Internet Manager Frequently Asked Questions


Why did the library implement this system?
The Internet has proven to be a very popular resource. In order for San Mateo County Library to give every patron equal access to its computers, Internet Manager software is installed to make computers available to more people. This system enables us to better manage our public computers, assuring equal access for all.


How does it work?
The software lets you reserve one hour per day of computer time. It also controls the length of sessions so that when you arrive for your reserved time, you can be sure a computer will be available for you. Computer users will be able to reserve a PC online from home, school, work, or while in the library. The software will allow you to reserve computers at all other participating libraries as well.


How do I get a library card?
Fill out an application form online or at any branch of the San Mateo County Library. You will also need to provide identification and proof of your current address. There is no charge to obtain a library card. If you are under 18, you will need a guardian's signature. Please call the the local library if you have any questions.


What is my PIN number?
Your PIN (Personal Identification Number) is the last 4 digits of your phone number. A PIN allows you to access your record for renewals, holds, and to reserve a computer. If you would like to change your PIN please contact your local library.


Can I still use the computers if I don't have a library card?
Yes. Visitors to the libraries can obtain a pass at the Information Desk. This pass can be used at any computer with the Internet Manager software.


How much time do I get on the computer?
The maximum possible use during one day is two hours. There is no guarantee of two hours of use. Unused time does not carry over to the next day.


Can the library keep track of what I do on the Internet because I am signing on with my card?
No. The computer's record of what Internet sites you visited is deleted when you log off.


What happens if I only use 30 minutes of my time?
If you don't use all of your time, you can use the remaining time later in the day. Be sure to log off, so the system knows that you have time remaining.


If I have fines on my Library Card can I still use the Internet?
Yes. Fines do not affect your Internet privileges.


If I just walk into the library, can I still get on the Internet?
Yes. As long as you have your library card and as long as there are available computers. Visitors to the libraries without a library card can obtain a pass at the Information Desk. Pass can be used at any computer with the Internet Manager software.


How far in advance can I reserve a computer?
You may make a reservation three days in advance.


What if I show up early?
You must wait until your scheduled time to log in, unless computers are available.


What if I arrive late or miss my scheduled reservation?
You must log on within the first 5 minutes of your scheduled reservation or the reservation will be cancelled. The cancelled time will still be deducted from your daily maximum.


When does my time start and stop?
If you have a reservation, the time starts when the reservation is scheduled. If you walk up to a workstation and begin to use it without a reservation (because the computer is free), the time begins then. You can stay on the computer until the reservation time runs out, or someone has a prior reservation for a specific time-whichever comes first.


If I finish my session early, what should I do?
Close all programs and log out completely to end your session. Be sure that you have no open programs on the task bar.


How will I know when my session is ending?
The system will issue on-screen warnings before the end of the session. When the session is over, the system automatically logs out.

What if I log out early by mistake or the computer crashes and I'm not finished?
If you still have time available in your daily two-hour allotment, you will be able to log back in and finish your session.


When I logged in, the computer indicated that I only had a few minutes available. Why don't I have more time?
This means one of two things: either the computer you have logged onto is reserved for another patron in a few minutes, or you have already used your allotted two hours for the day.


I typed in my library card number and PIN number but get an error message. What's wrong?
A typing error is the most likely reason; please re-try. If the message repeats then your card may have expired. To check on this problem please ask staff for assistance.