Barry-Lawrence Library branches acquire new equipment

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Area library system now has Wi-Fi in all branches

Branches of the Barry-Lawrence Regional Library have undergone major technology innovations in recent months.

Jack Henry and Associates donated 25 Microsoft Surface Pro tablets that have gone into use in the Monett, Aurora, Cassville, Marionville and Mt. Vernon branches. The tablets supplement the public Internet computers for use by in-house customers. Sign-out sheets help staff distinguish between the Surface Pros and the Kindles when checked out.

Each branch received four tablets for customer use. The remaining tablets went to Library Director Gina Milburn, Youth Services Coordinator Janea Coker and Computer Technician Lee Ann Rosewicz, leaving one unit in storage as a back-up.

Information Technology Manager J.J. Goulbourne reported upgrading computer terminals in circulation, public access, Internet use and in the office to Windows 10. Every device will have the Symantec anti-virus program redeployed in the process. The upgrade came at no cost to the library system.

Wireless Internet access now exists in all 10 branches. In October, the Shell Knob Branch became the last to receive the connection. Once construction concludes on the new Shell Knob building, Goulbourne said he will look at it for an ethernet connection to expand bandwidth potential.

To increase Internet service for customers, the Pierce City Branch and Miller branches were scheduled to receive a new fiber optics cable to increase bandwidth for Internet service. Both were due to be completed by Nov. 4. Funding for the upgrade came from Missouri's Remote Electronic Assess for Libraries program. AT&T engineers were scheduled to complete the hook-ups. The higher bandwidth became active at the Monett and Marionville branches in September.

The Marionville Branch received an additional staff computer for use by the youth and adult services staff. The addition came at no cost, having drawing on components already in inventory.

Goulbourne announced plans to mount all of the information technology devices on the desk in the office at the Aurora Branch on the wall. The move will free up desk space and better protect the equipment, he said.

Since starting work for the system earlier this year, Goulbourne reported the new information technology department has handled 178 requests for IT services, all of which staff resolved within the targeted 24-hour turnaround time.

Each of the system's 10 branches will receive new hand-held scanners, upgrading from PS2 models to USB. Originally, the scanners cost $120 each. New scanners will cost approximately $26 each.

Two more innovations have been added at the Monett Branch. The new keyless entry system using key fobs has gone into place. Staff can now access to the building either using a key fob or entering an appropriate code on the installed panel. A fifth security camera has also been added in the teen section at the branch to deter inappropriate behavior discovered earlier this year.

Branch supervisors, the adult services coordinator and the youth services assistants now all of separate email addresses, configured through Microsoft Outlook. The addition enables direct communication by the director to staff and groups without using branch email accounts. The separate addresses came at no additional charge to the system.

One of the old Dell 2950 servers replaced in the recent server upgrade and reconfigured into a network storage device failed. Thanks to prudent backup procedures, no data was lost. Goulbourne replaced the failed server with a Synology Network Area Storage device in the regional office.

Goulbourne attended his first Missouri Library Association conference in Kansas City, the first joint meeting held by the state organization with the Kansas Library Association. The conference enabled Goulbourne to visit with other library program managers and coordinators about their procedures.

He also attended his first conference by MOREnet, the service that provides Internet to library systems around the state. The last two days focused on IT managers serving libraries and schools. Roundtable discussions focused on investigating new technology for libraries. Goulbourne presented a talk on "When Law Enforcement Comes Knocking: Assisting Law Enforcement with Social Media Investigations."

Board members authorized Goulbourne to present his social media talk for the Lake of the Ozarks school district and others. They stipulated he could work on such presentations during his daily duties as long as the work did not detract from his regular library schedule, and the agencies paid a fee to recoup his time as well as mileage.

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