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Computer FAQs at the South Side Branch

Q:  Can I get online at the South Side Branch?

A:  Yes, and it’s free if you have a valid Bethlehem library card! Simply enter your barcode number (found on the back of your card) at the log-in screen and you're ready to browse the Internet or use our online resources. You can also bring your WiFi equipped laptop to the library to get connected.

Q:  How long can I use the Internet stations?

A:  You can use the Internet for a maximum of 5 hours each day with a valid library card. However, our time management system often divides this time into 30-minute sessions when the Internet stations are experiencing heavy usage. Whether you log-off or your session is automatically ended, at least 30 minutes must elapse before the system will allow you to log-on for your next session. In summary: sessions will consist of at least 30 minutes or possibly more, depending on how many patrons are using these computers at a given time.

Q:  What if I don’t have a library card?

A:  We sell visitor’s passes for a fee of $5.00. Each pass gives you a maximum of 1.5 hours and is only valid for the day on which it was purchased. If you are visiting from out-of-state and can present a valid form of photo ID, we will waive the fee. If you are from another city in Pennsylvania and have a valid card with your home library, you can register to receive one of our free access cards.

Q:  All the Internet stations are in use. Can I get on a waiting list?

A:  We have a reserve station you can use to get in a patron queue or waiting list. By typing in your library barcode number at this station, you will be assigned a ticket number which is linked to your library card. As Internet stations become available, the program will assign you to a computer. Just watch for your ticket number and a partial or full display of your last name to appear in the far-right column to see which computer you have been assigned.

Q:  Do you have computers used specifically for children’s games and educational software?

A:  Yes, we have 4 game and educational software computers set aside for kids 14 years of age and younger. To log-on to these computers, each child needs his or her own library card. As with our adult Internet computers, sessions are often broken up into 30 minute periods when there is a heavy demand. Here too, whenever a session is ended, at least 30 minutes must elapse before the system will allow you to log-on for your next session.

Q:  Is there a computer at South Side that allows use of word-processing programs like MS Word?

A:  Yes, we have 1computer set aside specifically for patrons who wish to use Microsoft Office programs like MS Word. This computer can be scheduled for extensive blocks of time as it is not controlled by our time management system. Please note that you cannot use this computer to browse the Internet.

Q:  How do I print?

A:  The fee for Internet station printing is 10 cents per page using our cash card system. Cash card initial cost is $1.00 which gives you a 50 cent starting print credit. Add to your cash card balance anytime by asking a clerk at the check-in desk.

Q:  What are the basic steps I need to take to print from the Internet?

A:  There are 5 easy steps to follow:

1.  Press control + ‘P’ or click the printer icon in Internet Explorer to open the print menu. (It's also a good idea to select “Print Preview” before you send a print job to avoid printing any unwanted pages.) The main print menu allows you to specify exact page selection, print multiple copies or modify other settings that change how your print-outs will look. Click “OK” when you are finished.

2.  A window will open asking for “User ID.” Here enter anything you wish that will allow the print station a way to identify your individual print jobs.

3.  At the print station (between the main check-out desk and the adult fiction stacks), insert your cash card into the black box, with the arrows on the cash card pointing towards the box. The computer will then ask you for the User ID you entered earlier. Type it in and click “OK.”

4.  You will see your print job(s) listed. Highlight any or all jobs that you wish to print. At the bottom of the screen you will see the total cost for printing the selected jobs.

5.  Click “print selected jobs.” The total will be deducted automatically from your cash card. Your prints will emerge from the printer behind the print station computer. If you have any questions, ask for assistance at the information desk.

Printing from the word processing computer does not utilize the cash card system, as your print job will be sent directly to the printer. Of course, you may still use your cash card to pay for these prints at the check-in desk.

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