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Managing Public Access Computers

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Managing Public Access Computers Powered By Docstoc
					Managing Public Access
     Computers
       Best Practices



       Lori Bowen Ayre
     LBAyre@galecia.com
             2006
Agenda
 Role of Public Access Computing in the
  library
 Configuration and Management
 Computer Life Cycle: purchasing and
  retiring your computers
 Staffing and Budgeting
Getting to Know You
 Name
 Library
 # of Public Access Computers
 # of IT staff
 Your role with the PACs
 Role of Public Access
Computing in the Library
Who are using the Public
Access Computers in the
library and what are they
doing?
Top Ten Uses of Library Computers
          1.     Email family and friends
          2.     Write/print report
          3.     Learn about a medical problem
          4.     Learn about local events
          5.     Write or print resume
          6.     Find a job
          7.     Do homework
          8.     Review alternative new sources
          9.     Find transportation info
          10.    Get info about voting issues



Source: The Impact of Public Access Computing on Rural and Small Town Libraries
(January 2003) and People from Low-Income Families Disproportionately Use Library
Computers (October 2002) available from http://pacp.evans.washington.edu/reports.html
What is the library’s role in
computer and information
literacy?
What Does It Take to Have An Ideal
Public Access Computing Environment?

      Library open enough hours and
       adequate number of PCs available

      PCs configured and managed for
       public access

      Staff trained and available
Library and PCs Available
   Library open enough hours
       PACs always available during open hours
   Enough computers to serve your
    population
   Provide wireless Internet access for people
    with laptops
       inexpensive way to increase Internet and
        OPAC access
PCs Configured and Managed for
Public Access

 Minimallyrestrict workstations but
 protect patron and library
 Make PCs as much like a regular PC
 as possible
 Make   system easily recoverable
 Keepsystems standardized and
 current
Staff Trained and Available
   Have trained technical support staff
    available at all times
   Reinforce need for core computer
    competencies among all staff who
    work with the public
   Provide technology training programs
    for public
      Best Practice
Library computers should serve as
     tools for accessing digital
information and for increasing the
      user‟s computer literacy
     Exercise 1
 Evaluating Public Access
Computing at Your Library
Configuration and
  Management
Library Users Should be Able to…
    Use the Internet
        download documents or forms
        use Web-based email
    Access electronic library resources
    Use productivity applications
    Access right click menus
    View and access files from a CD
    Save to or access files from a USB storage
     device
    Change
        screen resolution and contrast
        sensitivity of mouse and size of cursor
Users Should NOT Be Able To
Access…
   Files on the library‟s network

   Files on the local computer other than the files in
    My Documents

   A file from an external device without the file
    being virus scanned

   Any information from a previous user
Configuration Styles
    Fort Knox.
        no right clicking
        certain menu items hidden
        cannot save files or use external drives
    Loosey Goosey…
        items inconsistently disabled
        may or may not be secure
        privacy issues
    Ideal for All!
        no features disabled
        reboot sets everything back to square one
Fort Knox
   Often the work of skilled technicians who don‟t
    get useful feedback from staff working with the
    users
   Computers stay functional 99.99% but patrons
    cannot do anything considered “risky”
   Patrons can‟t do things they expect to be able to
    do so their computer experience not „real world‟
   Usually locked down to avoid problems for Tech
    Staff but doesn‟t necessarily protect users
Loosey Goosey…
 Happens when technicians are not skilled
  enough or not given enough time to do a
  good job
 Items are inconsistently locked down so it
  is annoying to patrons
       e.g. can right-click in one program but not
        another
   Privacy usually not adequately protected
Ideal For All!
   Virus scanning software protects computer
    and network
   Drive protection software protects the hard
    drive configuration
       configuration is restored upon reboot
       user can change things during their session but
        changes are erased upon reboot

   Time and session management software
    avoids fist-fights with other users
Ideal Configuration Steps
1.   Install the OS and patches
2.   Identify and remove unwanted features
3.   Install all necessary hardware and software and resolve
     conflicts this creates
4.   Tweak the operating system and apps to optimize user
     experience
5.   Test with staff and adjust based on feedback
6.   Save it to an image so system can be easily duplicated
     and recovered
7.   Roll-out images to other systems
8.   Train staff in system recovery and basic troubleshooting
     (3 hours)
Cloning (and Profiles)
   What is Cloning?
       duplicating a desktop configuration from one computer
        to another
       “network profiles” accomplish the same goal
       Requires identical hardware platform
   Benefits
       saves time for setup
       eliminates the need to troubleshoot
   Products that can be used for cloning
       Ghost and PartitionMagic
   Most libraries have several “images” to support
Comparison of Setup Time: Pay Now
        Setup Time Expertise    How         Cost to
                   Needed       Computers   Setup 5
                                2-5 are     Computers
                                setup
Right   9 hours    Engineer at Ghosted      $1200
                   $100/hour (half hour
                               each – 3
                               hours)
Wrong   5 hours    Technician   Installed   $1050
                   at           by hand (4
                   $50/hour     hours each
                                – 16 hours)
Comparison of Maintenance Time:
Pay Later
        Maintenance Expertise   How Most    Cost to
        Time/Year   Needed      Problems    Setup 5
                                are Fixed   Computers

Right   4 hours     Technician Re-image     $ 200
                    at         (30
                    $50/hour minutes)
Wrong   20 hours    Engineer  Try to        $2000
                    at        figure out
                    $100/hour what went
                              wrong
Benefits of “Doing it Right”
   Fewer problems because adequate testing has
    been done upfront
       configuration satisfies users‟ need
       programs play nicely together
   Easy and fast to get a computer back on line
       Low-level tech or staff person can restore image
        without needing to call in high-priced engineer to
        troubleshoot
   Better service for customers
       more computers available more of the time
       staff can focus on library, not computer, service
   More cost effective
    Best Practice
 Use some kind of cloning
process for duplicating and
 restoring desktop images
Gates Staying Connected Survey
 Do you have the ability to "clone" the
 software on your library desktops?
     Yes, we clone all of our desktops using Ghost, standard
      user profiles, or some other process: 75
     We clone all of our staff desktops but not the public
      access computers: 3
     We clone all of our public access computers but not the
      staff computers: 18
     No, we configure each new PC individually: 42
     I don't understand this question: 12
     Other, please explain: 52
  Exercise Two
  Your Current Public
Computer Configuration
Software Tools That Help
      Anti-virus
      Anti-spy/anti-ad
      Privacy protection
      Session management
      Disk security
      Print Management
      Remote Control Software
Anti- Virus/Spyware/Ad/Popup
   All these “anti” software products must be kept
    current
       require a subscription
       computer must be configured to get updates
        automatically and frequently (weekly if not daily)
   Example Products
       anti-Virus: Norton Antivirus, McAfee Viruscan,
        ZoneAlarm
       anti-ad and anti-popup: ZoneAlarm, StopZilla, Ad-
        Aware, InfoWorks Popup Free
       anti-spyware: Spyware Doctor, ZoneAlarm, StopZilla,
        InfoWorks SpyStopper
Privacy Protection
   Users create files each time they use the
    computer
       cookies
       browser history
       recently used documents
       temporary files
   Privacy protection software clears out these files
    when
       browser is closed, or
       shutdown or startup, or
       timed intervals
   Example Products
       Webroot Window Washer, InfoWorks History Sweeper
       See Session Management products
Session Management Software
   Wide variety of capabilities, may include
       authenticating user
       protecting privacy of users
       ending sessions without requiring staff intervention
       reservation-making module
       overall control of all public PCs
       timer for each individual PC
   Examples:
       Envisionware PC Reservation
       Fortres Time Limit Manager
       Comprise Technologies SAM
       Cybraryn Session and Time Limit module
       Pharos Systems SignUp
Disk Security
   Users are unrestricted while using the
    computer
   System restored upon reboot to original
    configuration
       Any changes user made are undone
       Any files users left behind are erased
   Examples:
       Centurion Technologies Drive Shield
       Centurion Technologies Centurion Guard (hardware)
       Faronics Deep Freeze
       Fortres Clean Slate
Print Management
   Reduces number of printers needed
   Allows for better control of print jobs
   Gives users more print options
       color vs. B&W
       laser vs. deskjet
   Can include or integrate with cost recovery
    systems
   Example products
       Envisionware LPT:One
       Pharos UniPrint
       Equitrak
       Comprise Technologies SAM
Remote Control Software
   IT staff can remotely
       perform routine maintenance
       troubleshoot
       help users
   Examples
       WebEx
       Symantec PCAnywhere
       CybraryN Library Computer Remote Control module
Microsoft Shared Computer Toolkit
 Free for licensed XP owners
 Provides many of the modules available in
  other commercial public access computer
  systems
 Grown-up version of “PAC Installer” used
  on original Gates machines

    More info:
    http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/sharedaccess/
    Exercise 3
Exploring Configuration
        Solutions
Computer Life Cycle
Why Not Keep Them Going As Long
As Possible?

   Increased costs for maintenance and support
   Must keep bigger inventory of replacement parts
   More models for support staff to master
   More versions of software to support
   The older the machine, the harder to keep it in
    service

   Source: Consortium for School Networking
    (cosn.org)
Scheduled Replacement Cycle

   Four year replacement cycle is reasonable
   Computers can be replaced in batches
    instead of all at once
   Build computer purchases into operating
    budget
    Best Practice
All computers should be on a
scheduled replacement cycle
Gates Staying Connected Survey
Are your computers part of an ongoing
replacement cycle? (208 reporting)
    All library computers are on a scheduled replacement
     cycle:     88
    Only staff computers are on a scheduled replacement
     cycle:   10
    Only public access computers are on a scheduled
     replacement cycle:    1
    None of our computers are on a scheduled replacement
     cycle:   47
    Other, please explain: 62
Standardizing
 Reducing the variation saves time and
  money
 Same hardware platform allows for
       same software versions
       ability to clone
   Same operating system means
       less expertise needed by staff
       fewer patches to keep track of
   Same applications on each PC mean
       fewer variations of software conflicts to resolve
       fewer software products to learn
  Best Practice
Standardize on hardware
 platform and software
       selections
Upgrades Worth Doing In a Pinch

       1.   RAM
       2.   Monitor
       3.   Video Card (rarely)
Purchasing New Computers
   What do your users need?
   What would help your support staff?
   What standards must you comply with?
   What features are needed for functioning
    in library environment?
   What features will make management
    and support…more manageable?
PC Purchasing Suggestions
   Buy computers designed for businesses
    not home
   Buy new or refurbished for the warranty
    (3 years)
   Consider premier support so your staff
    has quick access to help
   Consider having image pre-installed by
    manufacturer
   Get quiet machines
     Best Practice
Buy business class computers
with 3-year warranty and good
           support
      Exercise 4
Planning for Replacements
      and Upgrades
Acquisition Steps
1.   Define needs
2.   Create specs document
3.   Get bids
4.   Compare alternatives and negotiate with
     vendors
Bids, Quotes, and Negotiation
   You can always get a better price (or
    better system) than the first offer
   Include everything in the bid process
         hardware
         software
         services

     Allocate enough time for the entire
      process
      Best Practice
Even if you don‟t do a formal
RFP process, define specs and
          get quotes
Alternatives to Standard PCs
   Turnkey solutions
       all software provided by and maintained by vendor
       example: Smart Access Manager (SAM), CybraryN
   Thin client
       software centralized on a server
       users have keyboard and monitor only
       example: Veicon Technology
   Userful
       software centralized on a server
       can be completely maintained by vendor
       users have keyboard, monitor, USB drive, dedicated
        video card
What products are you
using and how are they
working?
       Exercise 5
Preparing Your Elevator Talks
Staffing and Budgeting
Staff Training
 All staff should meet CLA‟s Technology
  Core Competencies
 Staff supporting users should be trained to
       train the public
       use the software and hardware in library
   IT staff need generic IT training
       networking
       desktop configuration
       troubleshooting
Do you have enough IT Staff?
   More IT staff needed when
       outlets are spread apart geographically
       lots of applications and operating systems are supports
       systems are not stable
       users demand sophisticated help
       computers are old and breaking down
   Fewer IT staff needed when
       remote control tech support is possible
       systems are well-configured and stable
       users are not as demanding
       computers are not older than 3-4 years and are well-
        maintained
IT Staff Calculator
   Tool to help determine how many full-time IT staff
    your library needs based on number of:
       staff, patrons, branches, minutes between branches,
       networks, servers, self-check units , catalog-only PCs,
        multipurpose PCs, staff PCs, printers,
       operating systems supported, ILS modules, subscription
        databases, other databases (e.g. Active Directory and ILS)
       desktop images maintained
   Available from
       http://galecia.com/libraries_resources.php
       Disclaimer: The Library IT Staff Calculator was created by
        Lori Ayre, not Infopeople and not the Gates Foundation
        (although it is now available on WebJunction)
Tech Support Guidelines
   Make sure lower-cost tech staff provide bulk of
    support
   Provide clear support request process
       one beeper number everyone knows to call, or
       one person at branch who handles support requests
   Reduce need for support
       deploy new, standardized hardware
       use “centralized, “mature” processes for software
        deployment”
       re-image computers each year to remove anomalies
        introduced each year


Source: Consortium for School Networking “Taking TCO to the Classroom”
Gates Staying Connected Survey Q1
     Have you integrated the support of public access
     computers into your basic library operations and
     budget?

1)   Support is integrated with library operations and is part of
     the general budget.: 99
2)   Support and budgeting for public access computers is
     covered with a combination of special funds and regular
     funding.: 23
3)   Support and budgeting for public access computers is
     covered with special funds as it becomes available.: 4
4)   Support is handled by the county or city.: 24
5)   We have a contract with an outside vendor who supports all
     of our computers.: 5
     Best Practice
Integrate support of computers
   into library operations and
              budget
Gap Analysis
   What do you think about your public
    access computing program today?
   What can you improve relatively easily
    (low hanging fruit)?
   What are the big hurdles?
   What would you like to see next year –
    vis-à-vis public access computing at your
    library?
  Exercise 6
Goals and Objectives

				
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