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Vol. XVI, no. 2 TCU Library Newsletter, Web Edition March 2004
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Information Kiosk Unveiled

On March 15, 2004 the library unveiled the Information Kiosk. A computer with a touch-screen overlay and sign advertising the campus wireless network, FrogWave. The kiosk’s primary function is to show library users the best work environment location on a floor plan based upon their work selection. Users can choose to work in groups or by themselves with or without computing.

June Koelker, Associate University Librarian, in reviewing recent library surveys found user expecting the entire library to be quiet. While areas in the library have been designed for quiet and other areas for group or not quiet study these areas have not been clearly communicated to those using the library. In some cases the users complained that the computer lab was not quiet and they needed to concentrate while other users enjoyed the open environment where they could gather to work on a project collaboratively.

June tasked James Lutz, Assistant University Librarian for Administrative Services, to find a better means in communicating the various study environments available throughout the library. Using a touch-screen overlay the users can select whether they would like to work in a group or by themselves. They can also choose to work with or without computers. If they choose to work with computers they can check out a laptop from the Information Commons desk that is equipped to work on the wireless network. Users can also elect to register their wireless enabled laptop to work on the network at the Information Commons desk. After making their selection the user is presented with a map showing the areas the library has designated appropriate to their situation.

Currently the library has quiet workspace set up for individual users on the basement and second floor levels. On these two levels there are both study carrels and tables depending on whether a user needs to spread out their resources. First floor and group study rooms are designated for group work that tends to not be quiet.

Multiple wireless network points in the library provide for nearly one hundred percent coverage. Both a student and a faculty/staff network exist on the 802.11b wireless network. The library is in its fourth year in offering wireless networking and the laptop loaning program. Originally the library had ten computers and has recently complimented that with an additional twenty.

- James Lutz

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