Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Change in Computer Time Limits

Currently, Waterloo Public Library Public Access Computers allow patrons at least an hour of usage each day. If no one is waiting to use a computer at the end of that hour, the system automatically extends the session to a total of 90 minutes.

Due to intense demand for computer time--especially in the late afternoon and evening--beginning Monday, November 5, sessions will no longer be automatically extended at the end of one hour. Staff members may, at their discretion, extend times manually upon request during times of low computer usage.

Please contact either me ( or other staff with questions or concerns.

c 2007 Waterloo Public Library

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Second Floor Changes

Second floor patrons will see some major changes this afternoon. The stack mover fairies visited the library last night and rearranged our layout.

The periodicals are now over by the corner of West Park and Commercial. This isn't their final resting place, but will have to do for now.

Older periodicals are in the process of being moved to empty shelves over by the 700s. Again, this is a temporary location while we shift the rest of the collection.

The fancy tables and lamps have been moved to the east wall where they will sit until we have room to put them next to the windows. The periodicals and tables have displaced the teen area. However, as the non-fiction collection is shifted to the east of the stairwell, space for the teens will open up in the area now housing the 600s.

I realize that all of these changes are hard to follow, but when they are complete, the second floor will be a more pleasant and useful place for reading, browsing, using the computers, or taking classes. As always, contact a staff member if you have difficulty finding materials or have suggestions.

Thank-you for your patience.

c 2007 Waterloo Public Library

Thursday, October 25, 2007

FAFSA: Federal Student Aid

The Federal Student Aid service no longer provides us with paper application forms. If you wish to make an application, try these links: FSA Publications and Federal Student Aid.

If you have further questions, check at the reference desk or try the InfoWiz virtual reference service in the upper right hand corner of this page.

c 2007 Waterloo Public Library

Sunday, October 21, 2007

WPL Express Computer

Patrons who only want to print a resume or quickly check their email now have a new option: Express Computing.

The Express Computer may be used for up to 20 minutes each day. Patrons needing more than 20 minutes should either log on to a Public Access Computer using a library card at the signup station, or by persuading a librarian to fork over a temporary "guest" pass.

Once the Acceptable Use Policy has been "accepted" by the patron, the Internet browser will launch and will remain running for 20 minutes. The time will be counted down in the lower right-hand corner of the screen. Warnings of an impending reboot will be given with 5 and then 2 minutes remaining. Closing the browser will result in a reboot the computer and all work not saved to an external medium (e.g., thumb drive), will be erased.

Patrons wishing to use an Office application should select "decline" at the Acceptable Use Policy page, then launch the desired application from the appropriate desktop shortcut. There is no timer on the Office applications, but staying on for more than 20 minutes may result in the session being manually terminated by staff. Patrons needing more time should avail themselves of the reservation system.

Printing: For either Internet or Office applications, send print jobs by selecting File Print and "ok". A few seconds after sending the job, a dialog box will request a name. Give the print job a descriptive name. Print jobs may then be retrieved by logging onto the print release station with "express".

Express computers are a novelty for the WPL staff and patrons. As time goes on, we'll probably learn from our mistakes and make changes accordingly. Meanwhile, give the new station a try and please report any problems by adding a comment to this blog.


c 2007 Waterloo Public Library

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Downtown Waterloo's River Front Renaissance

Downtown Waterloo has seen dramatic changes over the past construction season; more of the same is on the way. Flood walls are being repaired, the Center for the Arts is building a Youth Pavilion, the Fourth Street Dam is getting an extension, and preparatory work for an exposition area is happening south of Commercial Street in front of the library.

As the construction continues, we will be taking pictures from either the roof of the library or maybe the balcony. We at the library are pleased to have a front row seat to Waterloo's Downtown Renaissance!

For a full screen slide show, click the image below.

c 2007 Waterloo Public Library

Monday, October 01, 2007

The Day the Ceilings Fell!

WPL librarians got a nasty surprise when they arrived at work Monday morning: Overnight rains had flooded large areas of the second and third floors. A contract roofer removed the room to the library's penthouse (where the air handler and elevator equipment live) late last week, then walked away without installing any tarps.

The sorry results can be seen in the slide show above. Preliminary estimates suggest that the roofer's are liable for at least $6,000 worth of damaged materials, and a cleaning crew was still working 15 hours later. They're using heaters and fans to dry the carpets; we hope to stay ahead of the mold and mildew.

I see that NOAA is predicting rain for Tuesday; let's hope the roofer's get us buttoned up first.

c 2007 Waterloo Public Library

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