Tech @ the Library

Website focus groups

We'll be traveling to various library branches and departments through February 26 to get your feedback about our new changes to the website, and feedback on our future website plans. The focus groups will be thirty minutes long and held 

Updates on website upgrade

We're still working on a few issues from our migration to The 'My Account' page is still currently disabled. To renew items or place holds, visit our catalog directly. Access to Heritage Quest is back! Go here to learn how to access it from home using RocketSearch.

We're also gradually rolling out new features to help you stay more in touch with your library, including an RSS feed of front-page news and a simplified mobile version of our site at

Thank you for being understanding while we make this move!

Keep track of your books with Library Elf

Need help keeping track of what library materials your family checks out? Library Elf can help. Learn more about it

Coming Oct. 1: online holds!

Get the books you want at your branch! Starting October 1, you'll be able to place a hold on a book through our online catalog and have that book delivered to your local branch for you to pick up.  Stay tuned for details!


April 2008's big library technology event is "going live" with our public wireless network. Free public wireless isn't a new concept, providing a free wireless network for the public has been in each of the Library's technology plans since 2001. But riding the teeter-totter of public sector implementation means continual adjustment of plans in the face of competing priorities. (No IT project ever dies, some are just delayed a while.)

Features HMCPL needed in a wireless network:

  • seamless ability to wander in buildings without disconnect
  • easy public logon, with existing library card
  • capable of filtering to meet Federal requirements for CIPA
  • equally available to all the library locations
  • low impact for front-line staff
  • reasonable network security

What might this require?

Funds. IT hours. The right product. And vocal and monetary project support from the library board, administration, public, staff, APLS, city and county funding agencies, and legislators who make possible federal grants for technology in public libraries.

What we used:

The equipment bid process led us to:

Come in and enjoy the mobility. Free to all with a library or PCUser card, available at any service desk.

Linux on the Desktop?

Running Linux on the desktop can save money for an organization. Given time and staff, ITS could certainly implement thin client Linux desktops for the public, and move from Microsoft into the open source realm. Open Office, Scribus, TheGIMP, all good "no-cost" substitutes if you are interested in the finished product, not the process.

But user expectations have a way of thwarting money-saving intentions, and in this area, with so much missile defense infrastructure, provision of Microsoft Windows and Office may be one of those expectations. Employers expect their employees to be able to use the software they provide, and if a service priority for the Library is to train our local workforce, using Linux desktops exclusively has the potential to create a growing service gap.

Entertaining article from ZDNet, "My Son Hates Linux":

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