Thursday, February 08, 2007

First Floor Computer Lab

With the new lab arrangements, various student questions have been raised, and I wanted to address a few of them here.

Q1. Why can't the lab be accessed from the library during the library's hours, and then be accessible from the outer door only when the library is closed?

A1. There are numerous reasons why this is not as simple a solution as it sounds. First and foremost, though, is safety and security. When the doors on the library side are open, the fire code requires a fire exit on the other side, and therefore, we would not be permitted to completely lock the other law school hallway door completely at any time. This obviously creates a security breach. (For those of you who are curious, there is no similar requirement to have the law library doors as a fire exit, because exits are measured by distance to the exits of the building. With the door coming from the law school corridor being so close to the building exit, there is no requirement to have a fire exit into the library, requiring an even greater distance to open air.) Prior to this new arrangement, the law school corridor door was always alarmed. There are many technical difficulties in adding an alarmed door (that also has a card swipe mechanism) in the location where the law school corridor door sits.

Q2. Why weren't students consulted?

A2. These plans were put in place last academic year, due to numerous student requests and after Dean Gary Moore and Professor Michelle Wu talked to the SBA president about student needs. Dean Moore and Professor Wu also talked to the current SBA president in early fall about this plan as well, to ensure that they were still on track. A preliminary email was also sent to the entire student body last week, as the card swipe was being added, and no objections were raised at that time. That said, both Dean Moore and Professor Wu welcome input to improve services, but ask that students be specific about what it is that they feel is missing from the new arrangement. As there is still a lab in the library (lower level), students should have access to most of the same services whether using the lab inside the library or the one outside the library. In the few instances where this isn't the case, the need (see the next two questions as examples) may be met by steps other than reopening the library side doors to the first floor lab.

Q3. Can we get an iprinter inside the library? There is none in the lower level lab, and many people studying in the library print to the iprinter.

A3. The Information Systems Department will be moving the iprinter into the library, as soon as the requested network port has been installed for it. A second iprinter will be installed in the lab so that there will be 24/7 access outside the library as well as library access.

Q4. Can we get a stapler inside the lab?

A4. A stapler was placed in the lab this morning, next to the lab assistant's desk.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

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