Patrons and guests come to the library for access to technology. This includes fully functional software, not pared-down restrictive kiosks or locked-down workstations that limit access to software features. The public computers are pre-loaded with Microsoft Office, Open Office, various Adobe products, software for those with visual and hearing impairments, and other popular applications. The most commonly used application is the Internet browser. Delivering a secure and manageable browser in a public library setting always presents unique challenges to both technology and policy. Browsers such as Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Chrome are designed to be single-user applications. As such, they typically leave behind a trail of temporary files; cookies; browser history; and saved, auto-completed usernames and passwords. Simply deleting the browser history on exit sounds good, but it falls short of being a comprehensive way to ensure privacy. While there may be commercial solutions that perform similar functions, people found that using freely available software allowed them to take complete control of the behavior of the browser experience for their patrons.
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