My wife is a wonderfully innovative person. When our four children were younger, they often all wanted to use our computer simultaneously. Usually this resulted in lots of bickering, fighting and the occasional wrestling match on the kitchen floor. To prevent these upheavals my wife took her kitchen timer and assigned each of our children a set period of time on the computer.
Recently a submittal to the library’s suggestion box was a request to do something about people who use the library’s computers “all day long” without consideration of other people who may want to use them.
The practice of the library has been to allow people to use a computer as long as they want unless someone is waiting. If we observe people waiting to use a computer, we offer them the use of one of the library’s laptops.
Many libraries strictly limit the length of time a person can use a computer. If a person exceeds their allotted time the computer automatically shuts down.
These libraries limit computer use, even if no is waiting, to encourage many people to use the library’s computers. They believe it’s a rare person who will return to the library to use a computer if they are initially turned away.
The public library’s charge is to serve the community. If some people monopolize certain services of the library such as the computers, how far should the library go to assure that everyone has a fair chance to use its services? Should the library establish time limits for computer use, even if no one is waiting, so people will perceive that there are more chances to use the library’s computers?
Let the library know what you think by sending an email to JTPL@jeffersonlibrary.net, calling the library at 973-208-6245, visiting the library, or by using the library suggestion box.