From copy machines to high-speed Internet and wi-fi, the Thomas Ford Memorial Library has the technology and equipment that you need to capture quick and reliable information. Library staff are happy to help you use any of these resources.
The Thomas Ford Memorial Library has public-use computers in the Adult Services, Teen Lounge, and Youth Services areas of the Library.
All of our computers have:
- Internet access
- Printing capabilities
- Word-processing software (e.g. Microsoft Word)
- Microsoft Excel
- Media players like Windows Media Player and VLC player
- USB ports, enabling you to work with existing data and save your data.
Computer use in Adult Services is free and open to anyone. There is a 60-minute time limit if someone is waiting. Library cardholders may log in to our public computers with their card numbers. Visitors may ask for a guest pass at the Reference Desk in Adult Services.
The Thomas Ford Memorial Library does not use filtering software and assumes no responsibility for the content of the Internet. Children ages 8 and under are subject to the Library’s Safe Child Policy and are not permitted to use the Internet without their parent or legal guardian present during the entire computer session. Parents or guardians may withdraw access to the internet for their children under the age of 16 by requesting a Computer Use Block on the minor’s library card.
Printing from computers is 10 cents per page, and 50 cents for color copies.
The Library has a wireless network with four open access points in the building, so you can surf the Internet with your laptop, tablet, or smartphone anywhere in the building.
Documents, files, and webpages can be sent to the Library for printing from anywhere, on any device. If using a laptop inside the library, or sending a document from home, click here to visit our Wireless Printing webpage. You can also email your print jobs to bw-fordlibrary@
For assistance using Wireless Printing, call, email or visit the Reference Desk.
The Library has copiers available for public use. The cost is ten cents per page for letter and legal sized copies and twenty cents for 11 x 17 copies. Please ask the staff for assistance to get color copies, which are 50 cents per page.
The Library has a scan station with a large, easy to use touch screen that has audio and high contrast options for the vision or hearing impaired. There is a document scanner for loose pages, and a flat bed scanner for photos or books. Scans can be saved to a flash drive, sent to your email, saved to Google Drive or Microsoft One Drive, and even sent directly to our printer. You can also scan text and have it translated, or converted to audio.
The scan station also has faxing capabilities. Just scan your document, put in the fax number you want to reach, and your email address so you can receive notification that the scan was sent/received.
The Library has microfilm/microfiche reader connected to a computer for public use. Images may be scanned into PDFs and printed for 10 cents per page. Our Western Springs newspapers begin with 1913 microfilm and our Chicago Tribune microfilm covers 1972 through 2003. Ask Reference Staff for assistance with databases to get newspaper articles from microfilms and electronic resources.
This magnifier displays printed materials on a video screen, allowing for easier reading of small print. Though designed for visually impaired readers, anyone can use it. It’s especially helpful for viewing maps. This magnifier may be found near the Reference Desk.