Editorial: Library in need of major overhaul

Even after a recent update, computers and programs in the Hayden Memorial Library are still causing students trouble

The computer system in the Hayden Memorial Library is due for a major overhaul.  As the largest computer lab on campus, it should serve as a main resource for many students, but network unreliability and system sluggishness keep many students away.

While students should be able to expect a state-of-the-art network, they find a system that is bogged down with overzealous security protocols and network architecture that simply doesn’t work for a system of this size.

Library staff works hard to assist students with any difficulties they may have, for which they have our appreciation.  But it is a tough job considering how hobbled they are by the system itself.

Students are warned by library staff to save their work frequently, not just because it’s a good habit, but because terminals go offline or the server shuts down unexpectedly.

Security protocols in place block cookies from appropriate sites such as My Math Lab, and cannot be adjusted on the fly.  International students also report that they cannot visit foreign websites or check their foreign email accounts.

While most of us are upgrading to Windows 10 on our home PCs, the library system runs Windows 7, and Tec Services has plans to upgrade only to Windows 8.

Rather than having individual software for each terminal, students who wish to use Microsoft Word or other related software, tunnel in to the application on the server.  This creates slowness in the applications. 

Students who have attempted to use the system to take quizzes or do online classwork have been hindered by shutdowns, which can affect class performance and grades.

The network and computers in the library need to reflect current technology to keep the computer lab viable for the coming years. 

With the advent of Windows 10 and touchscreen technology, this is an opportune time to make the upgrades.