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Computers/WiFi/Printers Suggestions for all Libraries

Suggestion

(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)


Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers, Health Sciences  |  Permalink
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(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

Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers, Mills  |  Permalink
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(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

Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers, Thode  |  Permalink
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(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

Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers, Mills  |  Permalink
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(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)

Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers, Thode  |  Permalink
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(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:

Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers, Health Sciences  |  Permalink
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(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: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services),mcallic

Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers, Mills  |  Permalink
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(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)

Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers, Thode  |  Permalink
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(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)

Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers, Health Sciences  |  Permalink
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(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)

Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers, Health Sciences  |  Permalink
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(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)

Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers, Mills  |  Permalink
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(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)

Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers, Thode  |  Permalink
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(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)

Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers, Health Sciences  |  Permalink
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(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)

Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers  |  Permalink
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(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)

Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers  |  Permalink
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(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)

Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers, Health Sciences  |  Permalink
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(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)

Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers, Health Sciences  |  Permalink
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(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)

Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers, Health Sciences  |  Permalink
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(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)

Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers, Mills  |  Permalink
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(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)

Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Nov 30/12) The internet explorer installed on the computers of the HS library is certainly outdated. The functions that students often use, such as google docs and other productivity tools, are not fully supported by the current version of the internet explorer. And, to my knowledge, this version will soon be obsolete to many other websites and companies such as Microsoft itself. Please consider updating the internet browser (to either Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox) and bring the computers up to the modern standard.

Library response:

Thank you for bringing your concern to our attention.  The problem has been identified and resolved so most functionality within Google Docs is now working.  The library has the latest version of Internet Explorer that is supported by Windows XP operating system.  We will be upgrading to Windows 7 in the summer and our intention is to offer additional Internet browser options as well.  

(Mar 13/13)
Answered by: Neera Bhatnagar (Head of Systems & Public Services, Health Sciences Library)

Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers, Health Sciences  |  Permalink
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(Nov 26/12) I would like bring to your attention a unique opportunity for McMaster University to
play a powerful role in helping end the violence in eastern Congo. By passing a
resolution regarding the use of Congo’s
conflict minerals in consumer electronics, McMaster would join Stanford, the
University of Pennsylvania, the University of Colorado, Clark University, and several
others to become a leading university in support of conflict-free, sending a powerful
message to electronics companies to clean up their supply chains to ensure their
products are not fueling the deadliest conflict since World War II.

Gold, tin, tungsten, and tantalum sourced from Congo’s mines can be found in the
consumer electronics products we use every day, such as computers, cell phones, and
MP3 players. This makes these minerals central to the technology that drives our
business and communications infrastructure, our social engagement, and national
security.

Armed groups operating in eastern Congo earn hundreds of millions of dollars each
year from this minerals trade and control most of the mining operations in mafia-like
cartels, utilizing systematic rape and torture to destroy the social fabric of
communities.

Nearly six million lives have been lost from the consequences of the
ongoing violence and hundreds of thousands of women raped.

While comprehensive action is needed for Congo, it is only by removing the economic
incentive to wage war that we can end the conflict, making it critically important to
focus our influence on ending the trade in
conflict minerals. The direct link between war in Congo and the consumer products we
use every day gives our University enormous power to demand change from electronics
companies.

By issuing a resolution supporting the conflict-free movement, McMaster would amplify
and strengthen efforts underway at
the federal, provincial, city, and university levels calling for companies to trace,
audit, and certify their supply chains
to ensure their products do not support a minerals trade that is benefiting militia
groups.

I am requesting that the McMaster University Libraries make a conscientious decision
to purchase electronics from companies who ensure that their suppliers are Conflict
Mineral Free.

Intel and HP have the best track record. (see link below for details)

http://www.raisehopeforcongo.org/companyrankings

Thank you for your time and consideration.
The victims of this terrible war most definitely appreciate it.

-Bianca Caramento

Library response:

Thank you for bringing this issue to our attention. I consulted the company rankings, and I'm happy to report that we purchase the bulk of our equipment from vendors classified as green, but the ratings will be good to have on hand for future purchases.

(Nov 26/12)
Answered by: Dale Askey (Associate University Librarian, Library Learning Technologies)

Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers  |  Permalink
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(Nov 7/12) The internet in Thode is virtually unusable. I love the second floor of the library, but I am unable to utilize this space because I cant get internet to do my research. Is there any way of improving this ??

Library response:

We agree there does seem to be a problem with the wifi on the 2nd floor since we renovated this area. UTS will be reviewing the area to see if we need additional wireless access points. Stay tuned!

(Nov 12/12)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers, Thode  |  Permalink
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(Nov 6/12) http://www.pingtest.net/result/71866657.png
http://www.speedtest.net/result/2290694081.png
Im sorry but this is rediculous. I see that it was said this was going to be worked on during the summer but has anything been
done yet? The internet is practically unusable.

Library response:

Can't disagree. Those are wretched response times. Were these values from a wired machine in a library, or using wifi?

(Nov 7/12)
Answered by: Dale Askey (Associate University Librarian, Library Learning Technologies)

Follow-up Comments:

Those results were gathered while connected to MacSecure wifi on the second floor (2012-11-09)

Thanks for letting us know where and how you were connected. Weve been conducting our own speed tests and have been able to corroborate your results quite easily. During peak times, upload and download speeds via MacConnect, MacSecure, and eduroam do indeed grind to a halt. We have shared these test results with UTS (they maintain both the wired and wireless networks on campus) with a request for their assistance in dealing with peak demand. This problem has grown more acute year by year as more people entering the building bring wifi-enabled devices with them (now, often two devices, both taking bandwidth). There are solutions, of course, but they do not come cheaply, and on a campus where there are entire buildings without wifi, it is hard to make a case that the library needs enhanced wifi capabilities. As I have suggested to other students who have noticed and commented on these slowdowns, please consider directing your feedback toward the MSU. They are an effective lobby when it comes to addressing these campuswide issues. D Askey (2012-11-09)


Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers, Thode  |  Permalink
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(Oct 29/12) The internet is pretty bad. The library is very crowded in the afternoon, which i think
is causing this issue. I normally have to find somewhere else to study. Is this
internet problem able to be fixed?

Library response:

I'm assuming from your complaint that you are referring to the wifi network. Yes, we know it's bad, having recently completed a round of speed tests. Solving the issue is a bit out of our hands, as network is generally speaking a UTS issue, wifi included. That said, I don't want to point the finger at UTS. They have not been funded to expand or upgrade the wifi network at a level anywhere near demand. My suggestion to all students is to address your concerns around wifi to MSU, as they are an effective lobby to the university.

(Nov 8/12)
Answered by: Dale Askey (Associate University Librarian, Library Learning Technologies)

Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers, Thode  |  Permalink
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(Oct 6/12) Would be really convenient to have chargers available for a short-term loan (one or
two hours), in key locations such as Main floors of libraries, Mills Commons, etc.

For laptops: a universal laptop charger with multiple tips/connectors would be ideal

For phones: the Micro + Mini USB and iPhone connectors should satisfy most users.

- High power ratings on the chargers for quick charging please!
- Mini timer modules attached to the chargers that countdown from the loan time and
beep upon termination could help sustain the service by ensuring users return items
on time.

Library response:

Many thanks for this suggestion, which has some potential. How do you envision this working? Would they be available for checkout, or permanently mounted somewhere, along the lines of a charging station? I'm assuming the former, since it can take a while to charge even with a powerful unit.

 

I'm not familiar with such timers. Do you have a specific model in mind?

(Oct 9/12)
Answered by: Dale Askey (Associate University Librarian, Library Learning Technologies)

Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers  |  Permalink
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(Sep 12/12) the internet is very slow and the connection keeps on resetting! How can students do
research and assignments like this!?

Library response:

We hear you, but ultimately the slow network is a campus IT (i.e.- UTS) issue, not one the Library can control. It's an annual cycle, it seems, at many universities, not just McMaster: at the beginning of the semester, network bandwidth usage increases exponentially over its summer lows, and any weak spots that have developed in the meantime are exposed and become critical very quickly.

This strikes everyone, of course, students, staff, faculty, visitors, etc. We share your pain.

(Sep 12/12)
Answered by: Dale Askey (Associate University Librarian, Library Learning Technologies)

Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Jul 10/12) Hello,

The new windows 7 computers in Mills restart automatically when you try to use them
after they have been sitting in sleep mode for a while. I like the windows computers
better than the Mac computers but it is very irritating to sit and wait for them to
restart each time. Can you please fix the new windows 7 computers in Mills?

Library response:

Thanks for the feedback. I've passed this on to our computer experts, who have seen a few instances of this and are on the case. As with all new technology deployments, it's a matter of working out the kinks, which is why we got these out well in advance of the new semester when demand goes up.

(Jul 10/12)
Answered by: Dale Askey (Associate University Librarian, Library Learning Technologies)

Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Jul 7/12) Hi.
In the last couple of months, the library website has been very slow for me. Its not
my internet speed, as I can access other sites simultaneously. Sometimes the page
never loads. I normally have to click on something multiple times and hopefully one
of them loads at a normal speed. Seeing as Im sure not as many people are using the
library website, what exactly is the reason this? And is this problem being
addressed?

And its not just my computer: I have the same problem on laptops and sometimes on
library computers

Library response:

Thanks for contacting us. Yes, this is a known issue, and we are taking concrete steps to improve the performance. In your case, were you just browsing the Website, or were you searching in the catalogue? This would be useful  to know.

(Jul 9/12)
Answered by: Dale Askey (Associate University Librarian, Library Learning Technologies)

Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers  |  Permalink
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(May 23/12) All programs loaded on every computer has frequent upgrades. As a student who pays my
tuition, I assume that computers are accessible and easy to use at McMaster
University. I currently am not able to use any programs which require media streaming
to access my course pod casts because Flash Player has been upgraded. Although this
is an understandable notice, as programs are constantly and frequently upgraded, it
becomes a hassle to call IT and ask them to upgrade it and then be referred to the
Mills IT department as administrative access is required.
This issue is definitely common as I was told the Mills IT is not available during
the summer however, regardless whether IT is available or not, as a student who pays
for school, I assume and expect that services are accessible when needed. Just as
McMaster denies accessibility for grades and future course enrollment for students
who are behind on payments. Common courtesy.

Library response:

Thank you for providing this feedback. Indeed, program updates are the bane of any managed environment. We are taking steps to streamline this, not least by updating our hardware with newer machines that are more amenable to centralized management. We will be rolling out about 100 new machines over the summer, in fact.

I should point out that calling UTS about such issues will not remedy them. IT, as at any university of this size,  is not centralized at McMaster, and we run our own systems. Also, our core IT staff works year round. I believe what you were told is that the IT help desk in the Learning Commons is not fully staffed in ther summer, but this is an issue that they cannot remedy in any event. Feel free to use the suggestion box on our site to report issues like this, since then we can direct them to the appropriate staff without making you figure out the right path.

(May 24/12)
Answered by: Dale Askey (Associate University Librarian, Library Learning Technologies)

Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Mar 26/12) I like Thode because of the social vibe. But now I will be going to HSC because the
internet in Thode is out of the 90s. Please let us know when it has improved!

Library response: Zing! No, really, I get what you're saying. Part of the problem is a backbone carrying way more traffic than was ever anticipated when it was installed, but part of it is an issue with how we control access to the Internet for regulatory reasons as I've touched upon in other suggestion box replies. We're going to look into that latter issue this summer and try to implement an alternative which should bring major improvements. As with all such moves, it's about testing and doing it right, which is why it's going to take some time. (Mar 26/12)
Answered by: Dale Askey (Associate University Librarian, Library Learning Technologies)

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(Feb 27/12) My comment is about the 2nd floor of Mills Library, both the Learning Commons and the
computer area outside of that.

First, the computers in the Learning Commons are disappearing (presumably because
they are broken). Those which remain are hit or miss as well. More computers are
needed in the Learning Commons, or more people to repair them when they arent
working.

Second, the areas are dirty. People do not clean up after themselves, and it is not
my responsibility to ensure that they do. I dont know how this can be enforced, so
the only other alternative is to have someone continuously cleaning the
tables/computers.

Third, the computers in the outside area are obsolete and as is evidenced by the
number of them that arent working, they need replacing.

Finally, all of these issues combined makes me give serious thought as to my value as
a student at this university. Working in unsanitary environments with non-functioning
equipment is not the way university should be (nor what we invest so heavily in).

Library response:

Thanks for your feedback. You've touched on three issues that are well known to us. Regarding the general cleanliness issue, there is some give and take here. As you know, the library has a very liberal food and drink policy. The upside to that is that students can feel at home and not have to give up their seat or space when hunger or thirst strikes. The downside is that it generates a great deal more trash than one typically sees in a library. Cleaning frequency has been increased to help cope with that, but it's simply not possible to have constant service to clean up behind your peers who choose to leave their messes behind. We'll do all we can, but students need to encourage each other not to make others responsible for their messes.

 

Regarding the number of computers in the Learning Commons, I've been observing that space recently and assessing what we need in that space. Often, we see the computer pushed out of the way or unplugged so that someone can use their laptop, and there seems to be no clear consensus whether we should have a laptop-optimized library, i.e.- desks with power and space, or offer banks of public computers. Casual observation could lead one to believe that the overwhelming majority of students have a laptop, netbook, or tablet, and the trend seems to be ever more in that direction. Given that, I'm not sure that more computers is the easy answer.

 

That brings me to the third issue, that being computers out of order or obsolete. You are correct that the PCs in Mills are dated, and we hope to replace them with new computers over the summer. That said, when we do have staff time to check the status of public computers, we often find that "out of order" actually most often means that the computer has been unplugged (typically by someone looking to power their own device; see above) and simply needs plugged back in. Much as with cleaning, we simply don't have the staff capacity to check every computer every hour to see if it's plugged in. The other main reason we see for an out of order sign is a missing keyboard or mouse. In some cases, they have simply been moved to another computer (we recently found three sets attached to one computer for who knows what purpose), but in others they have been stolen. We do our best to remedy these, but the number of mice and keyboards we consume is somewhat staggering. It goes back to my earlier point about responsibility. We don't want to police food and drink nor our computers, forcing users to reserve time, limiting the amount of time one can have, etc. Simply by writing in, you've identified yourself as the kind of student who cares and is responsible, and for that I commend you. We need to find ways to encourage others to join you. 

(Feb 27/12)
Answered by: Dale Askey (Associate University Librarian, Library Learning Technologies)

Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Feb 21/12) Why is google not the default search for firefox address bar? This is very annoying

Library response:

I'll pass this on to the staff who maintain those machines. Thanks for the feedback. 

(Feb 27/12)
Answered by: Dale Askey (Associate University Librarian, Library Learning Technologies)

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(Feb 21/12) your computers need updates BAADLY. Java is out of date on all pcs, and freezeson macs.
I cant access any of my important tutorials thanks to this.

Library response:

It really helps to know where this problem is occurring. You indicated all PCs and Macs, but I'm not sure which library you meant. At any rate, I'll share this feedback with the appropriate staff. 

(Feb 27/12)
Answered by: Dale Askey (Associate University Librarian, Library Learning Technologies)

Follow-up Comments:

Heard back from my staff that this may be due to tutorials in Avenue that link to outside (i.e.- non-mcmaster.ca) content that can be embedded within a tutorial. If one bypasses the proxy logon where one is requested to enter the MacID and password, such tutorials will fail. We could really narrow this down if we knew which tutorials had the issue. Can you provide more details? The Java version was actually fairly recent (given how often Java iterates), but to be safe our staff updated it to the current version. D. Askey (2012-02-29)


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(Feb 13/12) Although the computers were replaced this year in Innis, performance has remained
unchanged. Internet is very inconsistent and often doesnt work. It has been like this
for my entire four years of Undergrad. The computers themselves are just as unreliable.
I have been patience in waiting for upgrades, but please make sizable changes as I
assure you many other students agree with me.

Library response: The replacements in Innis did not cover all of the public PCs, so it might be the case that you were using one of the older machines. We do have a separate issue with Internet. As you know, when you use our public computers, when you access a site outside of the mcmaster.ca domain space, you are asked to enter your Mac ID. This is done so that we have a log of who used the Internet and when, which is a security requirement (i.e.- not to provide open unauthenticated access to the Internet). The solution we have in place to manage that, essentially an internal proxy, has had some performance issues of late. These have been identified and we are working to mitigate them. Moreover, we are considering changing entirely how we handle this procedure, with an eye toward eliminating the proxy altogether. (Feb 27/12)
Answered by: Dale Askey (Associate University Librarian, Library Learning Technologies)

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(Jan 19/12) The iMacs on the 2nd floor of Mills look lovely from afar. However, once I sat down, I
noticed lots of fingerprints on the screen. The dirt is a lot more apparent on the
white keyboard and mouse as well.

Would it be possible to have these commonly shared items cleaned? Thanks!

Library response: This is on our radar, just a matter of getting it scheduled and having someone to do it. Thanks for the reminder, though! (Jan 19/12)
Answered by: Dale Askey (Associate University Librarian, Library Learning Technologies)

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(Jan 12/12) Better PCs, or at very least an increase of the current screen resolution.

Library response:

Thanks for your comment. Actually, the PCs over in Thode are brand new, having just been deployed over the past few weeks. They have Intel Core i5 processors and 4GB of RAM. That's a pretty solid machine. Not flashy, but capable.

 

With regard to higher screen resolution, I'd be curious what you want to do for which the resolution is insufficient. Part of the issue with upping resolution, of course, is that one size does not fit all. In other words, what works for your eyes might not work for someone else. Off the top of my head, I believe those machines are set to 1280x1024, which is pretty standard for a 4:3 monitor.

(Jan 12/12)
Answered by: Dale Askey (Associate University Librarian, Library Learning Technologies)

Follow-up Comments:

I did some further checking, and there are still six old PCs over in Thode, so you may have been using those. They are slated for replacement within a few weeks. Also, the stock screen resolution for our PCs is, in fact, 1024x768. That is likely lower than typical, but part of the issue is that we set that centrally, and given that we have a variety of displays deployed, we have to select a resolution that will work on nearly any display, hence such a generic and fairly low resolution. askeyd (2012-01-13)


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(Dec 22/11) high counter top for print release computers! Just a thought

Library response: Thanks for the suggestion.  When the Health Sciences Library was renovated, accessibility was a major consideration.  This is why we have the print release stations at the present counter height.  You can always print at one of the copiers either in the Reserve Reading Room on the upper level or in the copier room on the lower level if you prefer to stand. (Dec 23/11)
Answered by: Liz Bayley (Director, Health Sciences Library)

Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers, Health Sciences  |  Permalink
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(Dec 12/11) Please get a scanner for the library again. It is a huge waste of time to take the book out and scan it elsewhere if one only needs it to get one figure or table.

Library response: Thanks for your comment.  You are right, having a scanner in the library is a time saver and is certainly convenient.  However,  the public scanners were removed from the library since the current Access Copyright agreement does not permit "digital copying".  We are anticipating changes to the agreement which may include digital copyingThis will allow us to enable the scanning functionality on all the Sharp copier/printers found in the libraries. If changes occur in the upcoming year we will enhance the functionality accordingly. (Dec 13/11)
Answered by: Lynn Schneider (Supervisor, Circulation & Collection Maintenance, Health Sciences Library)

Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers, Thode  |  Permalink
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(Nov 9/11) Its not helpful that the printers default is set to double-sided. I know that it helps save paper, but the students still have to pay for the number of pages and most classes require that assignments NOT be double-sided. When students forget to set the printer to single sided, and have to re-print it, it costs them more and it wastes more paper. Please change this back so that the default is single sided.

Library response:

Thanks for your comments.  The change to a default double sided printing came not only from the University’s Sustainability initiative but also from our library users asking us to default to double sided printing from our online suggestion box.  

http://library.mcmaster.ca/php/suggestionbox.php?f=recordbrowse&library=ALL&id=396

http://library.mcmaster.ca/php/suggestionbox.php?f=recordbrowse&library=ALL&id=381

With our new PrintSmart system our users have more control over what and how they are printing and copying documents.   When you are sending your print job, you can select single sided from the print properties tab.   We are happy to help you and we don’t want you spending extra money on copies you don’t want, so please ask any of our staff to assist you and we can ensure you get your copies the way you want them. 

Thanks again for your comments.

(Nov 15/11)
Answered by: Ann Pearce (Supervisor, Information Services, Innis Library)

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(Oct 28/11) Id just like to address the new printing system (PrintSmart), which requires a MacID. Its unclear to me how we can use this system for research groups --- for example, we used to be able to purchase a copy card which could be shared between students in one group for necessary photocopying. Now we have no ability to share printing resources and no way (as far as I know) to use a research account to copy journal articles needed for research.

Library response:

The first phase of the Printsmart initiative was to move students from the old process of card payments to the Equitrac system.  This was completed in August of 2010.  The next phase, which will begin before Christmas, is to convert all faculty and staff to the system across campus.  Each individual user will have a profile built to include the ability to charge print costs to an account number and use any available system on campus.  This includes the ability to use the systems in the library and roll-up charges to their account number just as you would in your office location.  These charges will be uploaded to FAS on a monthly basis.

In the meantime, anyone wishing to add value through an account number can contact Printsmart at extension 22111 as they can charge departments directly and  allocate the amount to each user as requested

(Oct 28/11)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

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(Oct 27/11) Please install Asian Character Font packages on your public computers! This was not an issue in previous years but is troublesome when Asian characters display as boxes.

Library response:

Thanks for bringing this to our attention. Our systems staff is looking into this.

UPDATE: The Asian character fonts are still available on the public computers on the lower level and in the Reserve Reading Room on the upper level.  When the computers in the upper level Learning Commons were upgraded this summer this feature was missed, but this will be remedied in the near future.  In the meantime, please use the other public computers if you need to read material with Asian characters.  Thanks!

(Oct 28/11)
Answered by: Liz Bayley (Director, Health Sciences Library)

Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers, Health Sciences  |  Permalink
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(Oct 25/11) It is extremely frustrating that many of the computers do not have Microsoft Word
installed on them. Any time I try to open up Microsoft Word, there is always an issue
where it just does not open up because:
a) its not installed
b) notifications asking you to install specific programs in order to load up Word

I do not understand why the computers cannot be maintained regularly and
consistently; It is a complete waste of time when you have to switch from computer to
computer in order to find a properly working computer.

I would really appreciate it, if someone could look at this issue.

Thanks.

Library response:

Thank you for providing this feedback. As always, when reporting issues with computers, please give us a machine number so that we can locate the specific computers.

 I check with my crew, and can provide the following information:

- We don't have MS Office available on all public machines for budgetary reasons. It is installed on all machines on level 2 in Mills as well as on all machines in Thode and Innis.

- When using a Mac that has MS Office, you will see the customization screen pop up where you can enter your initials, as is typical with a first run of newly installed Office software. This occurs because we run programs to clean the computers between users.

- This should not be occurring, however, on PCs, so if it is, please let us know exactly where and we will investigate.

One thing we could do to make things more uniform and less troublesome would be to replace MS Office with Open or Libre Office. Would that be a viable solution for you? 

(Oct 27/11)
Answered by: Dale Askey (Associate University Librarian, Library Learning Technologies)

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(Oct 12/11) At a UNIVERSITY, there should definitely be quiet computer areas that are strictly enforced. These days there are so many students who are funneled into the post-secondary system, and many of them arent pure academics who have an appreciation for the life of a scholar, and the time and ioslation true research requires. As a result, there is a lack of respect for others who need computers to read and not have their train of thought interrupted by laughing and talking and other excessive noise. There are SO many places to go to chat with friends here.. you dont need to be loitering while others use their very limited time to get some work done. My suggestion is that there need to be quiet rooms with computers, that are specifically for the purpose of one-person-to-a-computer reading. This way there is assurance that people wont barge in and interrupt. There are many other computer areas that are busier for other uses, but there exists a need to begin sectioning off certain areas for STRICTLY, and I use that word for a reason, quiet use.

Library response:

Thanks for submitting your comment, and yes, we do agree there is a need for more Silent Study space. At the moment, the only areas which are designated as Silent Study are on the 4th floor of Mills (down the ramp in room L405) and at the west end of the 6th floor. In these areas we ask that there be no talking, socializing, music, laptop or cell phone use, and that cell phone ringers be turned off. We are working on identifying more areas which can be considered to be Silent Study space, but before we can do this we need to re-locate many of our collections areas, which will take time.

 More information on the various types and locations of study space we make available to our users can be found at:  http://library.mcmaster.ca/study-space

Most of the areas where there are public computers, except those found in the Learning Commons on the 2nd floor, are in areas which are considered to be Quiet Study.  There is also the Laptop Friendly Room on the 3rd floor, which at most times is pretty Quiet.

We appreciate your patience as we work through redefining the various types of study spaces we make available to our users.

 

(Oct 13/11)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

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(Oct 7/11) Would you be able to bring back the lap lending service?

Library response: Thanks for your question. As I wrote earlier when asked this question, it is a matter of financial and personnel priorities. Reviewing recent entries in the suggestion box, it's clear how many demands are placed on our computing infrastructure, and we have to make some hard decisions about where we best spend our resources. (Oct 7/11)
Answered by: Dale Askey (Associate University Librarian, Library Learning Technologies)

Follow-up Comments:

I dont understand why you are stating that you have to reallocate your resources, because we already had the laptops. You did not have to go out and purchase laptops in order to create the lending program. What happens with those laptops now? Will they just be recycled or will they sit in some storage room? It does not make any sense to me, why you would remove the laptop lending program, when clearly, majority of students needed. (2011-10-25)

Ill clarify a few points so that you can hopefully understand the decision better. - Yes, we already had a stock of laptops, but the Mac laptops in Thode were nearing end of life and are off warranty. Replacing them would have been a significant capital expense. - The costs for running such a program extend well beyond the cost of the laptops. As with nearly any activity run by the university (or any organization for that matter), staffing costs outweigh materials costs at the end of the day. Keeping a fleet of public-use laptops in working condition is not a trivial task, and we had to dedicate the better part of a full staff position to that one activity. As with many university units our budget is tight, and we frankly need his services in other critical areas. Its not an easy choice, but such choices have to be made. - The laptops will neither be recycled nor just sit in storage. Hardware never goes unused for long, and they are being redeployed in other ways to support our services and programs. - That a majority of students desire such a program is far from clear. Certainly, there is a group for which it was a key service, and weve heard from a handful of individuals from that group. The MSU survey showed a clear preference for another priority. Beyond that, we observe that a clear majority of students have their own technology, so it is more important for us to provide wireless networking and printing services for them, for example, than to loan laptops. I agree with anyone who asserts that we need a level technology playing field for students, but disagree that the library is the place to meet that need through a lending program. D. Askey (2011-10-26)


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(Oct 6/11) (The following comments were submitted through our suggestion box at the desk):

Please provide Apple Mini Display Port for MacBooks/Pro/Air and A/V outlet for displaying laptop screen on TV.

Library response: Thank you for your recent suggestion for Innis to purchase Apple cables for use with the library's projectors and TV.  You'll be happy to hear we've placed a request for these cables and it has been approved.  If they are in stock we hope to have these cables available to sign out very soon. (Oct 6/11)
Answered by: Ann Pearce (Supervisor, Information Services, Innis Library)

Follow-up Comments:

Update: Good news!! The cables are now available on Reserve to sign out for 4 hours. apearce (2011-10-09)


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(Oct 6/11) Would it be possible to make sure some smart phone drivers are installed on the PCs. I
recently downloaded some papers and found that I couldnt save them to my phone (which
has flash storage), and as a result had to email them to myself. I would much rather
be able to have only one device that I have to remember to carry around.

Library response: Thanks for this suggestion. Alas, this is not a service we can provide. There are simply too many proprietary drivers that would be necessary, and there is no way we could provide that level of support for the myriad phones that exist. Phones that can present themselves to the computer as a USB device (many do) should be able to connect using the generic Windows USB drivers. (Oct 6/11)
Answered by: Dale Askey (Associate University Librarian, Library Learning Technologies)

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(Oct 4/11) Could we please get the out of order computers fixed. Many have been broken since
summer. Why do we have a IT help desk if they cannot fix the computers. It is
unacceptable that we have increased prices/tuition yet we do not receive proper
services. All computers should be in working order with no exceptions, what are the
IT people up to all day? Why cant the upper year computer student fix the computers
as a co-op?

Library response:

Thanks for contacting us with your concerns. It is always very helpful for us to know specifically where you encountered the issue, so please do let us know as many details as possible.

Our IT staff does excellent work considering the number of computers in their charge and their numbers. Alas, having all computers working all the time, while a noble goal, is rarely realizable, not least when one considers the relative fragility of computers. Many of the problems we encounter can be traced to machine misuse or to actions such as unplugged network and power cables (people do this to use the power or network, and do not put it back). We are taking steps, however, to tackle some of the problems more aggressively. Over the past six months we have implemented an automated inventory system which allows a higher degree of remote desktop management, and we also resumed the replacement cycle for computers, which had been halted for several years due to budget constraints. Within the next few weeks around 50 new PCs will be deployed, which will allow us to retire many of the known problem computers.

(Oct 5/11)
Answered by: Dale Askey (Associate University Librarian, Library Learning Technologies)

Follow-up Comments:

As a member of the IT Help Desk, I dont think you understand what we do. We are here to troubleshoot problems with printers and network issues. When a computer is out of order, I would personally fix it but WE ARE NOT ALLOWED TO. (2012-01-30)

We are looking at changing that rule about who can troubleshoot. D. Askey (2012-01-31)


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(Sep 29/11) Please bring the laptop lending service back! From my understanding, the laptops were
taken away as there was some vote that took place asking whether students wanted more
library space or laptops? Firstly, I was not aware of it, nor were MANY other
students. How many people actually voted? And why was the decision made on such a
small, under representative student population - because I doubt that many students
actually were aware or actually did vote? -From a very unhappy, and frustrated
student.

Library response: Thanks for taking the time to comment on the laptop lending program. The decision was made after a consideration of priorities and with regard for financial and personnal realities. The vote to which you refer was a factor in the decision, but was ultimately one of many. D. Askey (Sep 30/11)
Answered by: Dale Askey (Associate University Librarian, Library Learning Technologies)

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(Sep 26/11) Why were the scanners removed from all libraries? Many of us require them to scan documents for projects, for reference, to send documents to our professors, etc. Its a basic necessity every library should have! Bring them back.

Library response:

Thanks for submitting your comment. We do understand your frustration, but the public scanners were removed from the library since the current Access Copyright agreement does not permit "digital copying".  We are anticipating changes to the agreement which may include digital copyingThis will allow us to enable the scanning functionality on all the Sharp copier/printers found in the libraries. If changes occur in the upcoming year we will enhance the functionality accordingly.

(Sep 27/11)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers  |  Permalink
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(Sep 23/11) User Name and Password verification is requested multiple times when accessing the
internet from school computers. It is a time waster and an annoyance.

In the name of efficiency and on behalf of students and faculty I suggest that
this issue be resolved with a single login.

Library response: Can you describe the issue in more detail? Not sure why Internet access would require multiple logins. Where, when, and how does the issue occur? (Sep 23/11)
Answered by: Dale Askey (Associate University Librarian, Library Learning Technologies)

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(Sep 23/11) This suggestion pertains to the speed of internet on campus, specifically this year.
The load times for pages is ridiculous. My dial-up internet in 1995 may have been
faster and more reliable.

On behalf of all students and faculty this issue is of utmost importance.

Library response: I hear your point, but as with other campus units, we're using the bandwidth provided to the campus by UTS. I would suggest directing your concerns to them, although I should note that they are already acutely aware of where the bottlenecks are and work diligently to keep things going as demand peaks at the start of the semester. It's likely of no comfort, but this is a fairly global problem on university campuses at the start of terms; solving it is not trivial, nor inexpensive. (Sep 23/11)
Answered by: Dale Askey (Associate University Librarian, Library Learning Technologies)

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(Sep 16/11) Hello
the internet in the campus begin at this semester become very slow, you have to
reload a page couple times some times does even display. and also the PDF software
not working well. it tells me use PDF escape ever since i try to open some PDF file.
it either does not display or its tell me too big to open and get a premium. I wonder
how to do research in library if cant read big PDF file.

Library response:

Thanks for your comments. Yes, at the beginning of the semester the network certainly does get hammered as everyone comes back on line. The network backbone is operated by UTS, and bandwidth is of course finite. We do what we can to optimize within the libraries, but many of the issues are campuswide in nature.

 

 Regarding the PDF issue, it would be very helpful to know where and when the issue occurred. All of our public computers have numbers assigned to them. If you can share the number, we can investigate.

(Sep 16/11)
Answered by: Dale Askey (Associate University Librarian, Library Learning Technologies)

Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Sep 15/11) Hello,

The internet at Mills Library seems not to work, the message of The connection was
reset displays every time you go on to a new website or link.

Library response:

Thanks for letting us know. Unfortunately, with about 200 public computers in the building, this doesn't give us enough information to troubleshoot the issue. The problem appears to be isolated, as we have had no other reports of network outages.

 

All of our computers have numbers assigned to them. If you have issues like this, I'd recommend reporting them at a service desk, specifying the computer number, since that will lead to faster resolution.

(Sep 15/11)
Answered by: Dale Askey (Associate University Librarian, Library Learning Technologies)

Follow-up Comments:

Hi, The problem is not isolated, several of the dell computers on Mills second floor have this issue. (2011-09-19)

Please provide at least one machine number, so we know where to start. The second floor alone has scores of computers, most of which have functional network connections, so we need to know where to look. Many thanks! D. Askey askeyd (2011-09-19)

Computer #30447, my fellow students on my right and left had the same problem with their computer of the connection was reset so that tells you it surely is not isolated. (2011-09-21)

Thanks for providing a machine number. We can investigate. (2011-09-21)

the computer indicated here (and others in the vicinity) seem to be working fine today - occasionally there may be temporary outages beyond our control, but in this case all is well now. braggd (2011-09-22)


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(Sep 13/11) I am a student in french 1Z06. I tried using the keyboard at thode and there was no way
for me to write with accents. I would like there to be a way that staff can change this
so that I can write reports or papers in french. All languages should be accessible
somehow so that people can use them.

Library response:

Thanks for submitting this suggestion. You raise a good point, and here a couple of thoughts about it.

There are two main concerns with adding additional keyboard layouts to public machines. First, many computer users do not know how to toggle between variant keyboard layouts on a PC or Mac, which means that if they find a machine left in, say, French state, they would have no idea how to switch it to English, nor vice versa. Beyond that, there is the issue that there would be reasonable arguments that other language kits be included, and there is no equitable way to determine what would be included and what excluded.

The good news here is that there are numerous ways to type characters in other languages. For example, if using Microsoft Office, one can use fairly straightforward key combinations to type French (and other) characters (http://www.twinning.org.uk/international_characters_in_word.htm). On any computer, one can also use what are known as alt ascii codes to generate non-English characters (see http://www.irongeek.com/alt-numpad-ascii-key-combos-and-chart.html).

(Sep 14/11)
Answered by: Dale Askey (Associate University Librarian, Library Learning Technologies)

Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers  |  Permalink
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(Sep 12/11) Many of the Dell computers on the Mills 2nd floor are simply not working. And some of
the ones that do work have very slow internet to no internet at all. Therefore, it is
very hard to get a seat on a computer during the day because students are saving
seats at the computers that work while they go to class in fear that they wont get to
a computer when they return. For a start Computer # 30366 and 30440 are not working
at all.

Library response:

Thank you for bringing those two machines to our attention. Over the summer, we purchased a large number of new computers for public areas that we will be rolling out over the next couple of months as we get them configured. This will allow us to retire some of the older, crankier machines, as well as those that have just given up the ghost.

The network issue you experienced was caused by a hardware failure on a central system that regulates Internet access for our public machines. The problem has been remedied, so network performance should be much better now.

I'm curious: how are students saving their seats while they are in class? Are they actually leaving their personal items unattended? I would strongly advise them against doing so, but perhaps they are using another method that you've observed. 

(Sep 13/11)
Answered by: Dale Askey (Associate University Librarian, Library Learning Technologies)

Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Aug 23/11) Can someone please clean the keyboards/mice of the computers in the Learning Commons
(Mills 2nd floor)? The Apple computers all have white peripherals and it looks like
they havent been cleaned in years, most of them are covered in brown dirt and they
look disgusting. They should be cleaned before the new students come in September
because it looks/feels disgusting when using the keyboards and it is probably
becoming a health risk. A few Lysol wipes should be able to remove this dirt. I am
not joking about how disgusting this looks, and Im surprised no one has brought this
to the library staffs attention. Cleaning up the keyboards regularly will go a long
way in improving the librarys image and making students want to use this learning
space, because the facilities are actually quite good other than the dirt that has
built up on the computers over time. Thank you.

Library response:

Thanks for the feedback. This cleaning gets done periodically, and was a bit overdue this time around. Based on your note, we have it scheduled to be done before classes start. 

(Aug 29/11)
Answered by: Dale Askey (Associate University Librarian, Library Learning Technologies)

Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Apr 5/11) http://library.mcmaster.ca/equipment/locations is the page showing Innis equipment, power bars etc.

Library response: Thanks!  I will get more details on this, since Innis seems to be the only campus library offering this service. (Apr 6/11)
Answered by: Liz Bayley (Director, Health Sciences Library)

Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers, Health Sciences  |  Permalink
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(Apr 4/11) Do not Scrap the laptop rental program. It provides a valuable addition to the reputation of the libraries at McMAster. I am sure it contributed to the Library of the year Award a few years back. Some people have suggested that the desktop terminals fulfill the needs of students who cant afford/own a desktop/whatever other reason that they cannot bring a computer to school, but the reality is that you cant do group work at a terminal because other people are working around them, you cant take a terminal to a quiet area and study. Im sure you find yourself short on your budget considering the school appears to be operating with a deficit, but show the administration the numbers, for the use of the laptops. Im sure the traffic they generate is worth something.

Library response:

Thank you for sending us this feedback about the laptop lending program. Interestingly, this was not a usage-based decision; we know that the laptops are heavily used. It has more to do with the hard art of setting priorities as well as with a more philosophical question about providing access to personal computing technology.

The laptop lending program represents significant expenditures in terms of hardware costs and, in particular, staffing to support the program. In these financial times, we have to make hard decisions
about where our funds are best utilized, and the clear signal we hear from students is that we need to offer more and varied student spaces in our buildings. The savings realized by stopping the lending program will be reinvested in developing our student spaces, and will allow us--on the staffing front--to better support technology offered elsewhere.

Your point about students who cannot afford a laptop is well taken and  quite important. The question I ask myself is whether the library is the part of the university that should be tasked with creating computing equity among students, with a secondary question being that even if we were that organization whether a laptop lending program is the most effective way to address the issue. Other universities address the issue globally with incoming students, making a need-based assessment to insure that all students are on a level playing field; others choose to provide all students with basic technology, and there are surely myriad other methods in place. What I have not seen in academia is that the library bears the financial responsibility for creating computing equity. What we have found to be the case in the library is that many laptops are checked out by students who own their
own laptops but do not want to carry them with them at all times.

If you have any further questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me

Dale Askey, Associate University Librarian, Library and Learning Technologies

(Apr 7/11)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services),Dale Askey (Associate University Librarian, Library Learning Technologies)

Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers  |  Permalink
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(Mar 29/11) Like Innis, have power bars, extension cords, etc for rent. 1 hour time limit, accessed through scanning the student card. See Innis for supplies and setup. (Printed suggestion, entered by staff, March 29, 2011)

Library response: I was not aware of this and cannot find any  information on the Innis website.  I assume you mean for  loan, not for rent?  Whatever, I simply don't have the budget or the staff to consider this in addition to our laptop and projector loan service.  Sorry! (Mar 29/11)
Answered by: Liz Bayley (Director, Health Sciences Library)

Follow-up Comments:

Please refrain from using childish vocabulary (ie. whatever), in order to be little students for suggestions of improvement. As all students are just looking to better their library experience and it is rather insulting to have suggestions met with such a harsh tone by library administration. Thank-you!!! (2011-03-31)

REPLY TO COMMENT: Hm... the tone wasnt meant to be childish or harsh, just a quick reply stating the facts. Neither the original suggester or you gave me any contact information to follow up. Email me at bayleyl@mcmaster.ca or phone me at ext 22545 if you want to discuss this further. I certainly dont want you to feel belittled!  Liz Bayley, Director, Health Sciences Library (2011-03-31)

Follow up comment: Seriously? It must cost like 13 dollars for a simple power bar. buy 10, that makes 130$. I expect that you could probably find 130$ in the budget. REPLY TO COMMENT:OK, so someone tell me why the library should be providing power bars? What are they being used for? We already lend laptops and projectors, but they come with their own cords. Liz Bayley, Director, Health Sciences Library. (2011-04-04)


Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers, Health Sciences  |  Permalink
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(Jan 23/11) Please replace the pencil sharpener PLEASE! Thank you

Library response:

I assume you mean the one in the Reserve Reading Room?  We have ordered a replacement.  In the meantime, there is a sharpener at the right front of the printing counter by the Learning Commons on the upper level which is in good working order.

Update:  the sharpener has arrived, we are just waiting for Engineering to install it.

UPDATE:  It's back!

(Jan 24/11)
Answered by: Liz Bayley (Director, Health Sciences Library)

Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers, Health Sciences  |  Permalink
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(Jan 19/11) Hello! Ive been going to Thode to use SPSS program and it seems that it doesnt work anymore...I went in last week and it worked perfectly fine but today it wouldnt open in any of the Thode computers. I am worried that maybe Thode computers dont have SPSS software anymore?
Thank you very much!

Library response:

Thanks for letting us know about this. We're looking into it now, and I'll post again when we have resolved the problem.

 UPDATE: SPSS was upgraded to version 19.  Unfortunately the new version starts up differently, and the
script used to launch it was timing out. 

Timing adjustments have been made, which will be downloaded to each machine when  a person next logs on. 
They should all work tomorrow after the nightly restart, or the update can be expedited by restarting
individual machines as required.


(Jan 20/11)
Answered by: Lynn Schneider (Supervisor, Circulation & Collection Maintenance, Health Sciences Library)

Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers, Thode  |  Permalink
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(Nov 15/10) Please allow sshing on mac via terminal.

Library response: SSH is available through the terminal, by simply typing ssh UserName@HostName.
(Nov 16/10)
Answered by: periard

Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Oct 29/10) You need to change the print default settings from double-sided. You are not saving paper because we need to re-print. Profs dont accept double sided so it makes no sense to have it as your default! Take a little more of my money! (Written comments submitted through our suggestion box - Oct. 26th/10)

Library response:

Thanks for your comments.  The change to a default double sided printing came not only from the University’s Sustainability initiative but also from our library users asking us to default to double sided printing from our online suggestion box.  

http://library.mcmaster.ca/php/suggestionbox.php?f=recordbrowse&library=ALL&id=396

http://library.mcmaster.ca/php/suggestionbox.php?f=recordbrowse&library=ALL&id=381

With our new PrintSmart system our users have more control over what and how they are printing and copying documents.   When you are sending your print job, you can select single sided from the print properties tab.   We are happy to help you and we don’t want you spending extra money on copies you don’t want, so please ask any of our staff to assist you and we can ensure you get your copies the way you want them. 

Thanks again for your comments.

(Oct 29/10)
Answered by: Ann Pearce (Supervisor, Information Services, Innis Library)

Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers, Innis  |  Permalink
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(Oct 12/10) We need a scanner :)
(Written suggestion placed in the Suggestion Box, date not provided)

Library response: In the spring 2010, we thought PrintSmart, the new printer/copier initiative, introduced in September would have addressed this.  The Sharp devices are capable of scanning however PrintSmart is unable to offer this functionality at this time.  According to the their website (http://printsmart.mcmaster.ca/students/faqs.html), this functionality will not be available until the campus Access Copyright license has been re-negotiated to include this option. In the meantime, public-use scanners are available in the other libraries on campus and at the McMaster University Student Centre (http://library.mcmaster.ca/equipment/scanning). Neera Bhatnagar (Head of Systems, Health Sciences Library) (Oct 13/10)
Answered by: Neera Bhatnagar

Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers, Health Sciences  |  Permalink
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(Jun 3/10) It would save a lot of paper if more people knew that many of the printers in all of the libraries can print double-sided. Perhaps if you put a sign on the printer stating that it can perform this function, that would be useful. Thanks.

Library response: Thanks for your comment. You will be pleased to learn that there will be a new photocopying/printing initiative launched on campus this fall. All users will have much more control over what and how they are printing and copying documents. Watch the PrintSmart website for an announcement and more details! (Jun 4/10)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers  |  Permalink
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(May 3/10) APRIL 1, 2010

SCANNER FOR HEALTH SCI LIBRARY
(NOT A JOKE DESPITE THE DATE)

[written comment inputed by staff - C. Erskine]

Library response: Sorry for the delay in replying. I believe you are enquiring as to whether the Health Sciences Library has scanning equipment.  At present we do not offer this service however, we anticipate this will change in the fall 2010.  The University will be introducing PrintSmart – the campus copier initiative in the libraries.  It is our understanding that the new equipment will have scanning capability.  In the meantime, public-use scanners are available in the other libraries on campus and at the McMaster University Student Centre (http://library.mcmaster.ca/equipment/scanning).  Neera Bhatnagar (Head of Systems, Health Sciences Library) (May 4/10)
Answered by: Neera Bhatnagar

Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers, Health Sciences  |  Permalink
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(Apr 15/10) The wireless internet access here at Thode is pretty bad. I read that in November 2009 it was improved, but I still have a really hard time getting anything to load here on the 1st floor around the iMacs. Can you get UTS or whomever to look into this and actually provide wireless that works please?

Library response: Thanks for reporting this problem.  It's useful for us to know exactly when the problems are occurring.  I will look into this right away.
(Apr 15/10)
Answered by:

Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers, Thode  |  Permalink
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(Apr 10/10) http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/04/09/complaint-box-the-lost-library-voice/?hp

Here is a great website I found on the New York Times website at www.nytimes.com

However, I could not access this website from the computers in the library. There appears to be some error

Library response:

Our investigation has determined there is a compatibility issue with the Adobe Flash upgrade, the New York Times website and the Internet browser used in the library.   In the past, websites have resolved these kinds of problems relatively quickly.  In the interim, you may wish to use the computers in the UTS computer labs or in the other campus libraries which are configured differently. Neera Bhatnagar (Head of Systems, Health Sciences Library)

(Apr 10/10)
Answered by: Liz Bayley (Director, Health Sciences Library),bannisl

Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers, Health Sciences  |  Permalink
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(Apr 7/10) Tell people that printers print double-sided. Saves paper!

Library response: This is an excellent suggestion.  We are actually addressing that very concern right now. As part of a university wide change, printing in the libraries will be going through a switch to a new system. This new system will default to double-sided (or duplex) printing. We hope to have the new system in place for the Fall semester. (Apr 15/10)
Answered by: Shawn McCann (Associate University Librarian, Library Learning Technologies)

Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Apr 1/10) Regarding scroll down on iMac computers. Used 5 different iMac computers today, 4 of them were not able to scroll down if using the scroll ball on the mouse. Possible mouse problem. Very annoying. Was only able to scroll up using the track ball. This happened on 4 computers.

Library response: Thanks for letting us know.  I will make our IT help consultants aware of this problem and ask them to resolve it. (Apr 1/10)
Answered by: Lynn Schneider (Supervisor, Circulation & Collection Maintenance, Health Sciences Library)

Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers, Thode  |  Permalink
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(Apr 1/10) There needs to be more projectors at Thode. Every time I try and sign one out it is never available.

Library response: Thanks for your comment.  We've had a number of requests for additional projectors, and we will be looking at the possibility of purchasing additional projectors, budget allowing. (Apr 5/10)
Answered by: Lynn Schneider (Supervisor, Circulation & Collection Maintenance, Health Sciences Library)

Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers, Thode  |  Permalink
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(Apr 1/10) I appreciate the projector borrowing program. I do have a tough time getting a hold of a projector. Would it be possible to get more than one projector at Thode?

Library response: The projector lending program has proven to be very popular since we began lending them about a year ago. Thode has one projector, and  both Mills and Innis libraries also lend projectors.  I'll definitely put your suggestion forward for the library to purchase additional projectors to lend. (Apr 5/10)
Answered by: Lynn Schneider (Supervisor, Circulation & Collection Maintenance, Health Sciences Library)

Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers, Thode  |  Permalink
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(Mar 18/10) Why are the computers (not laptops) so slow? The computers constantly freeze for no reason. Simply opening microsoft word, it freezes majorly. These computers are not up to par at all, performance wise. Also, I went by the door of Innis late one night when it was closed and shockingly saw that a bunch of the computers were still left on! One, your wasting energy, and two, your running the computers for no reason which will cause overheating of computers if theyre on day and night!

Please fix the computers in Innis!

Library response:

Thank you for your comments and I’m sorry to hear about the problems you are having with our computers.   We are unable to upgrade our computers at this time; hopefully we can in the near future.  Our Systems department has checked our computers and noticed that Microsoft Word was sluggish on some of them.   They are hoping that re-imaging these computers will take care of the slow response time.  If you encounter any more problems please do let us know.   This way we can see if it is the same computers causing the problems.  We do appreciate your comments as it helps us to help you.  

I can understand your concerns regarding the computers being left on all night and possibly overheating.  The computers are left on to allow for any necessary and important updates.  Our Systems department assures us that if the fans are working properly it is unlikely the CPUs will overheat. 

Thank you again for making us aware of this problem.

(Apr 9/10)
Answered by: Ann Pearce (Supervisor, Information Services, Innis Library)

Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers, Innis  |  Permalink
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(Feb 8/10) Recently, there has been some MAJOR problems with the computers at Innis. They are EXTREMELY slow up on launching the web browser and are often getting stuck when opening up microsoft applications.

So what is going on? does anyone monitor these problems? are the computers plauged with viruses? (most likely)

students pay through tuition and other admin costs to work on equipment that is OPERATING EFFECTIVELY. What do you think happens during the day when there is a rush for computers to work on and then half of them are either out of operation or the other half that supposedly work are constantly underperforming at a speed pre-historic to the invention of the first pentium processor. This requires immediate resolution.

Library response:

Thank you for bringing this to our attention and I’m sorry to hear about the problems you’re experiencing with our computers.  You’re right; our computers are slow and are in need of an upgrade.  We’re unable to upgrade our computers at this time; hopefully we can in the near future.  I contacted our Systems department and they’ve checked all our desktop PCs and worked on the ones which were very slow.  We do not have the staff to check each computer on a daily basis but if you encounter any more problems please do let us know.  The staff will try to fix the problem and if we’re unable to we’ll report the problem to our Systems department.

Thanks again for making us aware of this problem.

(Feb 18/10)
Answered by: Ann Pearce (Supervisor, Information Services, Innis Library)

Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers, Innis  |  Permalink
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(Jan 26/10) So helpful! Love the staff. Could you please get wireless internet connection to speed up? Only Complaint. FASTER WIRELESS!

Library response: Thanks for letting us know about this problem. We are following up on this with UTS and will report back when we hear from them. (Jan 28/10)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Jan 18/10) I am just wondering what the general policy is for the use of the computers by people who are clearly not students at mac, and where it is available. I often see children watching cartoons, patients and staff from the hospital using the computers when there are students waiting to use them.

Library response: The Health Sciences Library is both a university library and also a hospital library for staff located at the McMaster Campus of Hamilton Health Sciences.  Thus, faculty, staff, students, hospital staff and patients regularly use our facilities to locate health information.  As a publicly funded institution, we are also a community resource.  Our policy is that the computers in the Library Learning Commons are intended for health research and educational pursuits.  During peak periods, users may be asked to vacate if they are not engaged in these activities.  IT staff regularly monitors the area often asking uses to leave when the computer are used inappropriately.  If the computers are busy, please inform staff at the Information & Circulation Desk to explore the options available.    Neera Bhatnagar (Head of Systems, Health Sciences Library) (Jan 22/10)
Answered by: Neera Bhatnagar

Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers, Health Sciences  |  Permalink
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(Jan 13/10) As a frequent user of the computers in Health Sci library I was wondering if there is any maintenance or general cleaning that can be done to the keyboards themselves. Many are missing both tabs on the bottom, or have one tap missing, and the are generally in pretty bad shape. They are dusty, and food is lodged in between the letters. I think there should be either postings not to eat around the computers, or having sanitizer near the computers reminding ppl to use them.

Library response: The public computers in the Health Sciences Library are heavily used throughout the year.  As a result, they do get dirty.  The computers are checked daily and the keyboards are cleaned regularly.  A quick survey of the keyboards by our IT staff showed that they are in good working order.  There are a few with broken lifts that support the base of the keyboard however the keyboards themselves are functioning properly.  The public computers are now three years old and have held up well during that time.  Our staff frequently reminds users to refrain from eating around the computers and we will add signs to reinforce this policy as per your suggestion.   Neera Bhatnagar (Head of Systems, Health Sciences Library) (Jan 18/10)
Answered by: Neera Bhatnagar

Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers, Health Sciences  |  Permalink
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(Jan 11/10) It would be nice to have a digital microfilm reader on the 3rd floor as well as the basement reading room (which is only open 9 to 5, M to F).

Library response: Good suggestion. We are in the processing of creating a Digital Lab on the 1st floor of Mills which will become a larger Digitization Centre including public access services. I have added this to the list of equipment to consider for this area. We expect this work to be done by next fall, if all goes according to plan. (Jan 28/10)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services),bannisl

Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Jan 4/10) Librery should access head phones. It is a very important and useful tool for study. This is the only reason why many times I have to leave this librery and go to the IAHS librery for a headphone! We can sign in and use our student card to access it in the librery just like The IAHS librery.

Library response:

I have contacted the IAHS Library to find out more information.  I am awaiting a call back as to the brand and cost of the headphones which they lend.  We do have large earphones for our multimedia materials, but they are for use on specific equipment.

We did look into the idea of lending headphones a couple of years ago, but the literature showed that sharing headphones was not a sanitary practice.  We don't have the budget to hand out free earphones, and many people have their own mini earphones which are quite cheap. 

I'll let you know what we decide.

Liz 

Update: I investigated the headphone loan service being offered at IAHS and I am pleased to announce that as of this week (February 10, 2010)  we have set up a pilot project to lend headphones from the circulation desk. 

(Jan 4/10)
Answered by: Liz Bayley (Director, Health Sciences Library)

Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers, Health Sciences  |  Permalink
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(Dec 15/09) The Apple iMacs sport absolutely gorgeous high resolution displays, but the default desktop background on all the iMacs is chunky and gross! Why not put up a high resolution shot of McMaster in its fall glory to show off our campus AND get the most out of what is surely a massive investment?

Library response:

Thanks for the suggestion! We agree that the iMacs have awesome displays and we wish we could take better advantage of them. For now, all our desktop backgrounds are generated from a single source, so we have to use a resolution that works on all library displays. The other complicating factor is that the resolution on the iMacs can be changed by anyone using them, so it's hard to determine the best resolution for the desktop images.

We're definitely aware of the issue though and won't give up on finding a workable solution!

(Jan 31/10)
Answered by: Amanda Etches-Johnson (User Experience Librarian)

Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Nov 30/09) why is the internet so slow since this year?? i never had having problem with iternet before in anyplace in school. but since this school year
ar peak time, just to load a page it takes forever. even google page needs at least 10 seconds to be fully loaded. can u make any changes
on this issue asap?? if we cant really use internet why would i come to library to study right??

Library response: Sorry to hear you're having problems with web access in the library. We've had other reports of sporadic slowness as well. Our wireless access is actually provided by UTS, so we've spoken to them about this problem and will hopefully have a solution soon. We'll keep you posted!  (Feb 2/10)
Answered by: Amanda Etches-Johnson (User Experience Librarian)

Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers  |  Permalink
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(Nov 11/09) Hello,

This is in response to the wireless access at Health Sci library. I rarely ever can get a lasting signal, and it has gotten so bad that I have to find other study spaces when I know I will need internet and dont want to work on a campus computer. I realize that the library is busy, but I often have this problem even early in the day when it is still quiet. And I am sure it is not only my computer, as I have used two separate computers here with the same issue - and complained along with many friends about the poor wireless connection here!

Id love it if my favourite library had better internet access. Thank you.

Library response: Thank you for your comment on improving wireless access in the library.  We appreciate the feedback and hope to continue to be your favourite library.  Accessing the Internet involves many issues so further investigations may be necessary to determine the source of the problems you are experiencing.  The Library performed a test earlier this afternoon in an attempt to replicate the problem. Our investigation showed that while we had exceeded capacity on the number of laptops in use in the library, the IT staff could successfully connect to the wireless network throughout the area.  However, we did notice that the response time was slower in some sections of the library.  I should also mention that on a number of days over the past two weeks, the entire campus has been experiencing network problems affecting both wireless and wired access.  The situation you are describing here may have occurred on one of those occasions.  If you experience problems connecting to the wireless network again, please inform us immediately.  Our IT staff will then be able to conduct a more thorough investigation. Another option is to bring a network cable along with your laptop.  Then you will be able to access the Internet using the wired connections available in the group rooms, the large e-tables and in the quiet study space http://hsl.mcmaster.ca/services/study/index.html.   Neera Bhatnagar, Head of Systems (Nov 16/09)
Answered by: Neera Bhatnagar,Liz Bayley (Director, Health Sciences Library)

Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers, Health Sciences  |  Permalink
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(Oct 29/09) There is still a huge problem with Thodes internet. ELM does not seem to
load at Thode, through my own personal laptop, or even the library
computers, and it really makes life a lot more difficult for students that
live far away from campus when they cannot access ELM through their own
schools computer. Something needs to be done to address this major flaw. I
was unable to post this to the suggestion box doe to some technical
difficulties with the system.

Library response:

There have been problems with opening ELM on the MAC computers at Thode recently, but if you try opening ELM with the Safari browser, it should work.  I checked with our IT help consultant and he reports that users have been able to access ELM using Safari today.  If your laptop is a MAC, or if you're using one of the Thode MACs, please try Safari.  If you are in the library, please stop by our IT help desk and the consultant can help you troubleshoot with your laptop.  In the meantime, we'll continue to investigate the problem. Thanks for reporting this.

(Oct 29/09)
Answered by: Lynn Schneider (Supervisor, Circulation & Collection Maintenance, Health Sciences Library)

Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers, Thode  |  Permalink
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(Oct 20/09) My concerns are with the quality of the wireless internet in some buildings on campus. My experiences have been poor in Thode and the Health Sciences Library, recently. At peak hours, many people accessing the wireless network slows the internet speed to an observable rate.

Has anyone else noticed this? What is being done to fix it?

Library response:

Thanks for reporting this problem to us.  Thode staff reported the poor wireless connectivity to University Technology Services late last week.  A representative from UTS has visited Thode to check on the problem and has made some adjustments.  I hope that you find an improvement now.  We would appreciate it if you could make staff at theThode service desk aware if you continue to experience problems, so that we can monitor the situation and follow up with UTS.

The Health Sciences Library had a problem with one of its wireless access points in the middle of October.  That has since been fixed.  Please let me know if you are still having problems.

(Oct 20/09)
Answered by: Lynn Schneider (Supervisor, Circulation & Collection Maintenance, Health Sciences Library),Liz Bayley (Director, Health Sciences Library),bannisl

Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers, Thode, Health Sciences  |  Permalink
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(Oct 13/09) It would be very helpful if ELM was made available as an option to access in library for status updates on courses individual students have enrolled in.

Library response:

As far as I know, you should be able to access ELM from any library computer that has internet access.  Simply open an internet browser and go to https://elm.mcmaster.ca

Please let us know if you're unable to do this and we'll try to fix the problem.

(Oct 13/09)
Answered by: Catherine Baird (Marketing, Communications and Outreach Librarian),bannisl

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(Aug 25/09) Why is it that when I have a number of Internet Explorer windows open and I close one of them all of the other windows are closed?

Library response: I am not sure which library you were in when you had this problem, but I am having the systems folks in the Health Sciences Library investigate and come back with an answer. (Aug 26/09)
Answered by: Liz Bayley (Director, Health Sciences Library),bannisl

Follow-up Comments:

This occurs on the Health Sciences Library computers (2009-08-30)

The Systems staff in the Health Sciences Library investigated and was unable to recreate the problem on the computers located in our Learning Commons. If possible, please consider dropping by the library, Monday Friday between 8:30am 5:30pm to demonstrate the problem to our IT staff. (2009-09-11)


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(Jul 28/09) Solid Edge v20 program should be put on the computers for the Thode Library. This would greatly help first year engineering students with the course 1C03 (Graphics Design)

Library response: Thanks for your suggestion.  We are currently looking into the possibility of getting Solid Edge v20 on Thode Library computers and will post an update as soon as possible. (Aug 24/09)
Answered by: Lynn Schneider (Supervisor, Circulation & Collection Maintenance, Health Sciences Library),bannisl

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(Jul 27/09) July 20/2009

Why are the new printers so slow? A 5 min job turned into 20min. I have never had to wait so long for a printer to warm up or rotate the page.

(paper suggestion entered by staff - C. Erskine)

Library response: I consulted with our Systems Specialist on your suggestion/complaint.  Unfortunately, this is an on-going and intermittent problem with certain print jobs.  Sometimes the file being sent is corrupt, sometimes it is an enormous scan posted by a professor, and sometimes the system just seems to bog down.  Our sympathies. (Aug 4/09)
Answered by: Liz Bayley (Director, Health Sciences Library),bannisl

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(Jun 11/09) Im not sure if this is for all libraries but you guys REALLY should carry change for printers and photocopiers. Money is money and your machines do not accept currency that is not in the form of 5 dollar bills, loonies or toonies. Furthermore, the only cash source near the vicinity is an ATM machine which only deposits 20 $ bills. Usually I am in a rush when I am to use your printing services and since this is a service for students who dont normally carry a lot of money, you should upgrade your machines or carry the appropriate currency. I mentioned to this your staff after a particularly disastrous day (due to running around campus) and the staff curtly replied theres a coffee shop nearby, you know as if that was the obvious solution. NO! I dont want a cup of coffee, I just want to print my assignment and I should be able to do so with pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters and what have yous.

Library response:

I appreciate how frustrating it is to obtain change when you need to use in the print card vending machines located in the McMaster University libraries. Unfortunately, the library does not own those machines. The University contracts out the service to a third party. We have worked with the company responsible for the print cards in an attempt to arrange better service, but at the moment, we are limited by the technical limitations of the vending machines. We have also enquired about having a change machine in the Health Sciences Library but we have been told that this is not an option. Many individuals are not aware that the print cards can also be purchased in the Health Sciences Bookstore (located on the first floor of the hospital near the read elevators). They are equipped with cash registers and debit card machines, making it much easier to purchase or add value to print cards when you do not have exact change.

 

Jennifer McKinnell

Head of Public Services

(Jun 15/09)
Answered by: Jennifer McKinnell (Director, Health Sciences Library)

Follow-up Comments:

Fair enough but the problem was that I did have five dollars in exact change for the debt card but it was not in the form of a five dollar bill. Until the problem is remedied, I think it would be convenient if libraries carried some change on hand. (2009-06-17)

Thank you for taking the time to continue to share your concerns and suggestions. I agree that the entire process of obtaining change seems somewhat frustrating. Unfortunately, the maintenance and support of the print card vending machines is beyond our control. For security and accounting reasons, the Health Sciences Library cannot maintain a float to provide change. I have just confirmed that the print card vending machines will issue new cards regardless of whether the money inserted is a combination of loonies, toonies, or a five dollar bill. Quarters, dimes and nickels do not work. Jennifer McKinnell Head of Public Services Health Sciences Library (2009-06-17)


Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers, Customer Service, Health Sciences  |  Permalink
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(May 26/09) Regarding the abused computers in Mills:

I am glad that there is going to be maintenance. However I do feel that these incidents are not inevitable. Currently they are,
because there is no respect for community property. Im sure that there are many reasons for this, but a good way to help fix
the effects is policy and enforcement regarding food in the computer area. I dont eat around computers, and I dont feel
tempted to as is the case for many other reasonable-minded, mature students. Therefore it should be possible for others to
behave this way too. Could the information assistants who are maybe 20 metres from the area not walk around the work
areas a few times a day and ask people eating and drinking to do so elsewhere? This would not only prevent those people
caught from causing damage to property for which everyone has paid, but also it would let others know that its unacceptable
to act in such a way.

Thank you.

Library response: Thank you for your thoughtful comment on this matter.  We struggle daily with finding the best solutions to issues such as this in the library. Often, those who are using the library have very different opinions on food with some voicing strong opinions in favour of having food allowed anywhere within the library and others strongly opposed to this idea.

For many years we did not allow food/eating in the library buildings, but lifted these regulations at Mills, Innis, and Thode within the past couple of years.  Much thought and preparation went into this decision including adding extra garbage and recycling bins and also increasing the frequency at which spaces are cleaned.  Lifting the food restrictions was one way in which we wanted to make users' lives easier.

Currently, we don't ask staff to monitor the eating of food at these stations because we do not have a policy which prevents people from doing so.

You would clearly like us to reconsider this policy or devise other ways to create a library environment where users are respectful of both the equipment and other users' needs.

To be perfectly honest with you, we are unlikely to implement a more restrictive food policy in the near future.  We have created food free zones in some library areas, but that being said, we don't believe we have tapped all of the ways in which we can help to create the best environment which is satisfactory to all of our users.  Thank you for contributing to this discussion and we welcome any of your ideas on how we can create such an environment. (May 28/09)
Answered by: Catherine Baird (Marketing, Communications and Outreach Librarian),bannisl

Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers, Mills  |  Permalink
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(May 26/09) Its a shame that the new computers in Mills are so filthy and abused. The one on which Imtrying to write this has clearly had
coffee spilled on it and so its space bar isnt working properly (the Imtrying wasnt a joke, thats actually how it came out).
Why isnt there more enforcement? I see someone sitting at the information desk day after day, especially during the regular
terms. Maybe the person there could every half hour take a quick walk around Club Mills and make sure nobodys eating or
drinking around the computers. I dont mean to be flip, but it would literally take five minutes. Its especially necessary
during the regular terms, and wouldnt hurt during the summer too.

Thank you.

Library response: You're quite right, the public computers see such a high volume of use during the school year that such issues are inevitable. All public machines in the libraries undergo a thorough cleaning every summer and I'm happy to report that the cleaning crew started on the computers in Mills yesterday (May 25th). Hopefully they'll get to that sticky space bar soon! (May 26/09)
Answered by: Amanda Etches-Johnson (User Experience Librarian)

Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Apr 27/09) There should be a computer in Mills designated as a printing station so people can
jump on and quickly print documents.

Library response:

Thanks for your suggestion. Mills has a number of quick-access stations on the 2nd floor (opposite the Research Help Desk and in the Learning Commons) that are intended as quick look-up and printing stations. Access to each machine is limited to 5-minute sessions. These machines can get quite busy during term, but the idea is that you shouldn't have to wait more than 5 minutes to access one.

Hope this helps!

(May 26/09)
Answered by: Amanda Etches-Johnson (User Experience Librarian)

Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Apr 8/09) The wireless should be fixed. Ive been having this problem in past two weeks from around 2:00pm to 6/7:00pm the wireless is on and off. This is happening to my friends also. Please fix the issue because now is exam time and I do not want to waste time. Thank you.

Library response: Thank you for your comment.  UTS has been notified and is monitoring the wireless at Thode Library.  If you have any further problems with the wireless at Thode Library please mention it to staff at the circulation desk so we can act on it right away. (Apr 8/09)
Answered by: philbro

Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers, Thode  |  Permalink
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(Apr 2/09) I love the libraries at McMaster, but I find that one of the biggest problems is the printing at the libraries.

Firstly, the few colour printers that are available on campus are frequently offline or unusable not because they are broken but simply because of unattended errors by the IT staff. In regards to this fact, when a library opens, printers should be checked immediately before or during openning to ensure that all printers are online and functioning rather than having IT staff only show up half an hour later than when the library opens.

Secondly, with a library with enough money for renovations and a new cafe, and with numerous expensive Apple desktop computers, why is there no colour printer in Thode library? Currently, any students that choose to print colour at Thode, must then walk all the way to Mills library to actually print their documents; this is massively inconvenient for anyone, and it is sheer amazement how no one has bothered to change this.

Also, it would be nice if the libraries could work with UTS and consolidate the printing account systems into one rather than making students have a dbeit card for libraries and a separate account for the UTS computer labs around campus.

Thank you

Library response:

Thanks so much for your thoughtful suggestions and I do apologize for the delay in getting back to you. Firstly, the good news: Thode now has a colour printer installed on the main floor of the library! To address your other concerns:

  • We do try to fix equipment problems in a timely manner but are sometimes delayed for a number of reasons, mostly logistical. For example, printing equipment and supplies are for all three libraries are maintained by the same people, which probably accounts for the delays in getting things fixed. We realize this is an issue and will continue to do our best to avoid service interruptions.
  • A single printing account/card for printing across campus is an idea we have explored in the past. For a variety of reasons, consolidation has not been possible, but we continue to be hopeful that it might be a viable solution in the future. Stay tuned!
I hope this addresses your concerns. If not, feel free to leave a comment or get in touch (etchesa AT mcmaster.ca).
(May 26/09)
Answered by: Amanda Etches-Johnson (User Experience Librarian)

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(Mar 24/09) hello - is it possible to increase the quality of printed documents?

it seems that everytime I print something, the ink is faded/very light. Why??

Students should have the option to choose the print quality of their documents.

thanks.

Library response: Thanks for letting us know about the printing problems you've encountered. It's possible that you hit up the printer right when the toner cartridge was running low, which might account for the ink being light. Your other suggestion about allowing the option to choose print quality is a really good one, so I'll be sure to pass that on to the people who take care of the libraries' printers. Thanks, again.
(May 26/09)
Answered by: Amanda Etches-Johnson (User Experience Librarian)

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(Mar 17/09) The wireless network in the Health Sciences Library is slower than other places on campus. I tried 2, 5, 6 & 8 and the signal strength is bad in all of them. Can you do something to improve it?

Library response:

The Library has been extremely busy this week but we have just tested the signal strength on the upper level (2:50 p.m.) and 3 out of 4 had a good response.  We did install Internet ports in the tables, the study rooms and in a few of the carrels in the Quiet Study area on the lower level so you have the option of connecting directly using an internet cable.  We are monitoring and working on this issue - please see the reply I posted to a similar concern on March 12.

(Mar 17/09)
Answered by: Liz Bayley (Director, Health Sciences Library)

Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers, Health Sciences  |  Permalink
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(Mar 17/09) Could there be Microsoft Office 2007 or 2007 readers put on the computer? I hate doing a lot of work at home on Word 2007 then have to reformat everything here before I print it out because the library only has the 2003 version.

Library response:

Ah yes, Microsoft versions!  We install the same version on our public computers as the one University Technology Services mounts in the student technology centres, which is presently Microsoft Office 2003; we are waiting to hear if they are upgrading to 2007 over the summer, in which case we will too.  If not, we will investigate a 2007 reader as you have suggested.  Of course, a change in printers may also result in the need to reformat, so an upgrade on our public workstations may not resolve all of your problems.

(Mar 17/09)
Answered by: Liz Bayley (Director, Health Sciences Library)

Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers, Health Sciences  |  Permalink
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(Mar 13/09) Hi! Would it be possible to add a link to the graduate email server in the start menu on the computers in Mills? I know there is a link to the undergrad email, but it is inconvenient for the grad students to not have a quick link to our inboxes, especially when we are waiting on student emails. Thanks!

Library response: Thanks so much for your suggestion and I apologize for the delay in getting back to you. We're actually in the process of retooling our start menus at the moment and your idea of adding a link to other mail servers is a good one. We plan on replacing existing email links in the start menu with a link to a page that lists popular mail servers. That way everyone gets access to their mail server of choice! Hope that helps.
(May 26/09)
Answered by: Amanda Etches-Johnson (User Experience Librarian)

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(Mar 12/09) I would like to voice my concern over the speed of wireless internet at the Health Sciences Library. While other libraries on campus do not have this problem, the internet connection here seems to be extremely slow on a daily basis. At times webpages can take over a minute to load, which makes it impossible to conduct any meaningful work online. I am sure many students have experienced similar difficulty with this. It would be great if the bandwidth can be increased to cope with the high volume of library users in this beautiful facility.

Library response: I wanted to make sure I got my facts straight before answering your concern.  The Health Sciences Library has nine wireless access points, with a speed of 54 mbps.  That is lots of capacity, but because of the open nature of the library space, unlike the other libraries the points here have overlapping signals.  The response speed is a result of the number of concurrent users accessing the point.  Unfortunately there is no automatic switching between the points; we are investigating this, but it is a cost issue.  In the meantime, you need to go into the wireless software on your laptop, view all of the available access points and go with the one with the strongest signal.  The good news is that the Computer Services Unit has just ordered a new wireless server to monitor access points for traffic and adjust the signal as needed; testing will occur over the summer, with implementation planned for the fall semester. (Mar 16/09)
Answered by: Liz Bayley (Director, Health Sciences Library)

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(Mar 9/09) I posted a suggestion about the state of the internet in the libraries, it was much more polite than the majority of suggestions on
here, however it wasnt addressed or posted. Is there a reason why?

Library response:

An answer to your suggestion has now been posted:  http://library.mcmaster.ca/php/suggestionbox.php?f=recordbrowse&library=ALL&id=225

Apologies for the delay.

(Mar 19/09)
Answered by: Catherine Baird (Marketing, Communications and Outreach Librarian)

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(Mar 3/09) Why is the health sci library BLIND to the fact that people use MacBooks? I tried setting up my wireless account and was told I
needed to go to Mills b/c the staff there @ the learning commons could do it for me

Furthermore, I am a HEALTH SCI student - not an humanities/soc sci OR engineering OR business student even though they all
usurp my library and make it IMPOSSIBLE to study here. As a member of the health sci faculty, I believe that when I or any
other health sci student has questions and concerned we dont know someone from OUR library should be able to help us out
and NOT send us packing to other libraries to ask for help b/c health sci staff is too incompetant to help us??!

Cant we find a way to hire more staff? Arent we all going to be health care professionals in here who can donate $$$ to deal
with these issues!?!?

Library response:

Hm...  the Health Sciences Library certainly isn't blind to MacBooks -- many of my best friends use them, and we have certainly helped many people, health sciences and others, set up their Macs to work with our wireless account.  Judging by the time I received this message (9:30 p.m.), maybe you came in after 6 p.m.?  If so, unfortunately our systems staff had gone home for the evening.  We have systems support from 8:30 to 5:30 p.m. from Monday to Friday.  Mills and Thode Library have IT support whenever their Learning Commons are open and can help students from all faculties.  Health Sciences staff are not incompetent, they just don't all have the skills necessary to help you to set up your computer.  Nor do we have the funding to have IT support in the evenings and on weekends.  Finally, the Health Sciences Library is a shared resource, as are all the libraries on campus.  You didn't identify yourself, but feel free to contact me if you want to discuss this in more detail.

(Mar 3/09)
Answered by: Liz Bayley (Director, Health Sciences Library)

Follow-up Comments:

This comment is in regards to the inappropriate suggestion made by a health sciences student. Surely, once this individual, gets into a healthcare profession, would lend the resources to selective people or may be own a hospital that no body else could use except people approved by this individual. I can not believe that being a university undergraduate one could make such a comment regarding a libraries staff and calling them incompetent is even worse. I use the health sciences library and it is one of the most efficient libraries on campus with a generous staff. Therefore, i hope further in the future while complains are being put forward no such inapprpriate comments should be directed to any staff of any library. Thank you. (2009-03-07)


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(Mar 3/09) Get Mac laptops! Toshiba ones are redundant and always give me problems.

Library response: Your comment is a timely one.  We are currently looking into getting some Mac laptops for Innis Library and hope to be able to have them ready for circulation in the near future.  Thanks for your comment! (Mar 3/09)
Answered by: Lynn Schneider (Supervisor, Circulation & Collection Maintenance, Health Sciences Library)

Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers, Innis  |  Permalink
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(Feb 26/09) Something MUST be done about the state of the wireless internet connection in all campus libraries. It seems just this term it
has become lousy. First of all, I am always confronted with 8 different MacConnect networks - MacConnect-0 to MacConnect-
8 - and you would think given such a plethora of choices ONE would work. However, not a single one gives a decent
connection. It seriously interferes with productivity when you are forced to stop every ten minutes to troubleshoot your
internet connection. In many courses EVERYTHING is online. WIthout internet, I cannot access solutions to practice problems,
sample midterms, lab descriptions, rendering even coming to campus to attempt to study useless. Thank you in advance for
your attention to this matter.

Library response:

I apologize that it has taken so long for us to respond to this suggestion.  I'm not sure how it slipped through the cracks, but will investigate to make sure it doesn't happen again.

First, let me explain that the wireless connections in the library are a part of the campus-wide wireless system administered by McMaster's University Technology Service (UTS).  The library works with UTS on a number of technology related issues.  In order to try to address the problems you were having we're going to investigate with UTS to see if there is anything we can do about the multiple names for these connections.

As a side note, we have an IT Help service available at designated times both online and in person at Mills, Innis and Thode Libraries. For more information about that service, visit this link http://library.mcmaster.ca/it-support

Update:  Digital Technologies Development Librarian, John Fink, contacted patron via email.  UTS was consulted the multiple SSID issue appears to be operating system dependent.  John invited patron to visit the library so he could look at his machine. 

(Mar 19/09)
Answered by: Catherine Baird (Marketing, Communications and Outreach Librarian)

Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers, Other  |  Permalink
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(Feb 9/09) Having to constantly set up a guest account to use microsoft office on the macs is fairly annoying

Library response: Our IT department is working on trying to resolve this issue.  Thank you for your comment. (Feb 13/09)
Answered by: philbro

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(Jan 21/09) These are minor (yet persistent) annoyances.
1) Most keyboards have one or both legs snapped off, so you cant prop up the keyboard.
2) Also, many of the mouses wheels are dirty so its pretty annoying to scrolling. Id clean them myself but they dont seem very easy to open.

Library response:

Thanks for your comments. We do try to make sure our equipment is in good condition, but sometimes things slip through the cracks! We'll certainly make sure we have someone check out both the keyboards and mice and clean & repair them as required.

Thanks again for letting us know!

(Jan 22/09)
Answered by: Amanda Etches-Johnson (User Experience Librarian)

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(Jan 8/09) The new Mac computers in Thode should not be configured to use apple.com as their homepage. A room full of shiny new
Macs (with effectively crippled versions of Windows available for the greater than 90% of users who are more familiar with
Windows) is a sufficient marketing accomplishment for Apple. As a university library, Thodes workstations should be
configured to bring users immediately to the webpages which allow access to the librarys resources, not to Apples marketing
and sales site.

It is also not acceptable that Windows is configured to run in a desktop resolution that does not match the screens
dimensions. This almost appears to be a deliberate stunt to make Windows seem ugly and many users are probably not aware
that it is the result of an incorrect setting rather than, say, Windows inability to run on an impressively large monitor. The
desktop resolution should be changed to the display panels native resolution, as has been done in Mac OS.

Library response:

Thank you for your suggestion.  Your questions have referred to our Library and Learning Technology Department.

(Jan 12/09)
Answered by: philbro

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(Dec 13/08) There are not enough plugs near the cubicles and large desks in the middle of the first floor. Ive seen people bring extension cords so that they can get power from their desk. I unfortunately was not so smart and now Im stuck by a window desk which is freezing and less comfortable than the couches and tables near the middle of the floor. You need more electrical outlets. At least provide an outlet for the cubicles against the walls near the back of the first floor. Everything is done online so there is no reason why there is such a low amount of outlets within easy reach of seating. And people prefer using laptops for personal documents etc so telling them to go to the computer area is not solving the problem.

Library response: Thanks for your comment. We do realize how important it is for all of our users to be able to "plug-in" . We are working on adding more power outlets to these new areas and hope to have something in place early in the New Year. (Dec 15/08)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers, Thode  |  Permalink
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(Dec 12/08) The mac computer with the extra large screens (directly behind the circulation desk at Thode) do not have a working PDF reader
completely installed. This makes them virtually useless for research and assignments.

Library response: This problem has been forwarded to our Library and Learning Technologies staff.  Thanks for letting us know. (Dec 15/08)
Answered by:

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(Oct 30/08) The new computers on the first floor are nice, but have some annoying bugs associated with them. For example:
- when running Win XP, the scroll wheel is very laggy.
- when running mac os, word 2008 asks the user to set itself up for updates and register, which is annoying to do every time.
- when printing .pdf files from mac os, certain items such as cross references and tables of content made in word receive a black box around them when printed.
- when opening word 2003 files, some text is missing from the file sometimes(although opening it on the win xp machines downstairs works fine).

Im sure there are other problems which I cant quiet remember. Perhaps the library could get an admin to spend some time and adress those small, but annoying issues?

Library response: Thanks for taking the time to let us know about the bugs you're found on these computers. We're having someone take a look at the issues you've raised and hope to have them fixed soon. (Nov 6/08)
Answered by: Amanda Etches-Johnson (User Experience Librarian)

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(Oct 30/08) Is it possible to limit the use of applications like facebook inthe library? This week I had to wait 10 mins to access a computer to print something for class. I dont think its fair that I have to wait to use the computers to do something school-related, when there are people on the computers who are clearly just wasting time. My friend says that things like facebook are banned from the computers in the library at her school. Is it possible to at least have a few computers that are used for printing only?

Library response:

We understand the frustration of having to wait for a computer to become available, especially at this time of year. However, we have made the decision to not block access to any websites in the interest of academic freedom. That is to say that some of our students/faculty members use sites like Facebook for academic purposes, so us limiting access to it would be unfair to those users. 

We do have some quick access stations in Mills that are useful for when you just want to print something. I might also recommend checking out one of our laptops from the Circulation desk.

Hope this helps!

(Nov 3/08)
Answered by: Amanda Etches-Johnson (User Experience Librarian)

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(Oct 21/08) The new monitors in Thode library have very poor resolution. You have large monitors set at a very low setting and i can see the pixels on the screen which doesnt do good for the eyes. Could they be set at a higher resolution? At least above 1440 X 900?

Library response: Staff from Library and Learning Technologies respond:  As screen resolutions increase, the size of text decreases.  Since library computers are intended to be used by a broad range of users, we have adopted a particular resolution which can easily be read by most library patrons as a standard and applied it to all of our machines.  Background images, web pages, etc. are also based on resolution.  If resolution varies from machine to machine then image distortion results, or web pages dsiplay with varying degrees of white space. (Oct 28/08)
Answered by: Kathy Ball (Library Director, Science & Engineering, University Library)

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(Sep 20/08) Im wondering if you can enable tabbed browsing in the current internet browser?

Library response: I assume what you are meaning is having various Web pages appear as tabs at the top of the screen?  I will investigate further, but you already have the same functionality  - when you open a new Web page, a new tab appears at the bottom of the screen. (Sep 22/08)
Answered by: Liz Bayley (Director, Health Sciences Library)

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(Jul 12/08) This should be a good time to clean/disinfect the public computers keyboard and mouse as they will get heavy usage during the new academic year.

Library response:

Thanks for your email. You will be pleased to learn that we have started our annual cleaning of the public PC's. This work will be complete before school starts in the fall.

(Jul 25/08)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

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(Jul 7/08) I have a really difficult time downloading the electronic books. The instructions on the e-book are not user friendly. In addition, the Adobe Electronic Book downloading application is also not user friendly. Are there any other software programs or applications that could be easier to use? I love the variety of e-books but I have stopped using them almost completely because of this issue.

Library response:

I am sorry you are having difficulty using the ebooks the library makes available to our users. Is there a specific type of ebook you are using which causes you problems?  If you have a recent example we can take a look to see what the problem might be.

There have been some issues with getting access to some of the short-term loan ebooks. We have a FAQ which can help with this problem. (http://library.mcmaster.ca/php/faq.php?catid=24&f=searchcat). 

Feel free to contact Wade Wyckoff, Collection Services Librarian (wyckoff@mcmaster.ca), directly if you continue to have difficulties accessing our ebooks.

(Jul 8/08)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers  |  Permalink
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(Apr 30/08) Three handwritten suggestions dropped into the Suggestion Box in the Health Sciences Library:

I have a problem with printing process. Why do we have to travel to Mills Library to print colour documents? That ... process needs/should be changed in the future. Thanks! 11 April 2008

Health Sciences Library must get a colour printer !!! This issue needs to be addressed immediately! I do not want to have to go ALL the way over to Mills to print in colour : inconvenience! Our schedule is to busy to have to run around everywhere! 14 April 2008

You guys need a fax machine, a scanner and a colour printer. Mills is too far! [undated]

Library response:

New equipment -- such as colour printers, fax machines and scanners -- is expensive and for that reason, we need to consider such proposals carefully. 

We have examined the idea of a colour printer on several occasions in the past and determined that we cannot afford to support the expense in the Health Sciences Library.  We have consulted with the Mills Library and looked at an experiment run by the Innis Library with colour printing. Our conclusion is that the anticipated volume of copying would not bring in adequate revenue to make the purchase of a colour printer possible. The Mills Library is not far enough away to allow us to consider it a hardship to have to pick up copies there if a colour print is required.

The issue with a scanner is that we simply do not have the staff to provide the support a scanner requires. The best evidence we can consult indicates that about one third of the users of a scanner can get the required results on their own; another third requires assistance, and the final third really requires service or complete intervention in order to be successful.  We do not have the staff even during the day to provide that level of support, and we can provide no technical support at all in the evening and on the weekends. 

A fax machine is costly to purchase (or lease) and install and requires ongoing payment of telephone line charges.  We could not bring in enough money from the use of such a service here in the Health Sciences Library to make a fax service self-supporting. 

All of these services are available elsewhere on campus. In the face of difficulty providing adequate information resources required by the programmes we support in the Faculty of Health Sciences, it would be irresponsible to divert scarce funds to conveniences which are available reasonably close by.

I regret that we are not currently able to respond positively to these suggestions, but will continue to monitor the situation with respect to requests for all of these tools closely.

(Apr 30/08)
Answered by: Tom Flemming (Head of Public Services, McMaster University Health Sciences Library)

Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers, Health Sciences  |  Permalink
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(Apr 19/08) Why is there no software on the computers to unzip zipped files? It makes it very difficult to view files that are posted to medportal (the online educational system used by medical students).

Library response:

Thanks for letting us know about this issue. I checked with the MedPortal folks about the number and nature of zipped files, and this was their reply: "There are only 5 or 6 zipped files (from dozens and dozens) in the Medportal downloads area. So I wouldn't say its common for files delivered through Medportal to be zipped, but sometimes it's necessary for the delivery of large files or for things like "standalone" eLearning modules that have several folders associated with them." The reason we don't have this software is not to stop the download of learning modules, but rather the issue of allowing the download of large music and video files on our public computers - some of these can take a very long time to download and our present set-up makes the clean up of files difficult.  The Learning Commons at Mills has Microsoft Unzip software on their computers, so you could use that facility.  We certainly have this on our wish list for future enhancements to our public computing.

(Apr 22/08)
Answered by: Liz Bayley (Director, Health Sciences Library)

Follow-up Comments:

I disagree with the number provided by Medportal. All Pro Comp files are distributed in zipped format (attached to the body of the message - so they do not show up in the downloads section) and there are at least 1-2 files provided each week. (2008-04-29)

Our apologies. You are right, the PC material is not posted into the file download section and further investigation resulted in the following message: We currently have over 5700 forum posts (and counting) and I cant be sure about how many zipped files might be attached to these posts. Since the student mentioned there are 1 or 2 zipped files posted to the ProComp forums weekly, I took a look and that seems to be an accurate statement. I am following up with the Professional Competencies folks. Liz Bayley, Director, Health Sciences Library. (2008-04-30)


Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers, Health Sciences  |  Permalink
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(Apr 3/08) PLEASEpleasepleaseplease add/shift more computers to a quiet area. The upstairs computer area is permitted to have conversations and cell phones, and the downstairs computers are located right near the couches where group meetings etc are always held. I can not afford a computer and need to use them at school to study. Recently I have been trying to complete several online examinations and really struggling to concentrate because of noise levels from nearby students. There needs to be a quiet computers area for those students who need to work on their assignments online and in peace. I have and do use earplugs but they arent perfect, and the doctor recommended I quit using them due to recurrent ear infections. So please, shift some computers to the quiet area for serious students to use. Thanks

Library response:

The period just before final examinations is a very noisy and stressful period in campus libraries every year. I can sympathize with the difficulty you are having in finding a quiet space to access our desktop computers.  All of our desktops are located in areas intended for collaborative work. With our experience of the recent renovation here in the HSL and knowledge of the planning and construction that would have to be done to move any of the desktop computers anywhere else, I would venture to suggest that the chances of a successful solution to your current difficulty along the lines you would like are not high.

The noise we are currently experiencing is only temporary, and it rises at this time of year, annually, without our being able to do much about it. It will also abate, and you will be able to find a quiet spot to use a computer when this period of stress is over. Campus libraries are all overburdened with patrons at this time of year and there is little we can do to keep the noise levels down without increasing the stress level of both patrons and staff. 

In the meantime, I suggest that instead of looking for a dekstop computer, you borrow a laptop from our Circulation Desk.  You will then be able to take it to a quiet place in the library where you can do your online work. There are both Quiet and Silent Study areas on the lower floor of the library. Our laptops are heavily used as well, and I suggest that the best time to succeed in getting one is in the morning, before others arrive and there is competition for them. 

Another possibility is that you try using computers in the Reserve Reading Room; there is less traffic and less noise in that area of the library.  

(Apr 3/08)
Answered by: Tom Flemming (Head of Public Services, McMaster University Health Sciences Library)

Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers, Study Space, Health Sciences  |  Permalink
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(Apr 1/08) My suggestion or comment is on the librarys fine on laptops. It is currently $20 if you are pass the 3hr limit. I understand the need others have for these services however I find $20 a bit steep. Obviously, students do not intend to bring computers back late if they do. Perhaps a lowering of the fine would be more reasonable for students who obviously cant even afford a computer of their own.

Library response:

Thanks for commenting on the way you perceive our fines for overdue laptops; we need to know that people find the fines steep. Unfortunately, however, there is little chance of these fines being reduced at all in the near future.

We have very limited numbers of laptops to lend in all campus libraries and large demand for them.  As you might imagine, when fines are set up for untimely return, it is because the material is not being returned on time (if it was, we would not need to charge fines).  We must have some method of impressing on borrowers the importance of using this loaned equipment in a timely fashion and a penalty for non-compliance seems to work better than anything else. If we charged only $5.00 per hour (or part) overdue, or only $10.00, people would think: "Oh, I can afford to pay that for another 30 minutes' use" and be even tardier than they are now. The threat of a $20.00 fine per hour for tardy return has seemed to keep most of those who might be tempted to forget the time on the "straight-and-narrow" path.

Reduction of the rate of this fine would send to borrowers the message that it doesn't cost much to delay return of the borrowed laptop. It would further inconvenience those waiting to get a laptop from our lending programmes and create a disservice to everyone. There has been discussion among staff of raising the fine which we have resisted to this point.  I don't believe that your suggestion to reduce the fine for overdue laptops is going to be one we can adopt.

(Apr 2/08)
Answered by: Tom Flemming (Head of Public Services, McMaster University Health Sciences Library)

Categories: Books/Journals/Databases, Computers/WiFi/Printers, Health Sciences  |  Permalink
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(Apr 1/08) Would it be possible to write a script that would allow one to send print jobs to the library printers remotely? For instance, could one send an email to a given address containing an attachment in an approved format (ie. pdf, doc, xps etc.) and one could place the password in the subject line. This would save having to wait for a computer to print something one has typed on a laptop and reduce the load on the computers in general. Thanks.

Library response: Thanks for sending in an excellent idea -- this may not be feasible due to the fairly inflexible nature of our printing software, but there might be a way to hack it. We'll poke around. (Apr 1/08)
Answered by: John Fink (Digital Technologies Development Librarian)

Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers  |  Permalink
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(Mar 22/08) Is it possible to disinfect or clean the public computer keyboards, perhaps, monthly? They get dirty quite easily from the high volume of use. Thanks!

Library response:

We agree that the keyboards do get dirty considered the constant use they get! 

Unfortunately it is very difficult to do this during term since there is never a time when these computers are not in use so we can only schedule this type of cleaning beginning in May.

Please feel free to use the hand sanitizer which is provided at all service points at times when they seem especially bad.

 

(Mar 31/08)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers, Customer Service  |  Permalink
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(Jan 28/08) In an effort to conserve paper, can the library accommodate students who want to print on both sides of a page?

Library response:

We think that is a great suggestion. It has been forwarded to our Library and Learning Technologies people to investigate how to make that work.

Update: As of March 2008, double sided printing is available in Mills, Innis, Thode and Health Sciences.  Great suggestion!

(Feb 7/08)
Answered by: Kathy Ball (Library Director, Science & Engineering, University Library),Catherine Baird (Marketing, Communications and Outreach Librarian)

Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers, Thode  |  Permalink
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(Jan 24/08) Please ban Facebook/Youtube usage on the school computers during peak hours...people who are trying to do research cant access a computer! Thank you.

Library response: Thank you for your comments. You have raised an item of legitimate concern which has been discussed within the Library on numerous occasions. While we realize that public computers in the Library are in great demand and that students can use them for "non-research" purposes we do not feel we can remove access to sites like Facebook, Youtube or MSN since they can be used for exchanging information related to academic work. For example, the Library's research help service uses MSN as a communication mechanism for students with research questions. E-mail is another example of an application available on public computers which can be used for both academic work and social purposes. As a result we choose not to police the use of public computers but instead to depend on students to exercise good judgement with regard to how they use a shared service like public computers and to be sensitive to the needs of others. We assess our policies on an on-going basis and will adjust them in order to meet the needs of students so we appreciate any feedback from students. (Jan 24/08)
Answered by: Catherine Baird (Marketing, Communications and Outreach Librarian)

Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers, Mills  |  Permalink
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