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momchiroto2

Small Vent- Computers in the children section of the library

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I love taking my kids to the library to explore books and nurture their interests. However, the children's section of our library has a small area with computers that have specific children games etc...They have another section where they have computers for the older children so that they can do their research, which i have no problem with. I have a problem with the computers for the little kids. My kids are so focused on playing on the computers that they practically ignore the books around them. Am I the only one who thinks these computers are a little distracting and do not belong in a library? Or am i missing a perspective here?

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Mine doesn't have them, but I completely agree with you!!

 

Thank you, because i was beginning to think I am being weird and picky. It really takes the fun out of going to the library.

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:iagree: with you. I really don't like them either. I don't know why kids have to always be stimulated constantly. How are they ever to learn to sit still and enjoy reading a book if they are constantly bombarded visually?? :confused:

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one of the libraries I frequent is like this. I can hardly get my kids off the computer long enough to pick out their books. :glare:

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Mine has them, away from the books, generally. They also have a time limit (20-30 minutes?). I think the sign in sheet specifically says that the time limit is only when there are others waiting, but we use it as a simple time limit. My children are old enough that I can let them use the computers for 20 minutes while I go browse in the adult section.

 

There are also times when mine just aren't allowed to use the computers and they don't seem upset.

 

We're usually at the library for 45-60 minutes, weekly, so I'm not that worried about it. They still have time to browse after using the computers.

 

The days they don't use the computers, they grab a stack of books and go sit at one of the tables while I browse.

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Our library has 3 computers in the children's section with a selection of CD-Roms and internet access as well as the library catalog. I see no problem whatsoever with it. My kids never ask to use them, as we have computers at home and we are there to get books (which they love). What bothers you about it?

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We had to make specific rules about not using the computers at the library except to look up items on the catalog, because they were too distracting. What ends up happening at our library is little ones, say 2-4 years old, are left alone at the computers while the adult browses, causing the librarians to spend a lot of time searching for the adults and telling them the computers are not meant as baby sitters.

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When I take my nephew to the library with us during the summer, that is all that he notices. :glare: It would be nice to have them out of the way.

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Just tell your kids that you are visiting the library to look at books, not computers. No big deal.

 

They do not bother me. We rarely have the extra time to play around on the computers but when we do the boys really enjoy it.

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Our library has 3 computers in the children's section with a selection of CD-Roms and internet access as well as the library catalog. I see no problem whatsoever with it. My kids never ask to use them, as we have computers at home and we are there to get books (which they love). What bothers you about it?

 

These specific computers are for toddlers with games on them. I have no problem with the internet accessed computers for the older children. To have a section specific for games for the little ones I do have a problem with. My children get computer time at home as well, we monitor it but when we go to the library the purpose is to explore books not sit in front of a screen. I guess I always have viewed libraries as a sanctuary for books and having computers seems to take away from that experience.

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My library has them but my children have so much fun with the librarians that they don't even bother with the computers.

 

We went to the library on Monday for storytime. After it was over I was still helping my DS(12) find a book so the librarian let DD(4) shelve books with her.

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We have them and it bugs me, too. I don't allow my dc to play on them. What really bugs me is that the only computers in the children's section are for games, not for searching the library's catalog. If we want to search for a book, I have to parade into the adult section with all the children, search on an adult-height computer, then go back to the children's section. It makes no sense.

 

I'm with you!

GardenMom

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I love taking my kids to the library to explore books and nurture their interests. However, the children's section of our library has a small area with computers that have specific children games etc...They have another section where they have computers for the older children so that they can do their research, which i have no problem with. I have a problem with the computers for the little kids. My kids are so focused on playing on the computers that they practically ignore the books around them. Am I the only one who thinks these computers are a little distracting and do not belong in a library? Or am i missing a perspective here?

 

The ones in our library have been out of order for a while, which makes me happy. I'd just as soon have them stay that way! I'd much rather have my kids finding and reading books. I get enough begging for computer games at home. :glare:

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What ends up happening at our library is little ones, say 2-4 years old, are left alone at the computers while the adult browses, causing the librarians to spend a lot of time searching for the adults and telling them the computers are not meant as baby sitters.

 

My library has two in the children's section. They were funded by a grant, and their sole purpose is for preschoolers. They have games pre-loaded, and no internet. (We use a clone drive to keep the games loaded, so we don't have to continually switch discs, and that's just one more headache, because it's practically impossible for any patron to access the games, even though we have detailed directions. It's not their fault, it's a pain.)

 

I work at the library. In the children's dept. I hate these computers. Many, many people use them as babysitters for their very small children, park their kids there, and then go to the internet computers and play Farmville, get on FB, whatever. I don't know why a library needs preschool computers games to attract kids, entertain kids. Whatever purpose they are supposed to serve, they don't.

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My older kids really hate the interactive displays (i.e. programmed computers) that are showing up in museum after museum. They are taking the place of actual exhibits and also the kids just want to press buttons or press keys. So yes I agree with you. The only computers there should be ones that access the catalog and databases. Nothing fun for kids.

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Am I the only one who thinks these computers are a little distracting and do not belong in a library?

 

For me, it's a big vent. I truly dislike that they have computers available to the younger kids. Crazy. So they can be distracted and not sit down with a pile of. . . um, books?! It is a library.

 

I think we should craft a letter that we can all use and send to our individual libraries across the country and get this changed.

 

Yes, I know none of us has free time, but it's the principle of the thing. I just think computers in the little kids' area sends the wrong message.

 

Alley

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These specific computers are for toddlers with games on them. I have no problem with the internet accessed computers for the older children. To have a section specific for games for the little ones I do have a problem with. My children get computer time at home as well, we monitor it but when we go to the library the purpose is to explore books not sit in front of a screen. I guess I always have viewed libraries as a sanctuary for books and having computers seems to take away from that experience.

 

This is a HUGE pet peeve of mine as well. I have stopped taking my kids to the library because I can't stand the whining and cajoling. I now just dash in to grab my holds and go :glare:.

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For me, it's a big vent. I truly dislike that they have computers available to the younger kids. Crazy. So they can be distracted and not sit down with a pile of. . . um, books?! It is a library.

 

I think we should craft a letter that we can all use and send to our individual libraries across the country and get this changed.

 

Yes, I know none of us has free time, but it's the principle of the thing. I just think computers in the little kids' area sends the wrong message.

 

Alley

 

:iagree:

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Some kids may have no other access to the computers and I think it's great that the library makes them available to the public. Otherwise some little kids wouldn't know how to use them at all.

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Some kids may have no other access to the computers and I think it's great that the library makes them available to the public. Otherwise some little kids wouldn't know how to use them at all.

 

 

:iagree:

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Our library has three different types of computers in the kids area. There are at least four that are only for library catalogue searching. Then there are a bunch that the children's dept didn't even ask for from the Gates Foundation. Those are for toddlers and came loaded with games. I have to say, I loved those when my kids were littles because I could let them play while I ran around and got our books for the week. There was a 20 min time limit so it wasn't a big intrustion. They shut themselves down after 20 mins so it wasn't me saying no more computer. Then there are the internet computers. Those are for kids who are able to sign for their own library card and have parental permission. Those are used for general internet stuff and can only be used by youth. Mostly, they are used by kids who do not have access to computer/internet at home.

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Some kids may have no other access to the computers and I think it's great that the library makes them available to the public. Otherwise some little kids wouldn't know how to use them at all.

 

This is what I was just going to type.

 

I make sure my kids know that we are there for books, and now they are so used to that, they don't even ask. But every once and awhile I do see a child playing at the computer that I know does not have a computer at home (we live in a small town, what can I say? :) ) and it makes me happy to know they can have some exposure. At our library, there are some very cute games with Clifford, Madeline, and other literary characters. Yeh, they are games, but I still do not have a problem with them.

 

Sure, some parents use it as a babysitter, and yes it can be distracting for all kids. But that is our issue as parents, and its a time we need to set rules or boundaries. I don't think it is a reason for the library not to have the computers at all. With all of the budget cuts that the libraries are getting lately, it is great that they even have the computers. Although books should be the main "business" at the library, we are a computer society now, and I think it is important to have free options available to the public. Yes, even the kids.

 

I agree with another poster who mentioned the lack of card catalog computers in the children's section...what is up with that? That doesn't make sense to me, either. I'd be fine with even an old school card catalog, just to not have to walk over to the other side of the library. :lol:

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It has been one of my pet peeves since my 3.5 year old was first walking. Once he discovered the computers in the children's department (which in that library, were at the very back), he would not do anything else. He was never signed in to play the games, but he liked to move the mouse and "type" on the keyboard.

 

The library we use now has about a dozen computers that go through the middle of the children's department. You can see the first of them when you enter. They recently purchased new peripherals and headphones that are more child attracting than ever. They have games and internet access. I have not ever let my son sign in to use them, but he wants to. It has taken until now for him to be able to resist sitting down and messing with the mouse and keyboard even though I have told him no every time. I wish they would go away.

 

Then again, I also dislike the internet access computers for adults at the library. Most of those people would never enter a library if it weren't for these computers and they are taking up parking and resources that people who use libraries for their intended use then can't use.

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Libraries are no longer a storehouse of books, they are a storehouse of INFORMATION. I would be really sad to visit a library that did not have free and open computer access available for the public.

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These specific computers are for toddlers with games on them. I have no problem with the internet accessed computers for the older children. To have a section specific for games for the little ones I do have a problem with. My children get computer time at home as well, we monitor it but when we go to the library the purpose is to explore books not sit in front of a screen. I guess I always have viewed libraries as a sanctuary for books and having computers seems to take away from that experience.

 

 

Libraries are about much more than books -- they are about access to media of all kinds. You may have computers at home, but many people do not. I think it is wonderful that your library has the funds to be able to offer computer access in their children's department. It seems as if they've thought quite carefully about what kind of access is appropriate for what age groups, too. If the toddler computers could access the internet, I would think that was an odd choice, but as they are reserved for playing age appropriate games, I do not think that is a bad thing at all!

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Libraries are no longer a storehouse of books, they are a storehouse of INFORMATION. I would be really sad to visit a library that did not have free and open computer access available for the public.

 

Yes, that is true and I agree with you on that point, BUT to me that is not the same as having computers that are geared up for only games in a prominent place in the toddler area. It is challenging for parents enough to try to foster a love of reading in their children without having to compete with brightly animated games with cute songs and sound effects. And if it's anything like my library, the kids are all crowded around the computers so naturally my kids want to go and see what's going on over there.

 

Maybe I'm over-thinking things too much, but I can't help but feel that children today are over stimulated by computer/video games and I can't help but wonder how they can learn to enjoy sitting down and reading a really good book (without pictures) if they are so used to always being stimulated. I can't help but think they would find it boring because of the lack of action, again these are my personal feelings only, and I worry about them missing out on the ability to be able to have a quiet time reading a good book. I personally believe a good book can change your life. But that's just me. :tongue_smilie:

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Libraries are no longer a storehouse of books, they are a storehouse of INFORMATION. I would be really sad to visit a library that did not have free and open computer access available for the public.

 

 

They've always been storehouses of information. It is only until recently that information could be delivered in forms other than the traditional print media.

 

I also agree that it is sad when libraries cannot (due to financial restraints) or will not offer free and open computer access to the public.

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I have honestly never seen toddlers gathered around the computers at the library. I have been to many libraries over the years and I have never seen this. I'm not saying it doesn't happen, because obviously several of you are saying it does, but I've not experienced this, even during story hour when there are dozens of toddlers in the room. :confused:

 

What does annoy me to no end are the beanbags and foam 'chairs', baskets of finger puppets and stuffed animals, and the like that are out in the children's room!

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I have honestly never seen toddlers gathered around the computers at the library. I have been to many libraries over the years and I have never seen this. I'm not saying it doesn't happen, because obviously several of you are saying it does, but I've not experienced this, even during story hour when there are dozens of toddlers in the room. :confused:

 

 

 

Our library has a wait list for the computers in the toddler area! :001_huh:

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Then again, I also dislike the internet access computers for adults at the library. Most of those people would never enter a library if it weren't for these computers and they are taking up parking and resources that people who use libraries for their intended use then can't use.

 

Would it be okay if those people were using the computers for job searching and applications? I noticed that one of our local grocery stores now only accepts online applications ("To reduce paper"). If I don't have internet access at home, and am unemployed, what's the best way for me to job hunt in a society that uses the internet more and more for job postings and applying?

 

The library has always had more than just books. I grew up in a tiny town and our library also was a place to get tax forms and booklets in January/February, it had a community board for other things happening in the area, groups met there for things like study groups or learn to play chess, etc.

 

Our adult computers have time limits, like the children's do. They also have a few "express" computers with a very short time limit (10 minutes?) meant for the quick check of email or similar.

 

Our library catalog computers also have access to LOADS of other databases. I'm so thankful I stumbled upon NoveList one day and its Author Read-Alike option. I found new authors to read which lead to even more things.

 

Difference of opinion, I guess, but I'm really glad there are computers at the library. I wonder how many computers my fines have purchased? :lol:

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I love taking my kids to the library to explore books and nurture their interests. However, the children's section of our library has a small area with computers that have specific children games etc...They have another section where they have computers for the older children so that they can do their research, which i have no problem with. I have a problem with the computers for the little kids. My kids are so focused on playing on the computers that they practically ignore the books around them. Am I the only one who thinks these computers are a little distracting and do not belong in a library? Or am i missing a perspective here?

 

 

I agree with you 1000000%! My kids are not allowed to play computer games in the library. I've told them "the library is for reading and finding books, not for computer games." Most kids in the kids' section are there solely to play these games, not to pick out books. I hate it.

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Today's library is not all about books--it's a center for information and learning. It's up to us as parents and educators to make sure that our children learn from various sources. The library provides the means (computers, books, DVDs, CDs, newspapers, magazines), but it's up to each parent to set the boundaries of how those means are utilized. Some parents may not do so, but I won't fault the library for that.

 

I appreciate when libraries try to make a cozy and enjoyable environment for children. Some children are not exposed to any type of literacy in their homes. So if a library can provide safe and educational learning opportunities, I am all for it.

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Our library has computers in the Children's section but I have never allowed my kids on them. However, I don't mind them being there. I live in an inner city and for many kids in our neighborhood, the library is a safe haven after school and on vacations etc. I would much rather they be able to be at the library even if it is on a computer than on the streets. Our library does a lot of activities for the kids around here and I know it is making a difference in their lives.

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Our library has computers in the Children's section but I have never allowed my kids on them. However, I don't mind them being there. I live in an inner city and for many kids in our neighborhood, the library is a safe haven after school and on vacations etc. I would much rather they be able to be at the library even if it is on a computer than on the streets. Our library does a lot of activities for the kids around here and I know it is making a difference in their lives.

 

:iagree:

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Today's library is not all about books--it's a center for information and learning.

 

I get this. But when I see kids of all ages playing shoot-em-up first person games in the kids' section, you have to think..."is this really about information and learning?" I mean, come on.

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Today's library is not all about books--it's a center for information and learning. It's up to us as parents and educators to make sure that our children learn from various sources. The library provides the means (computers, books, DVDs, CDs, newspapers, magazines), but it's up to each parent to set the boundaries of how those means are utilized. Some parents may not do so, but I won't fault the library for that.

 

I appreciate when libraries try to make a cozy and enjoyable environment for children. Some children are not exposed to any type of literacy in their homes. So if a library can provide safe and educational learning opportunities, I am all for it.

 

sigh. You are right and I agree with you completely. I guess I just hate to always be "the bad guy" that has to tell my kids no because they see what is available and I want to limit their exposure. :(

 

Sigh. It's so hard to be a parent. I guess that would be my vent. lol :tongue_smilie:

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The library closest to us has them in the kids section and I think it is annoying as well. Obviously, most children raised in today's culture would chose to be playing games on them. The computers only have games on them. You have to go to the adult section for anything else. My kids know that they are not allowed to use them as that is not what we are there for.

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In order to get to the children's non-fiction section at the library downtown, we must walk by the rows of children's computers (probably 30-40 of them.) It never fails that there are young people on them watching lewd music videos, and I have to explain to my ds once again why children are allowed to watch almost naked women dancing in the library. :glare:

 

Some of the children's sections in libraries here are just a toy section and a row of computers with a few book shelves thrown in for good measure. Of course, the library itself is often just a Blockbuster video store with a few books around it. ;)

 

Meanwhile, at the other end of the spectrum, I visited a library we aren't usually near while waiting for dh. I had my laptop, intending to type some lesson plans. We sat in the children's section, so that ds could get some books off the shelf to read. The librarian came over and told me that I couldn't use the internet in the children's section. I told her that I wasn't on the internet, but she insisted that I put the laptop away altogether. Mind you, we were the only people in the entire library at about 10 a.m. on a school day. :D Also, you could see the adult row of computers from the children's section (it was a tiny library.) :001_huh:

 

Luckily, we have a few rays of light: a wonderful children's librarian who carefully guards classics and keeps them on the shelf, and another library with a wonderful reference and non-section.

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I love taking my kids to the library to explore books and nurture their interests. However, the children's section of our library has a small area with computers that have specific children games etc...They have another section where they have computers for the older children so that they can do their research, which i have no problem with. I have a problem with the computers for the little kids. My kids are so focused on playing on the computers that they practically ignore the books around them. Am I the only one who thinks these computers are a little distracting and do not belong in a library? Or am i missing a perspective here?

 

I'm with you 100%. Most of the libraries around here have that, and my kids always beeline for the computer when we go to one of those. I am very fortunate that our library believes as we do, and there is not a single computer (except to look up the card catalog - no games, no internet) in the children's section.

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I get this. But when I see kids of all ages playing shoot-em-up first person games in the kids' section, you have to think..."is this really about information and learning?" I mean, come on.

 

Well, I would agree that this is ridiculous. I have never seen games like that in the children's room, but if I did I would absolutely complain very loudly.

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For me, it's a big vent. I truly dislike that they have computers available to the younger kids. Crazy. So they can be distracted and not sit down with a pile of. . . um, books?! It is a library.

 

I think we should craft a letter that we can all use and send to our individual libraries across the country and get this changed.

 

Yes, I know none of us has free time, but it's the principle of the thing. I just think computers in the little kids' area sends the wrong message.

 

Alley

 

I don't know if this is addressed later in the thread... but I disagree.

 

Our card catalog is on the computer system. The branches have some computers that are card catalog only. There are now many computers that people can sign up to use. For some people, this may be their only computer access. If my son is looking up something in the card catalog, I'd rather he not be right next to an adult surfing.

 

The computers in the kids areas are for kids (although I have been able to look for books for my son on them on occasion).

 

Our branch also has gaming systems (Wii & XBox, I believe) for kids to play on at the library. I'm not as fond of this, but the library is more than just books and print media. And if kids are hanging out at the library, the library is still able to show that it's being used - thus keeping it funded well. We don't have issues of our library not having enough resources as a general rule.

 

My pet peeve even more is people talking on their phones IN the library.

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Our library has 3 computers in the children's section with a selection of CD-Roms and internet access as well as the library catalog. I see no problem whatsoever with it. My kids never ask to use them, as we have computers at home and we are there to get books (which they love). What bothers you about it?

This is pretty much the way it is with us, too, although there might be 5 computers for kids at our library. I haven't explored what activities they can be used for. We pretty much ignore them. I think dd7 asked about them once, but we have a computer at home that we let them use, so she doesn't need to use the library's. And our library has a large collection of stuffed animal puppets for the kids to play with. So my kids are pretty busy with those.

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Just tell your kids that you are visiting the library to look at books, not computers. No big deal.

 

 

:iagree: That's what we've done since they were tiny, so they mostly don't even ask.

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I guess I don't quite understand the fuss... if you don't want your child(ren) to use the computers, then don't allow them to use the computers. If they throw a fit because "other kids" get to do it, then treat that the same as any other "but so and so gets to do it" moment.*

 

*do you remember when you were a kid and your folks would say "well so-and-so doesn't live here now does she" and you thought 'i will NEVER say that to MY kids!' oh how stuff changes. "because i said so!" :p

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I don't mind the computers and games as long as (1) there are at least a couple of dedicated computers for searching the catalog ONLY; and (2) the computers are set on mute. At the library in our old neighborhood, there were a couple of computers in the children's section set on toddler-sized tables and the noise from the games was loud and incessant. It really was distracting, not just for my kids but also for me -- it was a disincentive to sit down and actually read to them there, as opposed to just grabbing the books and leaving.

 

In our current neighborhood library, the computers are muted and it's fine.

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There are computers in the childrens (preschool thru Jr. Fiction) section of the library too. However, I have to sign on using a library card and the limit is for 1 hour. It's nice that I can be on them looking up things etc. while my children browse. I think it's nice for the families that don't have computers at home-the could use starfall and other neat sights while there. My kids aren't really that interested in the library computers, but I don't see them as a big deal.

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Our library has them, but I never allowed mine to play on them. We were there to pick out books, if they wanted to play games we had computer at home to do that on. I used to hate going into the kids section when others were playing on them because then mine wanted to watch and it was always noisy. Plus many parents use them as babysitters while they use the online computers which really just forced the librarian to babysit and as far as I'm aware that is not in their job description

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I don't know if this is addressed later in the thread... but I disagree.

 

Our card catalog is on the computer system. The branches have some computers that are card catalog only. There are now many computers that people can sign up to use. For some people, this may be their only computer access. If my son is looking up something in the card catalog, I'd rather he not be right next to an adult surfing.

 

The computers in the kids areas are for kids (although I have been able to look for books for my son on them on occasion).

 

Our branch also has gaming systems (Wii & XBox, I believe) for kids to play on at the library. I'm not as fond of this, but the library is more than just books and print media. And if kids are hanging out at the library, the library is still able to show that it's being used - thus keeping it funded well. We don't have issues of our library not having enough resources as a general rule.

 

My pet peeve even more is people talking on their phones IN the library.

 

 

This is how it is in our library, too. And I never thought of why the kids had their own section before, but you are right.

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Our card catalog is on the computer system. The branches have some computers that are card catalog only. There are now many computers that people can sign up to use. For some people, this may be their only computer access. If my son is looking up something in the card catalog, I'd rather he not be right next to an adult surfing.

 

Our library has computers designated "card catalog lookup only" right in between the juvenile and regular sections. The online computers are in a different area.

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