New Computers in the Library

This summer, IT has been upgrading the lab computers in the library.  The Teaching Lab and Reference Lab have both received new machines, but for the purposes of this post, I’ll be focusing on the Reference Lab (or as it is affectionately known to some, “The Amoeba.”)

Reference Lab

Reference Lab

The bank of computers in the lobby of the library is one of the busiest and most highly-used areas in the building.  It is a hub for research, printing, paper writing, and casual use by Rollins students, employees, and members of the community.  The lab as it existed until this summer was conceived during the 2012 2nd floor renovations.  The setup included large towers mounted underneath the computer tables.  These towers were ugly, and they often presented problems of function as well as form – users would bump their knees into the computer, or the mounts would frequently become loose and the tower would crash to the floor with a thunderous boom.  Thankfully, nobody was hurt, but heavy objects falling near people’s feet made us understandably nervous.

IT approached me last semester and offered a solution – new all-in-one computers that would mount directly to the monitor arms and wouldn’t require anything to be mounted beneath the table.  As an experiment, they set up a test machine outside of my office.  I casually

One of the new computers!

One of the new computers!

monitored usage of the computer, and saw that it was very popular with students, and that there weren’t any technical issues during this trial run.  After some discussion between the library and IT, the plan to update the lab was finalized.

A couple of weeks ago, IT was ready to install the new lab machines.  In addition to the initial planning and ordering of the new computers, the installation itself was a big effort – computers were unboxed and installed on monitor arms, old machines were disconnected and removed, and the old, problematic mounts were taken out from under the tables.  In the end, we have a lab that has faster computers with bigger monitors that both looks great and works better.

The library would like to thank Joe T. and Shaffaq from IT for their dedication and hard work in getting these set up for us (and for letting me play with power tools!).  If you’re on campus, feel free to take the new lab for a test drive and let us know what you think.

The people have spoken! Thanks to your input, Olin Library now provides access to these exciting new databases:

In the past, the Internet was made from trees:  It’s a little-known fact, but people in olden times got much of their current information from print newspapers.  Since Al Gore invented the Internet, we can read these newspapers from the comforts of our own electronic devices.  Explore the African American Newspapers Series 1 for full-text access to primary source U.S. newspaper content that chronicles the African American experience from 1827-1998.  The collection includes a wealth of rare and historically significant newspapers related to cultural, literary, ethnic, social, and political history.

Opera: It’s more than just the toughest Jeopardy category:  Theatre and opera buffs rejoice!  You now have access to over 575 full-length, spectacular performances from the Metropolitan Opera on Demand, all available to live stream on or off campusFrom Carmen to Rigoletto, you’ll soon be enjoying these high-quality videos instead of going out for a night on the town.  It’s a lot cheaper than seeing live opera and theatre too!  But…support your local arts.

We’ve got Lynda!  And I don’t mean Ronstadt…:  I’m particularly excited to announce our access to Lynda.com, a leading online learning company that helps users learn business, software, technology, and creative skills through sophisticated online courses.  First-time users will need to sign up here with your Rollins.edu email address; from then on, sign in with your credentials here.  Want to learn more about big data management?  Photoshop?  Social Media Marketing?  Plump up your career preparation toolkit with Lynda.  She’s one snazzy lady.

Have any questions?  Contact Erin Gallagher, E-Resources & Serials Librarian at egallagher@rollins.edu or (407) 975-6431.

Rachel Walton Wins Award

Olin Digital Archivist Rachel Walton is the recipient of the Society of American Archivist’s Theodore Calvin Pease Award. Her paper “Looking for Answers: A Usability Study of Online Finding Aid Navigation,” which will be published in The American Archivist (Spring/Summer 2017),  “presents a usability study on the finding aid interface created by Princeton University Library and analyzed ten use cases to determine how users interact with a particular online finding aid system.” Read more about Rachel’s accomplishment at http://www2.archivists.org/node/20782#.V1huteS-M3l

Erin Gallagher Becomes Fiscal Agent for ICUF

Our own Erin Gallagheremgheadshot will take over as the Fiscal Agent for the Independent Colleges & Universities of Florida (ICUF) Libraries Group in 2017. ICUF-LG is a consortium of independent academic libraries that come together to save money on many of the library resources our students depend on for their research. As Fiscal Agent Erin will lead our negotiations with vendors, manage communication with member libraries, and our relationship with our partner libraries in the Florida state system.

Erin is, “pleased to work with this terrific group and I’m excited for our future possibilities.”