COMPUTERS

What do I need to use the computers in the library?

You will need a valid library card in good standing—that is, with no outstanding fines or overdue items—and your PIN. All adult (18 and over) cardholders automatically have access to our computers. Teenagers aged 14 through 17 have computer access only if a parent or legal guardian gives permission by signing the library card application.


What if I don’t have a library card?

You can apply for a library card at the checkout desk. You will need to show a photo ID and proof of address—if your driver’s license or ID card has your correct address, then that is sufficient. If your driver’s license or ID does not have your correct address, then an additional document, such as a current utility bill, preprinted checkbook, insurance card, etc., can be shown to prove your address.


I’ve forgotten my library card number or my PIN. What can I do?

You must show a photo ID at either the checkout desk or the computer information desk to verify your identity and get your numbers.


I am visiting from out of town and do not have a Mesquite library card. Will I be able to use your computers?

Texas residents can get a Mesquite library card at no charge. If you are eligible for a Mesquite Library card, we urge you to get one. Otherwise, you may request a guest pass from the computer information desk. You will need to show a photo ID. This is a one-time use only guest pass.

The guest pass may also be used by non-library card holders who do not have the proof of address needed to obtain a library card.


I’m visiting from out of state. Can I still get on your computers?

Visitors from out of state may request a guest pass from the computer information desk. You will need to show a photo ID. This is a one-time use only guest pass.


I don’t have my own library card. Can I use my wife’s/sister’s/friend’s card number and PIN to sign on to the computer?

It is not permissable to use another person’s library card number and PIN to sign on to the computer, except in the case of children under 14 who use their parent’s numbers. Allowing another person to use your numbers can result in loss of computer privileges. If you do not have a library card, you can go ahead and apply for one at the checkout desk, or you can request a guest pass at the computer information desk.


I’ve put in my numbers at the reservation station, but it won’t accept them. Why not?

Ask a staff member at either the computer information desk or the checkout desk to check your account and make sure that you have the correct numbers. You will need to show a photo ID. If your numbers are correct and the system is still not letting you on, it may be that you have outstanding fines or overdue items on your account. These will need to be cleared at the checkout desk before the computer will let you on.


Does the computer give me a grace period on my reservation?

Yes, you have ten (10) minutes from your reservation time to log on to your assigned computer. If you do not log on within that time, your reservation expires and the computer is made available to someone else.


How long is my turn on the computer?

You get to stay on the computer for an hour at a time.


Will I be able to extend my time?

Possibly. If no one has made a reservation after you, then your time can be extended. The sooner you let us know that you need extra time, the more likely we will be able to grant it. Talk to the staff member at the computer information desk.


Once I’m logged on, can I leave the computer(go get a drink of water, make a phone call, look for a book, use the restroom, etc.) during my session?

Yes. Use the "Other Options" button and "Hide Screen" option next to the session clock to lock your station and prevent anyone else from using it during your turn. You will be asked to assign a password, which you can make up yourself. To unlock the station, you’ll need to use that same password so be sure to use something you’ll remember—the staff will not be able to bypass it if you forget the password. While the computer is locked, the clock will still continue to count down. Please remember to take all valuables with you when you step away from the computer; the Library is not responsible for loss or theft.


I left the computer for a little while and when I came back I was logged out. What happened?

If the computer is inactive—meaning that you have not touched the keyboard or the mouse—for ten (10) minutes, it will automatically end your session and log you off. You can use the “Other Options” button and “Hide Screen” as described in the question above to prevent this.

If your allotted time has run out, the computer will log you off even if you have locked it, so stay aware of the clock and how much time remains in your session.


I’m finished with the computer, but there is still time left on the clock. How do I sign off?

Just click on the “Done” button and then click on the “End Now” button. This will sign you off and end your session. Please do not log off or reboot the computer.


I don’t have a reservation, but there’s a computer with no one using it. Can I get on?

Maybe. Take a look at the computer’s sign-in screen. If the screen display says available, you’ll be able to sign on for a full sixty (60) minutes. Move the mouse or press any button to bring up the login screen and enter your library card and PIN numbers.

If the computer is reserved, then you may still be able to sign on but your session will be less than sixty (60) minutes. Move the mouse or press any button to bring up the login screen and enter your library card and PIN numbers. You will get a message telling you how long your session will be. At this point you have the option whether or not to use the computer.

If there is less than ten (10) minutes before the next reservation, you will get a message that the computer can not be used.


I have a reservation for later, but there’s no one using the computer I have reserved. Can I get on?

If you are the next reservation for that particular computer, you will be able to go ahead and sign in early. Take a look at the sign in screen. It should say “Reserved” and have the time of the reservation showing. If that is your reservation time, then you are the next reservation. Simply sign in as usual. You will get your full allotted hour.


I have a reservation for later, but there’s a computer with no one using it. It’s not the one I have reserved. Can I get on?

You should be able to, provided that the computer is available or that there is enough time before the next reservation on that computer. Move the mouse or press any button to bring up the login screen and enter your library card and PIN numbers. You will see a window that gives you two options: either keep your existing reservation and wait for that time, or get on now and cancel that upcoming reservation.


I’ve just made a reservation for the next available computer, but I’d also like to come back later this evening. Can I do that?

You can only sign up for one session at a time. After you’ve finished a session, you’ll be able to make another reservation at the Reservation Station. Use the “Future Reservation” option to make a reservation for a specific time.


Can I make a reservation for tomorrow?

The future reservation option allows for same day only.


Can I call and make a reservation over the phone?

You need to come into the library and make your reservation in person


Can I make a future reservation for a specific computer?

The Reservation Station does not allow you to choose a specific computer when you make a future reservation. However you can ask at the computer information desk and the staff will be able to reserve a particular computer for you, as long as that computer is available for that time.


I need to help my mom fill out some forms online. Will we be able to work together?

Most of our computers only have room for one person at a time, but we do have some designated computer stations which allow two people to work together. Please ask a staff member at the computer information desk to make a reservation at one of these computers for you.


I need help filling out an online application. Does the library have staff members that can help me?

Staff members can give some basic help in signing on to the computer and finding a website, but for privacy concerns we can not enter any of your personal information into online forms.


How many times a day may I use the computer?

The system allows you to have a maximum of 240 minutes (4 hours) a day. There is not a set limit on the number of times you can use it.


Can I change my PIN to something easier to remember?

We do suggest that your PIN match the last 4 digits of your phone number. However, you can change it if you wish. You’ll need to use the online catalog to do this, and can do it either at one of the catalog computers, or from your home computer.

Follow these steps:
*From the catalog search page, select My Account.
*Select User PIN Change
*Enter your library card number in the User ID space
*Enter your current PIN number in the appropriate space
*Enter your new PIN number in the appropriate space; re-enter your PIN to verify. Your new PIN number must be 4 digits.
You will get a confirmation message that your PIN has been changed.


How do I save my work on the computer?

You may save your work to a flash drive at any of the public computers. If you do not have a flash drive, they are available at the checkout desk for $10.00 each. You may borrow a flash drive from the computer information help desk; this flash drive must be returned at the end of your turn. If the flash drive is not returned, your library card will be blocked until the flash drive is returned or replaced. You can also email a file to yourself so you can access it from any computer with Internet access. Please keep in mind that when your turn ends and the computer shuts down, any unsaved files will be lost.


I have a document on a CD-RW. Will I be able to open it, edit it, and save the changes?

Our computers do not have the ability to read or write to the CD-ROM drive. If you want to update a document, it will need to be on a flash drive.


I accidentally saved my resume on the hard drive, and I don’t want anyone to see my personal information. Can I erase it?

Most of our computers will not allow documents to be saved to the hard drive at all. However, if it does happen, you will want to first make sure that you save your document again—this time to the removable drive (flash drive). Once you make sure that it is safely on your flash drive, then you can try to delete the copy on the C drive. If there is a recycle bin icon on the desktop, you can just drag your document icon there and then empty the recycle bin to delete it. If there is not a recycle bin on the desktop, you can try right-clicking on your document icon with the mouse, then select “Delete” on the pop-up menu. If the pop-up does not appear, then you’ll need to ask a staff member for help.

The computers have a special piece of software that cleans off items saved to the hard drive. This cleaning cycle runs every night after the library has closed, so anything saved to the hard drive today will be gone tomorrow.


How do I print from the Library’s public computers?

Start by following the regular process for printing a document--pull down the file menu and select print. You will be told how many pages and how much it will cost at $0.10 per page. A message will let you know that the print job will be sent to the Checkout desk and give you a confirmation number. You must click OK to complete the print request. You have an hour to collect your print job at the checkout desk.


Do I have to walk all the way to the checkout desk every time I print something?

You can wait until your computer session is over and pick up all your printing at the same time. You have an hour to collect your print job at the checkout desk. However, if you do want to pick up a print job before your session is over, it would be a good idea to lock your station while you are away from it. Please remember to take all valuables with you when you step away from the computer. The Library is not responsible for loss or theft.


I didn’t write down my confirmation number. Can I still get my printout?

Yes. Just give the circulation staff your library card number and/or the computer you were on, and they’ll be able to identify your print jobs.


The last page of my printout only has stuff I don’t need and I don’t want. Do I still have to pay for it?

Unfortunately, you do have to pay for every page that you print, even if there is no useful information on it. To avoid having to pay for unwanted pages, you can use the “Print Preview” option.
* From the File menu, select “Print Preview” instead of “Print.”
* A “Print Preview” screen will open up, showing you exactly how your printout will fit on the pages.
* Make note of which pages contain the information you actually need.
* Close the “Print Preview” page by clicking on the “Close” button at the top of the screen.
* From the File menu, select “Print.”
In the “Print Range” section of the print window, you can specify which pages you want.

You can also try cutting and pasting the information you want to print into a Word document.


I’d like to print my resume on my own special paper. Can I do that?

Unfortunately, we can not allow printing on special paper. However, you can print a master copy of your resume on our printers and then take it to one of the local copy stores to print on your special paper.


There’s something wrong with my printing. Do I still have to pay for it?

If there is a mechanical fault with the printer—such as a paper jam or low toner—you will not be charged for the ruined copies


Does the library have wireless access?

Yes, wifi access is available at both the Main Library and the North Branch Library.


How do I log in to your wifi?

Your computer or device should detect our signal. Look for a signal named Main-Library at the Main Library, or NB-Library at the North Branch, and select it. This is an unsecured signal, so you will not need to enter a login name or password.


Will I be able to print using your wifi?

At this time, we do not have the ability to print from our wifi connection. You can save your document to a flash drive and then print from one of our library computers.


Do you have any computer classes?

We do offer basic computer classes at both the Mesquite Main Library and the North Branch Library. Classes include: Computer Basics, Microsoft Word Basics, Microsoft Excel 2003 for Beginners, Introduction to the Internet, E-Mail for Beginners, Genealogy Resources on the Internet, Job Resources on the Internet, and Resume Writing. Check the Calendar of Events for dates, times and locations.


How do I attend computer classes?

Computer classes at the Mesquite Main Library do not require registration; they are on a first-come, first served basis. There is room for ten (10) students in a class at the Main Library. You do need to register for classes at the Mesquite North Branch Library. You can do so either in person at the reference desk, or by phone at 972-681-0465. There is a limit of six (6) students per class at the North Branch.


Can teens use the computers?

Teens ages 14-17 can use the library computers if a parent or legal guardian has given permission by signing the library card application.


Can children use the computers?

There are computers loaded with education games in the children’s section of each library. Children may sign up for these computers at the Children’s Desk. If a child is under 14 and wishes to use one of the public Internet computers, they will need have parent or legal guardian in the library with them and will use the parent’s library card and PIN to sign in. This is the only situation when it is permitted to sign on using someone else’s library card number and PIN.


I’ve typed in the web address I want to go to, but I’m being blocked. Why?

The library uses filtering software. It is set to block sites deemed inappropriate for a public area, as well as sites that use a lot of bandwidth such as web-based chat or streaming audio and video.


How do I request that a website be blocked or unblocked on the library computers?

If you believe that you are being blocked from a site in error, please report it to the staff at the computer information desk. It is possible that the filter may be adjusted, but it takes at least a day to do so and we cannot guarantee that an adjustment can be made.