Wednesday, June 07, 2006

New Desktop Configuration Improves Public Computers

The University Libraries continually seek innovative opportunities to configure public access workstations to best support learning and research. In May 2006, the University Libraries introduced several practical changes to the public workstation configuration.

In addition to applying general Windows and application program updates, the following performance driven changes were implemented:

- Added an Internet Toolbar featuring online library resources and services to Internet Explorer (IE) and Mozilla Firefox Internet browsers. This toolbar is available free at,,42835--,00.html
- Arranged Desktop icons in a user-friendly fashion to highlight links library resources, online storage options (iLocker), and grouped similar software together
Added a more dynamic and inspiring image as the desktop wallpaper
- Added a shortcut to the iLocker drive letter mapping to the desktop
- Upgraded Macromedia Studio MX to Studio 8. Includes DreamWeaver 8, Flash Professional 8, Fireworks 8, Contribute 8, and FlashPaper 2
- Installed patches and other minor upgrades for AutoCAD 2006, SPSS, EndNote, and Mathematica

Almost immediately after the new, user-friendly computer build was available on workstations in the Reference Learning Center, a comment from a library customer reinforced our thinking that the adjustments were well founded. A customer wrote, “This is the first time I've used the library computers since the desktop and browser settings were changed around. I just wanted to let you know that I think the changes are excellent. I particularly like the browser toolbar. Keep up the good work.”

The University Libraries provide convenient, comfortable access to over 347 public workstations. Of these, 18 are iMAC G4/G5 systems that include software to support programs in the Teachers College and the College of Communication, Information and Media, among others.

By expanding access to the computer applications students want and need, we strengthen the role of the University Libraries in the academic life of the campus by supporting student pursuits for academic success and faculty endeavors for classroom instruction and knowledge creation. The vision of the University Libraries is that they are viewed as the best place for learning and discovery outside of the classroom.


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