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Computers/WiFi/Printers Suggestions for all Libraries

(Apr 8/22) Itll be great if theres laptop charger service for an hour or 2, especially in mills, it helps a lot!

Library response: Thanks for your message. We do have a selection of laptop chargers you can borrow, from the service desks in both Mills and Thode. Hope this helps! Good luck with your exams. (Apr 18/22)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

(Nov 22/18) Hi! I was wondering if the libraries at MAC are providing any pen scanner? By pen scanner, I mean the scanners that you can run through specific lines on a paperback and the pen will automatically transcribe the lines to your laptop document. I think this will be a great addition to a lot of students, including students with disabilities, undergrad, or grad students! Regards J

Library response: Thanks for this suggestion. I don't believe we have any pen scanners, but will pass this along to our Library Accessibility Services group to consider.  The new Adaptive Technology Centre for use by students with disabilities is located on the 2nd floor of Mills Library. They do have many kinds of assistive technology in this space, but I am not sure this device is part of that. We will definitely look into it. I found some information about this device  which we will look at. Thanks again Anne   (Dec 17/18)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

(Feb 2/18) Since the new wifi was implemented this past September, I have been unable to access any wifi on the 4th and 5th floors of Mills. Is there any way to get this fixed? It makes using the study spaces available incredibly difficult.

Library response: Hello - thank you for your message, and we understand that unreliable wi-fi can really cause a lot of grief in a study space. Although we don't directly manage the Wi-Fi for the building (that's UTS), we are advocating strongly to committees who decide on wireless upgrade priorities to ensure our libraries are better covered. We'll be sure to communicate any wireless upgrade news we receive from campus wireless committees.   (Feb 2/18)
Answered by: mcallic

(Jun 1/17) Hello, Within the last three weeks, I have booked HSL 1B15 (the group study room with the Mondopad) several times. The Mondopad is an excellent resource that my group and I value. However, the USB receiver component of the keyboard and mouse is missing, effectively making the keyboard and mouse unusable. We made it clear to the library staff the first time we noticed and they made it clear that they understood the issue and said that they would fix it. A couple weeks later, we asked the desk to sign out the keyboard and mouse while asking them if it was fixed. They said it was, but unfortunately, it wasnt. If this resource is not repaired, why is it still available to be signed out? Please, I ask that this issue be remedied. Perhaps with a replacement, but this time, perhaps it would be appropriate to make it policy that the USB receiver stay plugged into the Mondopad all the time (even tape it so nobody removes it).

Library response: Thank you for your message. I have connected with our library systems staff and they hope to fix the problem today. I will post another response when I hear from them that issue is resolved. In the meantime, I'd like to learn more about your experience communicating with the Library staff. Please contact me directly if you are willing to discuss this in more detail. Thank you.  (Jun 5/17)
Answered by: Jennifer McKinnell (Director, Health Sciences Library)

Follow-up Comments:

I am happy to report the problem is resolved. (2017-06-08)


(Feb 13/17) The microfilm/microfiche stations are extremely dusty, which makes it really difficult to capture a clean image on the readers. Would it be possible to have the stations dusted more frequently? Also, the plates on the digital readers could use a good cleaning too.

Library response: Thank you very much for your feedback. We will attend to this promptly. (Feb 13/17)
Answered by: mcallic

(Feb 2/17) The Wi-Fi connection is terrible. Getting work done is impossible.

Library response: Hello! Thank you for your feedback. We are nearing completion of our wireless upgrade to Thode Library: enhancing overall density and throughput. We're actively seeing you feedback and information as we go through this process, but will require more information. Please fill out this form so we can properly investigate: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSekO_CYAIRlv6OgQQPrTJlMx-uKG00HqMaH0m0msZp6npM17A/viewform And thank you for taking the time to let us know things weren't running the way you needed them to - we'll work on it. (Feb 3/17)
Answered by: mcallic

(Mar 30/16) Connecting to WiFi in the library can be extremely difficult, especially on the higher floors. Specifically the back row of desks on 5th floor Wifi just doesnt work. Is it possible to improve WiFi in Mills? Perhaps adding more routers higher up in the library or stronger ones wherever they currently are could help?

Library response: Thank you for your note! We appreciate the feedback. Tracking down the variables that make wireless access slow can be difficult. That's why this summer we'll be running some tests and determining if we need to approach campus IT about deploying additional wireless hardware. Thank you for your message. (Apr 4/16)
Answered by: mcallic

(Mar 23/16) While there are printers located outside of the library, can you place one in a space that is open 24 hrs for students, like the University Centre?

Library response: Thanks for your message. You will find a Sharp device available 24/7 in the lobby of the Mary Keyes residence or on the 1st floor of the Commons building.   The Mills Learning Commons is also open 24 hours per day, Sunday to Thursday, and there are three (3) of these devices there. More locations can be found at http://printsmart.mcmaster.ca/students/locations (Mar 23/16)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

(Jan 12/16) Hello, I would like to suggest that the reference manager, Mendeley, be installed on the computers and/or laptops of the HSL library. The software is very useful as it allows for the addition of citations and references quickly to Word, as well as their storage online so that they can be retrieved from any computer with the software. Its a great alternative to RefWorks, which has now be phased out. Thank You!

Library response: Hello - thank you for submitting your request. At the moment, web access to Mendeley is supported, and recently they added the ability to add documents (2015-07) via their website interface: https://feedback.mendeley.com/forums/4941-general/suggestions/1022895-upload-pdfs-using-mendeley-website-interface (Jan 12/16)
Answered by:

(Mar 17/15) I was sitting at the second floor computers yesterday and was heavily disappointed by the state of the computers. Not only are they running outdated operating systems, the scroll wheel on the mouse wasnt working and the keyboard was sticky and looked like it hadnt been cleaned in years - there was brown-ish dust and gunk all over it.

Library response: Thank you for sharing the feedback on the computers. We are actively investigating where we have public computers and refreshing them around a strategy of making computing a bit more invisible. When things get older (and filthier) they are the opposite of being invisible. We'd like to fix this. Are you referring to the computers in the Learning Commons - or near the bookstacks? (Mar 18/15)
Answered by: pottier,mcallic

(Oct 21/14) Mac computer number 11041 has a clock that is 6 minutes fast. Please correct it.

Library response: I'll pass this on to our desktop support staff. (Oct 22/14)
Answered by: Dale Askey (Associate University Librarian, Library Learning Technologies)

(Feb 12/14) Ive noticed that for about 1 year now, the internet connection offered in the Health Sciences library (be it MacSecure or MacConnect) displays extremely unstable behaviour. The connection is constantly dropping, which can be quite irksome at the high rate at which it happens. I thought the issue could be a system overload, especially now with the boom in smartphone use. I am wondering if the library is aware of the issue and if so, are there any plans in the near future for improving wireless capacity/stability? Thank you.

Library response: Thank you for your comment on wireless access in the library.  The campus wireless network is managed centrally by University Technology Services (UTS) http://www.mcmaster.ca/uts/connections/network/macconnect/wireless/wlscoverage.htm.  It is my understanding that they are aware of the issues and have been working to address them.  For example, last year they expanded the wireless canopy on campus http://dailynews.mcmaster.ca/article/surfs-up-mcmaster-expanding-its-wi-fi-network/.   We will pass on your feedback, though.  To assist us in identifying the issues, please inform us immediately when you experience problems connecting to the wireless network again.  Our IT staff will then be able to conduct a more thorough investigation. (Feb 18/14)
Answered by: Neera Bhatnagar (Head of Systems & Public Services, Health Sciences Library)

(Jan 17/14) Can we download Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome as an alternate web browser onto the computers in HSL? The entire school is now using google for our McMaster email and I know many students use google docs for group work. Every time I use either of these services they prompt me to download a modern web browser as the website wont work properly on IE. At first I thought this was just a competitive strategy from Google but google docs seems to experience a lot of lag when Im using IE. Additionally, Ive tried to access OscarPlus from IE and been unable to connect- when I called UTS they suggested I try it on Mozilla and sure enough it worked fine.

Library response: Thanks very much for your feedback.  I agree the lack of browser selection options is a problem in the Health Sciences Library.  For this reason, we are planning to add IE, Firefox and Chrome to the desktops over the next few weeks.  In the interim, I recommend borrowing one of our laptops from the Circulation Desk.  It has multiple browser options including Firefox. (Jan 17/14)
Answered by: Neera Bhatnagar (Head of Systems & Public Services, Health Sciences Library)

(Dec 6/13) I understand you have to restart the computers daily, but can you please install something on these computers to actually warn us that the computers are going to restart and delete all of the work people spend on it, as opposed to just restarting them with no warning.

Library response: Thanks for this feedback. I've passed along this suggestion to the staff who maintain our desktops. (Dec 8/13)
Answered by: Dale Askey (Associate University Librarian, Library Learning Technologies)

(Nov 7/13) The wifi internet connection in Thode is extremely problematic at times, unable to connect for several minutes. It may be an overload to the internet, is there any way the internet service in Thode can be improved? It makes hard to download assignments when internet keeps disconnecting and avenue keeps timing out.

Library response: Thanks for reporting this, and sorry about your experience with the wireless network in Thode. The wireless network is provided by UTS rather than the Library, so I'll share your experience with them. They made some upgrades in Mills last year that may also be possible in Thode. I'll inquire. (Nov 13/13)
Answered by: Dale Askey (Associate University Librarian, Library Learning Technologies)

(Oct 23/13) I have 2 issues with the Health Sciences Library the WIFI delay and the lack of seating around the midterm season. 1.The WIFI is very slow in the Health Sciences Library to the point of being unable to access Avenue to Learn. I prefer to use my laptop because I am able to study without any distractions in the private cubicle type desks. I am requesting that the WIFI slow down be addressed or that some desk top computers be placed in the cubicles so that students that require less distraction may study productively. 2.It has become difficult to find a cubicle during and after midterms when studies increase concequentially the cafeteria use as study space has increased. I am requesting more cubicles in the HSL and more access to electrical plugs in the cafeteria for times when the HLS is full.

Library response: Please accept my apology for not responding sooner. It’s taken us a bit of time to investigate your concerns. The campus wireless network is managed centrally by University Technology Services (UTS). We have determined that we are unable to fix the problem locally so we have passed your concerns along UTS. We have also investigated the possibility of adding more seats but unfortunately, there is no additional space to add temporary cubicles without compromising safety. In terms of your suggestion regarding electrical plugs in the cafeteria, we have passed your suggestion along to Hamilton Health Sciences. The Hospital Cafeteria falls under their jurisdiction. Please feel free to contact me directly if you would like to discuss any of this in more detail. Thank you.   (Nov 13/13)
Answered by: Jennifer McKinnell (Director, Health Sciences Library)

(Sep 24/13) Please, please do something about the way the library page functions for remote users. As a grad student, I work from home often and even doing a simple catalog search takes a ridiculous amount of time and multiple refreshes, to say nothing of trying to access things like journal databases. Even loading this suggestion page took ages. Ive heard all of the excuses before--youre working on it, the issue is elusive or intermittent and you cant figure out how to fix it. Or, you are soon to be doing major upgrades that will improve function (Ive heard this 3 or 4 times over the last 5 years, and no upgrade has ever fixed the issue). The simple fact is that the way your library website functions is unacceptable for an institution of your size and prestige. If the university is not giving you the resources the fix this problem, let us know instead of hiding behind excuses, so that we can work together to make things better.

Library response: I can assure you that we are doing everything we can to resolve the issue. As I've stated before, the issue is incredibly complex, not least because it only occurs sporadically and only impacts certain users, not all, so we believe that it's an interaction between how network traffic is routed to campus and what happens with it when it hits campus. That's not an excuse; it's an explanation, however unhelpful it may be.   I understand your frustration. I continue to encourage people not to sit and wait when a page doesn't load. The issue is essentially that some calls to our servers go off the rails, but not all. I experience this problem, too, from offsite, and if a page doesn't load within 6-8 seconds, I hit refresh, and 95% of the time it loads within one or two clicks on refresh. That's irritating, but it keeps me working without much delay. (Oct 1/13)
Answered by: Dale Askey (Associate University Librarian, Library Learning Technologies)

(Sep 21/13) Greetings. Would it be possible to add a login to libaccess box to each page on the website? For example, right under the library.mcmaster.ca banner in the top left corner, like the way the MUGSI login is set up (and I cannot believe that I am holding up MUGSI as good example!) If that is not possible, would it at least be possible to make the link to the login page a lot more obvious? When you google libaccess or click on the Using the Libraries>LibAccess menu option, you are taken to an info page that does not actually have a login box on it. The only way to get to a login box seems to be the inconspicuous link on the left side of the main page, or to get an access denied message (and even that only works some of the time). I really hope something can be done about this. It is very frustrating to spend more time casting about for a way to access the information then finding the information its self.

Library response: Thank you for writing us with this suggestion. Actually, we are moving in the other direction, i.e.- removing all of the direct "login to LibAccess" links. The reason for this is that the resources for which it is necessary, i.e.- offsite commercial resources, all have a prefix added to the URL that directs one to LibAccess when and where necessary. There is no need to log in to LibAccess "just in case," not least since with tabbed browsers and multiple windows open it can be easy to lose the session and have to log in again. By putting the connection to LibAccess directly in the URL, if you need it, it's there. If not, no need to log in. If you've encountered licensed resources where we've failed to do this, please let us know. All of the databases we link to have this, and virtually every URL in the catalogue that requires this has been covered, too. (Sep 22/13)
Answered by: Dale Askey (Associate University Librarian, Library Learning Technologies)

(Sep 20/13) Could the web browser in HSL be replaced by Firefox or Chrome? Firefox is the default browser in Innis and it would be great if HSL had a better option than Internet Explorer. It would also be nice if Avenue and Student Mail were bookmarked since nearly all students use those sites.

Library response: Thanks very much for your feedback.  I agree the lack of browser selection options has been a problem in the Health Sciences Library.  For this reason, we are planning to add IE, Firefox and Chrome to the Library computers over the next few weeks.  There will be no default; you will select the browser of choice.  Stay tuned. (Sep 26/13)
Answered by: Neera Bhatnagar (Head of Systems & Public Services, Health Sciences Library)

(Sep 15/13) Hi, The computers in HSL have been freezing with almost every PDF that I open. Is there anything that can be done to ensure that the software operates correctly? Also, the web browser freezes when more than three or four tabs are open. If youre trying to reference multiple resources this can get very frustrating. Is there anything that can be done? Thanks!

Library response: As a fellow user of PDF, multiple browser sessions and tabs, I can appreciate how frustrating this can be. The Systems’ staff in the Health Sciences Library was unable to recreate the scenario using the computers located in our Learning Commons.  We are interested in resolving the problem so our IT staff will contact you directly for more information to allow for a more in-depth investigation. (Sep 16/13)
Answered by: Neera Bhatnagar (Head of Systems & Public Services, Health Sciences Library)

(Aug 1/13) Hi there, Would it be possible for the newest Java Update to be installed on the computers in HSL? Certain online learning systems employ Java and they are currently nonfunctional on the computers without the installed update. Many thanks!

Library response: It is our intention to have the newest Java Update installed on all of our computers before September. In fact, most of the work is already complete. Please let us know if there are specific computers in the library that are causing issues and we will investigate further. I apologize for any inconvenience this has caused. Thanks for bringing this to our attention. (Aug 16/13)
Answered by: Jennifer McKinnell (Director, Health Sciences Library)

(Mar 28/13) Can you please stop having all the computers reset themselves at around 3 am every night, or at the very least, not at the areas which you have open 24/7 (Mills Learning Commons).

Library response: Thanks for writing and sharing this with us. Alas, it's important that we cycle the machines daily in order to update the operating system and programs, and so we pick the time that statistically has the lowest traffic.   To help avoid losing work, there is a warning, and it is possible to postpone the restart temporarily. (Apr 19/13)
Answered by: Dale Askey (Associate University Librarian, Library Learning Technologies)

(Mar 6/13) Hi, There is no Wi-fi connection on the fifth floor of Mills (past the rangers i.e. moving book shelves and close the staircase is located) where the desks are located. i would appreciate if something could be done about it. As without wi-f i am not able to access the internet to do my research for my assignments or even check Avenue to Learn. Wi-fi should be avilable at any spot in any library as so much of work now is done via the internet. Thank you! your help is appreciated.

Library response: You are correct that there are, in fact, some dead zones in Mills where the wifi signal fades. In a building with that much concrete and metal book stacks, it's inevitable. In general, we have one of the densest wifi umbrellas on campus, but it will not be perfect. (Mar 6/13)
Answered by: Dale Askey (Associate University Librarian, Library Learning Technologies)