Computer Resources for Children
Preschool through 8th grade

Where can children use a computer in the Library?

Is there an age requirement for children to use a computer?

What hours are the children's computers available?

Is Internet access available to children?

Does the Library filter its Internet access?

How do children sign up to use a computer? Is identification required?

Can children reserve a computer in advance?

How many times per day can children sign up to use an Internet or game computer?

How long can children sit at a computer?

Can more than one child sit at a computer?

Can children sit unattended at the computer?

Is someone available to help children learn how to use the computer, Internet, and software?

Is homework help available on children's computers?

What kind of software is available?

Is printing and scanning available? How much does it cost?

Can children save files to a CD, USB device, or the computer?

Can children download files?

Can children check email?

Can children install software onto the computer?

Can adults use the children's computers?

For more information...


Where can children use computers in the Library?

The Youth Services Department has several computers that have been set up and configured  especially for children in preschool through 8th grade.

  • Three preschool computers for children ages 2 to 7 are available in the Preschool Area.
  • Two game computers for children in kindergarten through 8th grade are available near the front entrance to the Youth Services Department
  • Five homework computers for children in kindergarten through 8th grade are located in  the Youth Services study room alcove.
  • Twelve Internet computers and two study suite computers for children in kindergarten through 8th grade are available in the Youth Computer Lab.
  • One adapted computer with assistive devices for children with disabilities is located near the entrance to the Youth Services Department.
  • Two iMac computers are available in the Youth Services Digital Media Lab. Children may use the Digital Media Lab with parental supervision, or by obtaining a Digital Media Lab Access Card.

Back to Top

Is There an age requirement for children to use a computer?

Children may use computers in the Youth Services Department as soon as they are old enough to manipulate a computer mouse and keyboard. Children under 8 years old must be accompanied at the computer and throughout the Library by a parent or caregiver who is high school age or older.

Back to Top

What hours are the children's computers available?

The preschool, game, and homework computers are available when the Library opens and are turned off 15 minutes before Library closing.

Internet and Digital Media Lab computers are available according to the Youth Computer Lab schedule:

  • School year (late August to mid-June)
    • Monday through Friday: 3:00pm to 8:45pm (last sign-in at 8:30pm)
    • Saturday: 9:00am to 5:45pm (last sign-in at 5:30pm)
    • Sunday: 12:00noon to 5:45pm (last sign-in at 5:30pm)
  • Extended school breaks (winter, spring, summer; actual hours may vary)
    • Monday through Friday: 10:00am to 7:00pm (last sign-in at 6:45pm)
    • Saturday: 10:00am to 5:45pm (last sign-in at 5:30pm)
    • Sunday: 12:00noon to 5:45pm (last sign-in at 5:30pm)

Training for the adapted computer is available by appointment. Families of children with special needs may ask a Youth Services staff member to turn on the computer for their use at any time during Library hours.

Back to Top

Is Internet access available to children?

Internet access is available from Internet-connected computers in the Youth Computer Lab. The Library also provides wireless Internet access for all patrons, including students, who carry their own laptops and portable devices.

Back to Top

Does the Library filter its Internet access?

While Skokie Public Library does not use filtering software, we do take several measures to help children use the Internet safely.

  • Children are not allowed access to the Web until they read and accept the Library's Terms of Internet Access.
  • Desktop supervision software allows the Computer Lab Assistant to monitor children's Internet use on computers in the Youth Computer Lab. Staff is unable to monitor children's Internet use on the Library's wireless network.
  • Library staff has selected and indexed websites for children in the Kids section of the Library's website.

The idea of filtered Internet access sounds promising, however, many products block access to legitimate information and fail to block access to potentially harmful material. We encourage parents to explore and enjoy the Internet with their children.

Back to Top

How do children sign up to use a computer? Is identification required?

Sign-up and identification are required for the Internet, Digital Media Lab, and study suite computers in the Youth Computer Lab. Children must present one of the following forms of identification to the Computer Lab Assistant in order to acces the Internet:

  • Skokie Public Library card signed by the child
  • School I.D., bus pass, or other library card imprinted with child's name
  • Park District I.D. imprinted with child's name
  • Other "official" identification imprinted with child's name (scouting card, state I.D., etc.)
  • Parent's or adult guardian's Library card or I.D. as above or as follows: work I.D., grocery/video store customer card, warehouse club membership card, insurance card, etc.
  • Driver's licenses, credit cards, and ATM cards will not be accepted as identification
  • Children may use the Digital Media Lab with parental supervision, or by obtaining a Digital Media Lab Access Card.

Preschool, game, homework computers are available on a walk-up basis; no identification or sign-up is required.

Back to Top

Can children reserve a computer in advance?

Preschool, homework, Internet, and game computers are available on a first-come, first-served basis. When the Youth Computer Lab is full, children can add their names to a waiting list for the next available Internet computer.

Digital Media Lab computers can be reserved up to one week in advance by calling the Youth Services Computer Lab at 847.324.3186.

The adapted computer can be reserved in advance by children with disabilities and their families.

Back to Top

How many times per day can children sign up to use an Internet or game computer?

Children may sign in to use an Internet, Digital Media Lab, or study suite in the Youth Computer Lab two times per day, for a maximum of two hours total.

Back to Top

How long can children sit at a computer?

Computer usage times vary by computer and its location in the Youth Services Department.

  • Parents are asked to observe the 20 minute timeout on the preschool computers.
  • Children using the game computers must sign in at the computer and limit their play time to 30 minutes when others are waiting.
  • Homework computers have no set time limit, however, children are asked to limit their usage to one hour when other children are waiting to use a computer.
  • Internet, Digital Media Lab, and study suite computers in the Youth Computer Lab may be used for one hour. If the Computer Lab is not busy, children may stay at the computer for one additional hour for a maximum of two hours per day.
  • Length of usage at the adapted computer is at the parent's or adult caregiver's discretion, however, families are asked to limit their usage to one hour when others are waiting to use the computer.

Back to Top

Can more than one child sit at a computer?

Seating accommodations vary by computer and its location in the Youth Services Department.

  • Preschool: Two users per computer
  • Homework: Two users per computer (larger groups can sign in to the study suite in the Youth Computer Lab)
  • Internet: One user per computer
  • Game: Two users per computer
  • Study Suite: Two users per computer
  • iMac in Digital Media Lab:Two users per computer
  • Adapted computer: Two users

Parents and adult caregivers high school age and older are always invited and encouraged to sit alongside their child.

Back to Top

Can children sit unattended at the computer?

Children 8 years and older may use the homework, Internet, game, and Digital Media Lab computers independently. Children under 8 years old must be accompanied at the computer and throughout the Library by a parent or caregiver who is high school age or older.

Back to Top

Is someone available to help children learn how to use the computer, Internet, and software?

A Computer Assistant is available in the Youth Computer Lab to provide limited assistance with the Internet, Digital Media Lab, and study suite computers. Youth Services librarians and staff are available to provide assistance with the preschool, game, and homework computers.

Classes are offered in the Digital Media Lab. See the Youth Program Calendar for details.

Back to Top

Is homework help available on children's computers?

The Youth Services Department offers several online and computer resources to help students with their homework.

  • Internet computers in the Youth Computer Lab are connected to the Live Homework Help online tutoring service.
  • Homework and Internet computers in the Youth Services Department offer access to several research databases to help students find magazine, newspaper, and encyclopedia articles. A selection of productivity software is also available.
  • The Kids Homework Help section of the Library website is filled with links to websites on many school subjects and special topics.
  • For older students, the Library's Online Information Resources section offers advanced research tools and a directory of links to websites in a variety of topics.
  • The Library's online catalog is available on computers throughout the Youth Services department.

Back to Top

What kind of software is available?

Homework and Internet computers include basic accessories such as Paint, Calculator, Notepad, and WordPad. Additional software availability varies by computer and its location in the Youth Services Department. Please see our list of software available on Youth Services computers and the Digital Media Lab page for more information.

Back to Top

Are printing and scanning available? How much do they cost?

Printing is available from the Internet and Digital Media Lab computers in the Youth Computer Lab, from the homework computers, and from the adapted computer.

Printers accept Library cards and Print Cards. Money can be added to a Library card at the photocopy station in Youth Services. A renewable Print Card can be purchased from the Vendacard machines in the first floor or second floor copy centers.  The card costs one dollar for the initial purchase (50 cents for the card + 50 cents worth of copies). Black-and-white laser prints cost 10 cents per page; color prints cost 25 cents per page.

Scanning is available in the Youth Computer Lab. The Computer Assistant will scan items and transfer the files to an Internet computer or removable storage media (i.e., USB flash/micro drive). There is no charge for scanning.

Back to Top

Can children save files to a CD, USB device, or the computer?

CD burning hardware and software is not available on computers in the Youth Services Department. Children may save documents to a USB device ("JumpDrive") on the Internet, Digital Media Lab. homework, and adapted computers. JumpDrives are available for purchase at the Youth Services Desk.

Children who do not have portable storage media can temporarily save their files in the "My Documents" folder on the computer.

Back to Top

Can children download files?

Children can download files to the "My Documents" folder on the Internet and homework computers and to portable storage media such as a JumpDrive. Files downloaded to the "My Documents" folder are deleted after seven days.

Back to Top

Can children check email?

Children who have personal email accounts may check their email from Internet computers in the Youth Computer Lab. In keeping with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, children  under the age of 13 who wish to use email but do not have an email account should arrange with a parent to set up an account. Youth Services is unable to set up email accounts for children.

Back to Top

Can children install software onto the computer?

Patrons are not permitted to install software on any Library computer.

Back to Top

Can adults use the children's computers?

Computers in the Youth Services Department are reserved for children in preschool through 8th grade. While we welcome parents and adult caregivers to sit with and share their child's computing experience, adults must use the computer resources for adults and teens on the second floor of the Library and in selected Adult areas of the first floor.

Laptop computers are available for in-Library loan from the Adult Computer Lab. Parents and caregivers are welcome to use a laptop while supervising their child(-ren) in the Youth Services Department; however, laptop use by unaccompanied adults (i.e., those not attending to a child) is not permitted in the Youth Services Department.

Back to Top

For more information...

For more information about computer resources for children at Skokie Public Library, please call the Youth Computer Lab at 847.324.3186 or contact Erika Kallman, Computer Labs Coordinator, at 847.324.3116 or by .

Back to Top