Jack Jones painting of the Peabody Institute Library, Danvers
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Computer Reservation System

PC Reservation and
Automated Computer Signup FAQs

What is PC Reservation?
PC Reservation is an automated system that allows you to make your own reservations for PC usage.

Why did you implement this system?
This system enables us to better manage our public computers, assuring equal access for all users. It also collects usage statistics that are crucial to our funding.

What do I need to use PC Reservation?
You must log in to the computers using your 14-digitNOBLE (North of Boston Library Exchange)library card number. If you don't have a library card or have lost your card, you can get a new or replacement card at our Circulation Desk.

Using someone else's login information (i.e. library card number) to exceed system time limits will result in revocation of computer privileges.

I have a valid library card. How do I get started?
If a computer is not being used, just sit down and log in. If all computers are in use, you can make a reservation for the next available Internet workstation by logging in at one of the sign-up stations in the Reference and Children's Departments. A reservation receipt will be printed, which will tell you what time and which computer will be available for your login. When you see that the computer is ready for you, just sit down and log in with the provided confirmation number. Save your receipt! It is proof that you have reserved a computer.

What if another computer becomes available while I am waiting for the computer that I reserved?
You can select an open computer, enter your library card number and trade your reservation for that computer.

If the computer you've chosen has a standing reservation, you will be offered a shorter session.

How much time do I have to use the computer?
When you log in, you will be given one hour. You are allowed up to four hours per day if computers are available.

On Fridays and Sundays when the library operates on an abbreviated schedule, you will be permitted only two hours of computer time.

What happens if I only use 30 minutes of my time?
With PC Reservation, you may log in and out as many times as you like. Once you have used up your total number of minutes for the day, PC Reservation will end your session and not allow you to log in until the next day.

I'm working on something important. What if I need more time?
If computers are available, you will be offered additional time in blocks of 15 minutes each up to four hours in one day. Once you have used up your allotted time or a reservation has been made on your workstation, your session will end. If you have not used up your allotted time, you may make a reservation for the next available computer. Sessions are based on computer availability so we cannot guarantee you more than one hour per day.

On Fridays and Sundays, when the library operates on an abbreviated schedule, you are only permitted two hours of computer time per day. No additional time will be offered.

What if I need to leave my computer to make a phone call or get a book?
PC Reservation allows you to lock your computer so you can step away without fear of someone taking your seat. The clock will continue to tick. It only locks the workstation, it does NOT pause your session.

How many times a day can I reserve a computer?
You can reserve up to four one hour sessions per day (Fridays and Sundays, only two one hour sessions per day) but only one reservation at a time.

Are there advance reservations by phone?

Are there advance reservations over the web?

Are there advance reservations in person?
Yes, you can make one advance reservation at a time, up to 2 days in advance.

What if I'm late getting to the computer. How long will the system hold my reservation?
10 minutes.

Will the system warn me at the end of my time?
Yes, you will be warned that your session is coming to an end with enough time to save your work. The system will reboot at the end of your time and any unsaved data or data that has been saved to the computer itself will be lost.

What if I don't have my library card with me?
We will look up your card number ONLY if you show proper ID. We suggest that you keep either the library card or a note with your card number in your wallet so you can use the computers without delay.

I'm a visitor to your town. Can I still use your computers?
Yes. A Reference Department staff member will assist you with logging in as a guest.

I like your old system of picking up a timecard. Why did you change it?
There were misunderstandings and confusion over equal use, making it difficult for both staff and patrons. Some people simply walked away when they saw all the computers occupied. Additionally, it will enable us to accurately document our usage and justify funding of our computer-based services.

Last updated: September 24, 2007