Technology, What Students Want Regarding

MPOW is considering moving towards a learning commons. In preparation for this, we have conducted a survey and a focus group in conjunction with campus IT. The things that came out of the focus group were not that unsurprising. Some of the key complaints were

  • The library is not open long enough (our central computing site is open 24/7)
  • There are no quiet computing areas for test taking and serious paper writing.
  • Because the library is open to the public, there are safety concerns from students.
  • The library’s computers were seen as having out-dared software and did not have enough flexibility for the students. (This was a major concern for them)

The last point is a concern for me too. As I said in my previous post, our technology policy often troubles me. We give a lot of excuses for the way things are the way they are, but excuses do not solve our problems. Why can’t we have the latest version of software on our computers? Why do I know more about solving Office problems then some of the library IT guys? Our students want more tech support, but they are stuck with a truly hit or miss with whatever librarian is at the desk and library IT guys whose forte is not always the software on the computers.

Are there ways that we can be more open and protect our systems at the same time? Our campus IT site lets the students do more and they have not spontaneously combusted. Are there any IT people reading this who have solved this problem in your libraries?

–Jane, wants to solve the problems, not just bitch about them