happen when my session expires?
Your remaining time will display all through your session and you will receive warnings 10 minutes, 4 minutes, and 1 minute before your session ends. When your session ends, you will lose any data you have not saved to disk or e-mailed to yourself.
Q. Can I reserve a computer from my home, business, or other location?
Not at this time. Computers have to be reserved in-person in the library.
Q. How far in advance may I reserve a computer?
You may reserve a computer for any time that day that the library is open.
Q. Can I make multiple reservations at once?
The system allows only one active reservation at any given time. Once you have completed your scheduled use, you may make another reservation.
Q. Can I reserve a specific computer?
All Fort Worth Library computers have the same software and functionality. The reservation system assigns computers in first-come, first served order so specific computers cannot be reserved.
Q. Are all workstations controlled by the computer reservation system?
No, some of the computers are designated for the Library Catalog or for specialized CD-ROM databases. These may not be reserved. Computers designated for children or teens are managed by the computer reservation system.
Q. What if I am late for my reservation?
Reservations are held for 10 minutes after the reserved time period begins. If your reservation is not claimed in that time, your session will be cancelled and the workstation will become available for another user. However, the 10 minutes will be deducted from the time you are allotted for that day.
Q. What should I do if I am not able to make it to my session?
You should cancel the session or call the library and ask them to cancel your session as soon as you know you will not be there in time. If you do not cancel your session, it will count as one of your day’s sessions.
Q. What if the computer crashes and I’m not finished?
If you still have time available on that session, you will be able to log back in and finish the session.
Q. When I logged on, the computer indicated I only had a few minutes left. Why don't I have more time?
Either the workstation you have logged onto is reserved for another user in a few minutes, or you have already used your allotted time for the day.
Q. What about my privacy?
The Fort Worth Library is committed to protecting its customers’ privacy. The library purges reservation records and other activity every night. See the library’s Privacy and Confidentiality Policy for details.
Q. Are there restrictions on what I can do on a library computer?
All computer users must comply with Fort Worth Library’s Public PC/Internet Use Policy. Computer users must agree to this policy before they begin their session.
Q. What does the Print Management System do?
Print Management lets you print and pay for computer print jobs yourself.
Q. How much will my print job cost?
Black and white prints are 15 cents per page. Color prints are 50 cents per page. The system calculates and displays the print costs when you select the Print command. If it costs more than you expected, you can cancel that print job and create a new one. Use Print Preview on the File menu to see how many pages will print and how they will appear.
The system will not print your job until you have paid for it.
Q. How long will the system hold my print job before purging it?
The system will hold print jobs until the end of the business day.
Q. What if the print quality is not good?
Print jobs will be purged 20 minutes after they are printed. This should give you time to re-do them if necessary.
Updated 7 March 2013