New library grant to increase computer usage, access

Published 6:00 pm Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Envisionware, a computer management software, will soon be addedto the Lincoln-Lawrence-Franklin County Regional Library System andis expected to improve patrons’ computer access and usage,officials said.

The system will allow users more immediate access to thecomputers and monitor a waiting list.

“It will mean people can come in and very easily get on thecomputer,” said Director Henry Ledet.

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The computers will be easily accessed by entering a person’slibrary card number, and the program will monitor how long a userhas been on a computer.

If all the computers are in use, a librarian will then log aperson into the system. When a computer becomes available, thesystem will notify whose turn is next.

If a computer is not available within 30 minutes of a personbeing logged into the waiting list, the person who has been on thecomputer the longest will be logged out. Ledet said the libraryusually does not have this problem and, if possible, administratorstry to allow people an hour on the computer.

The advantage of the system is that the librarians will not haveto monitor the usage and can spend more time helping patrons andanswer questions.

The exception to the rule is if a person is using the computerto take an online class. In that case, that person will be allowedto stay on as long as the class requires.

Ledet said the computer system adds a lot to the communitybecause people take advantage of them and need them.

“When you walk and look at what they’re doing, they’re doingsome serious things,” he said.

He said he sees a lot of people working on their resumes,looking for jobs or applying online. He said the computer servicesalso include Wi-Fi for laptops. People who live in rural areas usethis particular feature frequently.

“We have people come in with their laptops because we have amuch stronger Internet connection,” he said.

The new system will also monitor printing and prevent accidentalwaste.

Ledet said people will try to print off a single web page thatturns into 80 pages. The program, before printing, will alert theuser how many pages will be printed and the cost.

It will also allow people to print directly from theirlaptops.

“What we’re having to do now is use a thumb drive to transportto one of our computers,” he said.

The funding was made possible through the Library Services andTechnology Act. The program is held in partnership withLincoln-Lawrence-Franklin County Regional Library, Copiah-JeffersonRegional Library and South Mississippi Regional Library.

The money needed for the partnership was received from the LSTAand saved local tax money.

Ledet said LSTA has helped the library progress in numerousways. The most recent project is the John Williams Negative ScanProject. It has allowed them to add audiobooks and computers to thelibrary.

“I’m a big fan of the Library Services and Technology Act,” hesaid. “It’s a really important program.”