The advancement of technology has brought with it additional academic pressures since professors expect that students can harness the information highway optimally to enhance the learning process and, concomitantly, expectations have risen insofar as quality of student output is concerned. Currently, there are four hundred public computer stations at the IUPUI library that provide access to campus electronic resources and to the internet, but they are not connected to the net either locally or wirelessly. In fact, it is not possible to download data on some computers in the library that are not equipped with the necessary software.
The following research aspects will be explored in the study:
1) What changes in policy/guidelines would provide for better service of students in the university?
2) Would invest in software or additional Personal Computers (PCs) for downloading solve the problem?
The Policies: One of the variables that make things difficult is the set of policies imposed at the library. In the IUPUI library, there are four types of computers that students are permitted to use with added caveats, as listed below:
PCs with yellow tags.
PCs with blue tags.
PCs with green tags.
Downloads for students are only allowed through PCs with yellow tags and MAC computers.
Downloaded software cannot be installed on the PCs in the library.
The problem is the inability to download data using all computers available at the IUPUI library. This is a direct fallout of the library policy as detailed supra. Limiting the types of PCs that may be used for downloading data to only two categories, i.e., PCs with yellow tags and MAC computers reduces the computer units usable in downloading certain software in furtherance of their assignments and projects. According to the Help Desk Supervisor, Adam, there are only eighty-six PCs on the third and fourth floors with yellow tags. Although MAC computers can also be used to download data, many students are not able to use them due to their unfamiliarity with MAC computers.
Even with the assumption that MAC computers are fully utilized, the paucity of units available is an impediment that is beyond the control of students needing access to PCs. Computer Information Technology (CIT) major students, like me, are left with no recourse but to purchase their own Laptop computers and bring them to the library, which is an undesirable and avoidable stop-gap measure.
An analysis has been carried out by me to see how best computerization can be effected at the IUPUI library, thereby meeting as many of the students’ requirements as possible. The primary requirements were first, a headcount and secondly, what each entrant actually used the computers for. My major findings are that some students download unwanted software, which will cause problems in the near future in the wireless network in the library.