Computer Services

Public Computers

The Grand Rapids Public Library has nearly 200 computers available for patron use at its Main Library and seven branch libraries.

To use a computer, you need a valid library card or Internet card. Computer sessions are limited to 1 hour per day for library card holders and 30 minutes per day for internet card holders. Patrons with library fines over $40 are not able to use the public computers.

All public computers contain:

  • OpenOffice Suite, an open source software that is free for the library to use. This software includes word processing, spreadsheets, and multimedia presentations. The library offers classes to learn how to use this software.
  • Mozilla FireFox for web browsing and common plug-in use.
  • Ahead Nero CD burning software.

Other information:

  • Volume: Headphones may be used to listen to audio. A patron may bring their own or purchase headphones at the library.
  • File storage: Computer files can be saved on a floppy disk, USB Flash drive, or a CD (available only on certain computers). Disks, flash drives and CDs are available for purchase at the library.


Both black & white and color printing is available. Black & white prints cost .15 cents per page and color prints cost .50 per page. Jobs are queued before printing so they can be previewed before incurring any costs. You can set up your computer to print using our printer. You can also set up Google Cloud Print.

Printing at the Main Library

Find out how to use the new printing system on the Lower Level of the Main Library.

  • A printer appearing as a Windows network printer is available at each location. A patron using a laptop will need to install a new printer using a building ID and the printer name:
    Location Printer Designation
    Main Library \\ism1\printer1
    Madison Square \\madison\printer1
    Ottawa Hills \\ottawa\printer1
    Seymour \\seymour\printer1
    Van Belkum at Creston \\creston\printer1
    West Leonard \\westleonard\printer1
    West Side \\westside\printer1
    Yankee Clipper \\yankee\printer1
  • You may also use any standard Postscript driver. We recommend something like ‘HP LaserJet 5/5M Postscript’. Here is an example for Windows XP.
  • MAC Leopard or Snow Leopard (e.g. 10.5 or 10.6) users can print by setting up a printer to use “Line Printer Daemon – LPD”. The printer address is “ism1” for the Main Library, otherwise se the branch name under the Printer Designation listed above) and the queue name is hold.
  • MAC OSX users can print by setting up a printer to use “IP Printing” to the LPR service. The printer address is ism1 (for Main only, otherwise use the branch name under the Printer Designation listed above) and the queue name is hold.

Linux and similiar operating systems like Ubuntu can print by setting up a Network Printer. Just follow these steps:

  • Choose – System > Administration > Printing > Add > Network Printer > LPD/LPR Host or Printer: Set to Host: ism1 and Queue: hold
  • You can cancel the search for drivers and simply select a Xerox Phaser 6180, although even the generic postscript driver will work. Name the printer, and you’re done.

Laptop Connections and Wi-Fi service

Free wireless (802.11b/g) access is available in all 8 library locations.

Patrons need a network card configured to use TCP/IP and to obtain an IP address automatically via DHCP. The library’s network is called ‘GRPL_Public’. Due to the proliferation of malware and its negative effects on our networks, we limit outbound connections to HTTP and HTTPS traffic. Many Web applications have an option to work from “behind a firewall” to facilitate their use. If you have issues with a specific application, or a suggestion for other ports that would likely need access, please let us know. If you connect OK, but can’t load any pages, try clicking here.

The Grand Rapids Public Library reserves the right to terminate network connections in accordance with Library policies and Federal, State and local laws.