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September 17, 2004

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Publication Date: Friday, September 17, 2004

High demand leads to restricted access High demand leads to restricted access (September 17, 2004)

Library will limit Internet use

Mountain View Library officials are hoping that new technology will make it easier for people to surf the Internet.

On a typical morning, a crowd of would-be Internet users starts amassing near the main entrance just before the library opens at 10:00 a.m. Some, according to library services director Karen Burnett, spend hours and hours online, making it difficult for others to log on.

But in early October, the library will unveil a program designed to manage Internet access. Users will need to pay $2 for a Smart Card, a regular library card with a special microchip, and then insert it into a reader to start surfing. The time limit is one hour.

"All libraries will be doing this," said Burnett. "There's this huge demand, especially for Internet access, and a finite number of machines."

Burnett added that she is hoping to incorporate a reservation system in the future.

Out-of-towners and others who don't want to get a Smart Card will still be able to use "express" Internet stations, monitored by a staff member and limited to 15 minutes per person.

-- Jon Wiener

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