Sunday, August 30, 2009

On Libraries


The university recently changed the library system. Not really – it’s still the same system, but they have made changes to how it is accessed. Previously, there were several computers, logged on to the university’s intranet, with a search page open for so that anyone could simply type in a couple of keywords, click search, and would be given a list of books, showing whether these books were available or not, and if they were, then where they could be found. If you knew what you were looking for, it took less than thirty seconds to find the book.

The new system uses the same computers and the same intranet site. The catch is that the computers are not logged on. Each student has a username and password, and must log on to the computer. They then need to wait while the operating system loads up, and then open the internet browser. They then need to type in the address of the search site, and wait for that to load. Only then can they search for the book. The whole process only takes a couple of minutes, but it’s still four times longer than the old system.

I’m glad I don’t have to go through third year with that system. I remember running to the library during a tea break, since lectures ran from eight to five – the only time the library was open. I typed in a couple of keywords to find a general range of shelf numbers, and grabbed four or five random books with relevant titles, so that I could page through them at home that evening. I feel sorry for all future generations of third years…

The idea must have been put in their heads by the penguins.
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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I find that people are not used to having to log off in the library computers, so I always go to the already logged in Pc and save that 2 minutes.
Tom, Dick and Harry