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New Library DRC software improves user experience and security

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New Library DRC software improves user experience and security

Now that the Library’s Data Resource Center has returned to operation after the summer renovation, residents will notice some digital changes on the 12 PCs.

The Library is installing software to help better manage print jobs, time usage and waiting queues. Members will be asked to check in with their rec card at the first desk, as usual. They should keep their rec card handy, though, because they will swipe again at the computer they sit down to use.

That second swipe allows the new software to manage their print jobs, and allows them to request additional time on the computer – if no other patrons are waiting to use the machine. Users now are limited to one hour, and the wait queue is handled manually on scrap paper. Print jobs currently are sent by patrons, automatically, to a printer, without a system in place to tie the printed pages back to the user. That has, in some cases, led to wasted paper, unclaimed or duplicated print jobs, or users printing many more pages than they anticipated.

The new software will verify how many pages the person will be printing, how much it will cost, and will allow them to confirm the job before sending it to the printer. A monitor in the library will then collect 15 cents per printed side prior to running the job, eliminating waste.

Those waiting for a computer to become available will be automatically assigned to the next available PC through the digital queue. No one will be able to sit down at the newly freed computer, as it will be locked and reserved for the waiting party, who can then unlock it with his or her rec card. If the waiting party has left, it can be unlocked for the next person who is waiting.

During slow periods when there are extra computers available, the monitors can grant time extensions to those using the computers. If there are no spare computers, users will be given a time warning and then their sessions will end after 60 minutes. That process will keep users from unfairly monopolizing computers when others are waiting.

Additionally, members will digitally acknowledge their familiarity with the Association’s computer and Internet usage policy via an online form, prior to proceeding with their session. At the end of a session, the software will close all programs, remove all cookies, history and passwords – maintaining a consistent desktop for all patrons.

The new software has a variety of functionality and will ease transitions and user experience in the Library, which will outweigh any negligible impact on sign-in time. Portions of the software eventually may be used on some of the reference machines to allow additional functionality there as well, but that will come at a future date.

  1. I’m excited to begin using the library computers for ancestry.com research. It sounds like things will be organized and running smoothly with the new software in place.

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