Technology slow down, boost needed


Technology and Computer Services at Citrus College are working as quickly and efficiently as funds will allow.

In the self-evaluation accreditation report, Citrus College compiled an actionable improvement plan that included a focus on keeping technology up to date.

“Campus-wide technology upgrades are part of a planned technology replacement cycle,” says Linda Welz, chief information services officer of TeC Services.

The Citrus Technology Master Plan lists initiatives set in place in 2013, as part of a four-year process to improve technology on campus.

Included in the plan is a projected 8-cycle budget for technology upgrades.

This cycle sets up financial goals to update lab computer systems, faculty computers, technology for staff, management and supervisor, data storage, network refresh, podiums and projectors, wireless access points and mobile devices, laptops and tablets.

For a long period of time TeC Services was stalled on providing upgrades due to funding issues.

“We kept the infrastructure running without upgrades by increasing memory for the computers and the servers,” Welz said.

One-time funds for TeC Services have been secured and they are back on track to perform upgrades for set areas.

A jammed black and white printer in the Hayden Memorial Library on Oct. 20. (Megan Bender/Clarion)

A jammed black and white printer in the Hayden Memorial Library on Oct. 20. (Megan Bender/Clarion)

It was decided in the 2014-15 fiscal year, that the focus areas for upgrades would be on expanding the Emergency Notification Project, Campus-wide Cell Service Enhancements, a Campus-wide Wireless Access Project, improving Campus-wide Technology Infrastructure, an Email System Upgrade, IS building heating, ventilation and air-conditioning and infrastructure and a Dental Modernization Project.

In summer 2015, the Hayden Memorial Library received some technology upgrades on backbone network switches, wireless access improvements as well as newly installed fiber.

The library is home to three of the open computer labs on campus, making it the largest computer resource for students.

Despite updates, librarians still witness students experiencing difficulties with the computer labs at the library.

“Occasionally things will happen, in terms of power, that will affect the network and cause the computers to shut off,“ said Sarah Bosler, public service librarian, who discovered that a lot of virtual computers had shut off on Oct. 9 in an incident that was related to clocks being reset.

Bosler said that over the virtual computers are running better this semester but the librarians feel it could still be better.

Since August, the librarians have answered 1500 questions about network and login issues.

Most of them occur in person but about 100 of them are online inquiries.

The librarians and TeC Services have a Library and TeC’s Work Group that has been meeting since May 2015, to address common issues in the library.

In response to these login issues, the committee has hired a lab supervisor from TeC Services to deal with any questions students might have to relieve the amount of inquiries reaching the librarians.

Dana Hester, Ed.D., interim dean of library and information services and dean of social and behavioral sciences, said that this will benefit everyone involved by funneling technical issues.

“We track all of our questions and we have a category for network and login questions,” Bosler said. “We determined that from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Monday through Thursday is the peak hours for those questions.”

More reoccurring issues librarians see students dealing with in the library come from copying and printing.

Other than the lab supervisor hired, Bosler said that the work committee has also arranged for staff and students’ color printing to be handled by an outside vendor that is very responsive.

Recently the library experienced major printer jams around 1 p.m. on Oct. 20.

Irene Ndibazza, an accounting student who experienced difficulties printing out her work, said that using the computer lab has always been good until that day.

“TeC Services continues to be responsive to needs in the library,” Hester said.

Bosler said that the TeC Services staff currently working with the Library are  very responsive and are doing everything they can to help resolve issues as they occur.

“In some ways I feel they are stretched thin,” she said. “Communication between our two departments is definitely increasing.”

Welz said upgrades to every single terminal on campus are very labor intensive and the decision on what to update and when typically comes down to the age of the technology and the terminal.

“We are updating what we can as fast as we can but everything can not be updated all at once,” Welz said. “There are plans to replace parts of the infrastructure every year.”

TeC Services is hoping to introduce a new set of apps during the winter semester that will allow students to access Banner and Blackboard from their phones.

“Our goal is to make data accessible to everyone,” Welz said. “And make what students do as easy as possible.”

To give feedback on library services  students can take a survey on their website and earn a chance at a $100 bookstore gift card.

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About

Megan is on her second semester as Managing Editor and Ad Manger for the Clarion as well as a contributor for Logos magazine. She has served three consecutive semesters as the editor-in-chief previously for the Clarion and is now focusing on supporting her staff and leaving a substantial foundation for future student journalists at Citrus College. Megan has received a transfer degree in journalism and is finishing a second transfer degree in communications.


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