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Computer Signup and Reservation

Pharos Automated Computer SignUp FAQs

What is Pharos SignUp?

SignUp is an automated PC reservation system that allows you to make your own reservations for PC usage.

Why did you implement this system?

This system enables us to better manage our public computers, assuring equal access for all. It also collects the usage statistics that are crucial to our funding.

What do I need to use Pharos?

You must log in to the computers using your 14 digit library card number and 4 digit pin number.

  • If you have, in your possession, a library card issued by an MVLC (Merrimack Valley Library Consortium) library, you are all set (if you don't know your pin number, our reference or circulation staff can help you).
  • If you don't have a library card or have lost your card, and are an Andover resident, you can get a new or replacement card at our Circulation Desk.
  • If you don't have a library card, and are a Massachusetts resident, you must get a card from your home town library. If your home town library is a member of MVLC, you are all set. If your home town library is outside of the MVLC service area, we will register the card from the library into our system.
  • If you don't have a library card, and you are NOT a Massachusetts resident, you must purchase an out-of-state card at $75/year.
  • Note: Using someone else's login information is illegal and will result in revocation of computer privileges

OK, I have a valid library card and pin number. How do I get started?

If a computer is not being used, just sit down at the computer and log in. You will be able to use the computer for up to one hour. If all the computers are being used, go to the signup computer on the large table near the Reference Desk and log in there. After you login, print out a reservation receipt, and keep an eye on the large monitor which lists the people in the queue and tells you when and which computer is ready for your login. When you see that the computer is ready for you, just sit down at the computer and log in. Be sure to hold on to your receipt - it is your proof that you have signed up for a computer.

What happens if I only use 30 minutes of my time?

If you don't use all of your hour, you can use it up at a later time in the day. Be sure to log off, so the system knows that you have time remaining.

What happens if I need more time than one hour?

After your hour, if no one is waiting, you can sign up on the same computer or another computer for one more hour. If other people are waiting, you can sign up for a second hour, but you will go into the queue and you will have to wait your turn.

What if I use up my second hour? If computers are not being used, can I sign up for another hour?

No, the system will not permit it.

Are there advance reservations?

No.

How long will the system hold a reservation before the computer is released for reassignment?

5 minutes

Will the system warn me at the end of my time?

Yes, you will be warned. If you ignore the warnings, the system will reboot at the end of your time, and any unsaved data will be lost.

What if I don't have my library card with me?

We will look up your card number and pin number if you show us ID. We suggest that you keep either the card or a note with your card number in your wallet so you don't have to wait for us to give you the information. (Tip: Some people store their library card numbers on their cell phones.)

I'm a visitor to your town. Can I still use your computers?

Yes, we can log you in as a guest, but if you will be using our computers on a regular basis, you need to get a library card, as outlined above.

Last updated: October 01, 2012
Home URL: http://www.mhl.org/
Full URL: http://www.mhl.org/about/computers/pharosfaqs.htm
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Memorial Hall Library   2 N. Main Street   Andover, MA 01810    rdesk@mhl.org   p:978-623-8400   f:978-623-8407