Computer Resources for Adults and Teens
at Skokie Public Library

Using computers Researching a topic
Where are the computers located? Classes and training
How do I sign in? Learning more about computers
Can I bring my own computer? Hardware and software suggestion policy

Using Computers

Over forty-five computers with Internet access, Microsoft Office, multimedia capabilities, and research databases and resources are available throughout the Library to patrons who are high school age and above. All computers can be used on a walk-up basis when available. To ensure that a computer will be available for you when you need it, you may make a reservation up to seven days in advance by calling the Adult Computer Lab at 847.324.3179.

Computer resources for children in preschool through 8th grade are available in the Youth Services Department.

USB flash/micro drives can be used in most of the computers. Flash drives, CD-R discs, CD-RW discs, DVD-R discs, and DVD+R DL discs are available for sale at the Reference Desk.

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Where are the Computers Located?

  • Adult Computer Classroom
    Located on the second floor, this Computer Classroom has eleven full-service Internet/Microsoft Office computers, one scanning station, and printers. Computers may be used for one hour, though time can be extended if no one is waiting.Periodically, the Lab will close for a computer class; closings are posted in advance. During these classes, computers are available in other areas of the Library.
  • Adult Computer Commons
    Located on the second floor, this area contains twenty-two Internet/Microsoft Office computers, one scanning station, and printers. Computers may be used for one hour, though time can be extended if no one is waiting.
  • Digital Media Lab
    The Digital Media Lab is located on the first floor. This lab contains four Apple desktop computers running Mac OS and other software enabling users to creatively express themselves through digital videos, music, photography, websites, graphic design, podcasts, presentations and other forms of digital media. The room also features two scanners, an electronic keyboard, and a green screen wall. Digital cameras, Flip video camcorders, portable hard drives, and tripods are also available for overnight checkout.
  • Express Computers
    Six Express Computers are located in the Computer Commons. These computers can be used for only thirty minutes. No reservations or time extensions are available.
  • Laptop Computers
    Wireless laptop computers can be checked out at the Technology Help Desk. Patrons must present a valid photo I.D. and Skokie Public Library card to the Patron Technology Assistant. Laptops can be used for two hours anywhere on the second floor, including study rooms. Laptop applications include Internet Explorer, Firefox, and the Microsoft Office 2010 suite. Wireless printing is available. All work done on the laptops should be saved to a USB drive.
  • Travel
    One stand-up computer is located in the Travel area. All documents print to the Computer Commons printer.


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How Do I Sign In?

The Library uses a self-service sign-in system called PC Reservation™ to manage the use of its public access desktop computers. To sign in to any computers in the adult areas, patrons must have one of the following:

  • Valid Skokie Public Library card in good standing
  • Library card from a member library
  • Computer Use Only card

Computer Use Only cards are available to adults and teens who live outside Skokie and would like to have regular Internet access at Skokie Public Library. To obtain a Computer Use Only card, request the short application form at the West Circulation Desk. You will need to show one I.D. and you will be issued a card on the spot.

Patrons who do not have any of the above cards may obtain a Guest Pass by showing an I.D. to the Lab Assistant in the Adult Computer Lab. This pass entitles the user to one-time use only. If you intend to use the Library's Internet computers regularly, a permanent card is required. Please see How Do I Reserve a Computer? for additional information about the PC Reservation™ system and making reservations.

All users must agree to the Library’s Internet Usage Policy before using a computer.

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Can I Bring My Own Computer?

Skokie Public Library is a wireless hotspot. Bring in your wireless-ready laptop or PDA for free Internet access. For additional information please see instructions for using wireless Internet access at Skokie Public Library. Wireless printing is also available.

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Researching a Topic

The Library has designated several computers as Research computers. These systems provide access to all of our subscription databases and our website. You can use the research computers to search for newspaper and magazine articles and visit librarian-recommended websites.

Library Catalog computers are also available for looking up books and magazines, checking out new items in the Library, and connecting to research links. Research and Catalog computers are located throughout the second floor and in the Readers' Services and Movies, Music, and More departments. No reservations are needed to use these computers. Ask a librarian to get you started on your search.

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Classes and Training

In addition to its technological resources, the Library offers a variety of hands-on and lecture-based Internet training. Classes for adults are scheduled each month to provide both basic and advanced information about using the World Wide Web. One-on-one instruction for using Library and Internet resources is also available by appointment.

For training on Microsoft Office programs and basic computer skills such as typing, the Library offers a variety of interactive tutorials that allow you to work at your own pace. We offer in-Library access to online tutorials through an e-learning website called Atomic Training and CD-ROMs for use in the Adult Computer Lab or in your own home. To get started with any of these tutorials, inquire at the Adult Computer Lab.

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Learning More about Computers

If you would like to learn more, check out the recommended websites about the Internet and Computers from Skokie Public Library librarians.

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Hardware and Software Suggestion Policy

The Library is happy to consider all software and hardware requests for the Adult Computer Labs. The criteria for an addition are:

  • The program or item must be easily supported by the Library.
  • The program or item must improve the computing experience for a broad spectrum of computer lab patrons.

All software and hardware additions are at the discretion of the Supervisor of Adult Computer Labs.

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