Greater Harrisburg's Community Magazine

Computer restrictions lifted for Dauphin County libraries, full usage allowed for public access

The McCormick Riverfront Library in Harrisburg

It’s all computers on deck in Dauphin County, as library officials today announced that they’ve put their full inventory back into service.

Karen Cullings, executive director of the Dauphin County Library System (DCLS), said that, beginning Monday, all 126 public-access computers system-wide are available for patron use.

After libraries reopened last year, continuing COVID-19 protocols limited use to less than 50% of total inventory due to restrictions on the number of people allowed in a work area. Those restrictions have now been lifted, putting all public-access desktops and laptops back into use.

According to DCLS, patrons use library computers for a variety of reasons, including applying for rental assistance, paying bills and conducting job searches.

“One of Dauphin County Library System’s main missions is offering assistance and opportunities to members of our community facing economic challenges,’’ Cullings said. “With locations throughout our county, the Library is uniquely positioned to offer help and outreach services.’’

DCLS does recommend that all patrons continue to wear masks.

“Whether someone needs rental assistance, help with their city water bill or they’re looking for work, having a place like the library with free computer and internet access is invaluable,’’ said county commission Chair Mike Pries.

Commissioner George Hartwick said that the Library plays an important role in linking residents with services, such the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP).

“This program is more than just money,’’ Hartwick said. “The services available can help people become housing stable after the program is no longer able to pay rent and utility costs.”

To date, the county has disbursed more than $8.5 million to about 1,400 households as part of the program, according to the county.

Rep. Patty Kim (D-Dauphin) said rental assistance is key to helping prevent homelessness.

“Once people are out of the house, it’s so hard to build back the momentum, especially with children,’’ Kim said. “In partnering with Dauphin County and the Library, our goal is to make sure people having trouble with their rent payments can get the help that’s there for them and stay in their home.”

For more information on the Dauphin County Library System, visit or their Facebook page.

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