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Fauquier County Public Library -- FAQs -- Computers and Internet Access

Library Home Page > FAQs > Computer and Internet Access

Frequenty Asked Questions

Computer and Internet Access

All library locations offer free use of computers with Internet access and Microsoft Office applications as well as free WiFi. The library uses session/print management software to reserve and manage all computer sessions (except wireless connections).

  • Use your library card to reserve/access public computers.
  • A one-day guest pass will be issued to those not eligible for a library card; photo identification is required for a guest pass.
  • Reserve a computer at the Reservation Station; computers cannot be reserved in advanced and are randomly assigned.
  • Each user is limited to 45 minutes per session, up to 90 minutes a day. A warning message will appear on the computer screen when 5 minutes of a session remain.
  • At the end of a session, the user will be logged off automatically and unsaved work will be lost. Information on saving files is listed below in the FAQs.
  • Printing cost is 15 cents per page; print jobs can be picked up at the Circulation Desk.

I need to fill out an online job application. It may take longer than the library's time limit allows.
Some job application sites do not allow you to set up an account and/or edit, finish your application at a later time. If you are in the middle of filling out an online application and notice your time is about to expire, please speak with the reference staff about extending your time limit so that you can complete the application.

May I download a file from the Internet/my email?
Downloads to the local/hard drive are prohibited. Patrons may not tamper with or reconfigure computer equipment, software or data belonging to the library. If someone has sent you an attachment that can be opened in software supported by the library (Microsoft Word, Excel, Publisher, PowerPoint, Adobe Reader), you can open the document and save the file (if desired) to a USB storage device. Here are the steps to take if you need to open/save an attachment sent to you via email:

  1. Open the email attachment;
  2. A file download dialog box will pop up asking you whether you want to Open, Save or Cancel. Choose to Open the file. If Open is not an option (is grayed out), then you will not be able to open the document. MSN Hotmail/Windows Live Hotmail will show only the Save/Cancel options unless you click on the "Remember me on this computer" option when you log in to your account. Then the Open option will be shown;
  3. Depending on the type of attachment (i.e., *.doc), the supporting program (i.e., Word) will open and you can view the attachment;
  4. If you want to save the attachment, go to File > Save As;
  5. Click on My Computer and select the external drive (usually E for USB storage device) as the destination. If you attempt to save to the local disk (C), you will be blocked from doing so.

What if I need to save a file?
Patrons may use their own preformatted 3.5” disks (when disk drives are available) or portable Universal Serial Bus (USB) devices to save files. The library recommends patrons use a portable Universal Serial Bus (USB) device over preformatted 3.5” disks. Also, while some computers have CD-ROM/DVD-ROM drives, these drives have been disabled. The library is not responsible for the storage device(s) or for the correct saving of files and cannot guarantee that the library’s computer workstations will be able to read/recognize the device or the data.

Please note that you will need to go to File > Save As and choose the destination, in this case the A drive for a floppy; E for a USB. If you attempt to save to the local disk (C), you will be blocked from doing so.

How do I open a file that I have saved on a disk/portable Universal Serial Bus (USB) device?
The file(s) in question must be in a format that is readable by library-supported software (Adobe Acrobat, Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher, Notepad or Internet Explorer).

  1. Insert your floppy disk or USB device;
  2. Click on the Start Menu;
  3. Choose/select the program with which you created the file (i.e., if the file ends with “.xls” or “.xlsx,” select Microsoft Excel);
  4. From the File menu, select Open;
  5. If you click on the C drive, you will be blocked; click on the drive/storage device that contains the file (A for floppy, E for USB);
  6. Select the file you need to access;

Does the library filter access to the Internet?
In accordance with the laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia, the library has installed filters on all public access computers and the public wireless network. Patrons who are 18 or over or who have a signed Internet registration card on file may ask to have websites that are being used for bona fide research or other lawful purposes allowed through the filter. Requested sites must not violate state law or library policy.

May children use the computers not located in the children's areas?
Yes, children may use any public access computer workstation. Limited age-appropriate access to the Internet is provided in the children's areas of the library.

I am not that comfortable using computers and/or the Internet. Will library staff assist me?
Library staff provides limited assistance for basic start-up procedures but cannot offer in-depth personal instruction in the use of a computer or software applications. If you need basic instruction on how to use the Internet, the library occasionally offers free, short introductory classes. Check with the Reference Desk (540-422-8500, ext. 6862) for details. In lieu of formal classes, online tutorials and websites are also available to help with various software applications, including:

  • Atomic Training (use in the library or access from home with your library card) - Video tutorials covering PC basics, Microsoft Office, Adobe and more
  • BBC WebWise - A beginners' guide to using the Internet, computers in general and social media
  • DigitalLearn.org - Short (15 minutes or less) courses covering basic computer skills
  • GCF LearnFree.org - From the Goodwill Community Foundation, this site includes courses on Microsoft Office applications

Computer instruction specifically for job seekers is offered at:

I need to create a resume and plan on using the library's word processing software to do so. How should I save my work?
You may use your own preformatted 3.5” disks or a portable Universal Serial Bus (USB) device to save your files. Files cannot be saved or copied to the library's computers. You may also want to consider a free web-based service like Google Docs/Google Drive - your documents can be accessed/edited from any computer connected to the Internet; no storage device needed.

Does the library keep a record of the websites I’ve visited?
By default, the Internet Explorer Web browser keeps track of the most-recent websites you have visited. The library has configured Internet Explorer to keep the history for zero (0) days and all temporary Internet files are purged when the Web browser is closed. In addition, after each session, any "favorites" or bookmarks are deleted.

May I connect my digital camera, mp3 player, iPod, cell phone, etc., to a library computer?
No - users may not alter or attach equipment/peripherals/hardware to the library's computers and only library-provided software may be used on the library's computers. Often the use of peripheral devices requires special software/drivers be installed. Software owned or supplied by users may not be installed or used on library computers.

Related library policies and handouts: