Library system changes computer access requirements

— Is a library card in your wallet?

It better be if you want to use a computer at one of the county’s six library branches.

Under the system’s present set-up, anyone who wants to use a computer at a branch can get a guest pass that gives them access. That will change Oct. 7 when Clayton County Library System officials will require Georgia residents to have PINES library cards to use the computers. People who don’t live in Georgia will be the only patrons allowed to have guest passes.

Patrons who do not have a PINES card can apply for one at any library branch, by showing an identification card. If they do not have identification, but have two documents — such as a utility bill, lease or property tax bill — that show their Georgia address, they can use those items to get a card.

PINES cards are free to Georgia residents, but a replacement card costs $2. Anyone who has accumulated more than $10 in library fines must pay their fines or go on a payment plan to be allowed access to the computers.

The library system is not alone in requiring Georgia residents have a PINES card to have computer access. A search of other metro area library systems shows at least the Atlanta-Fulton, Cobb County, Gwinnett County and Flint River Regional library systems also require library cards.