Students now have another option for computing on campus.
The Department of Information & Educational Technology services recently opened their latest of eight open access computer labs on campus at 182 Shields Library, replacing the IT express help desk.
The project was initiated over the summer as a result of collaborations between Shields Library and IET Academic Technology Services, and cost approximately $55,000 of computer lab funds. said Liz Gibson, director of IET-ATS in an e-mail interview.
Shields 182 is the largest open access computer lab, and one of only three labs to be open until midnight Monday through Thursday during the academic year.
“There are actually 38 total computers” said computer lab assistant Jimmy Liang. “We have 21 10-minute standup stations – 19 PCs and 2 macs-and 17 sit down stations–15 PCs and 2 macs.“
The lab opened one day before the start of fall quarter and had its first client at 9:13 a.m. on Sept. 24, according to an article published by IET tech news.
“Although this lab will alleviate some of the pressure, we unfortunately anticipate that the computer labs may continue to experience lineups throughout the year, especially during peak demand times,” Gibson said. “We have already experienced some lineups at 182 Shields.“
Between its first day of operation and Monday, the computer lab has recorded a total of approximately 4,500 users logging on.
“The drive to do this came from a combined effort by the library and IET,” said Mark Stinson, manager of client services in Information and Educational technology.
IET services made the decision to replace the IT express help desk with the computer lab after receiving numerous requests for more computers in the library. The majority of help requests the IT desk received were for resetting passwords – a service that could easily be relocated.
“Since this was the primary service provided by the desk we decided that we could close down the IET express help desk,“ Stinson said.
Passwords can now be reset at 6 open access labs on campus and the remainder of the IT help desk’s services are now offered exclusively through telephone and Internet.
“Obviously with these things we’d like to have more space everywhere and a better budget so we could have the desk and more computer labs,” Stinson said. “But the help desk was very expensive because it had to be staffed, and now that passwords can be reset anywhere, everything seems to have fit together wonderfully.“
CHARLES HINRIKSSON can be reached at email@example.com.