Library district struggles with technology demands

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Private firm hired to replace IT manager, take lead on projects

The Barry-Lawrence Regional Library board has taken several steps to move forward on technology plans, including projects started under the previous information technology manager, J.J. Goulbourne, who left in June to return to the private sector.

Lee Ann Rosewicz, computer technician, has taken over handling daily technology needs for the library system. She and Director Gina Milburn have strategized on how to proceed. Several projects begun under Goulbourne, including installing receipt printers in all branches, swapping two local servers and setting all branches up on an online domain.

Rosewicz reported a new computer was purchased in July to replace the aging unit used for bookkeeping. Updated software would no longer run in the old machine. Staff planned to work with their accountant to set up the new machine and install the updated software.

The library has begun working with Layer3, an information technology management company, to install eight firewires made possible through a technology ladder grant funded by the Library Services Technology Act. Installation began in August. The license on outdated firewalls were about to expire.

Cost for the new firewalls and switches was $14,053.36 plus $1,500 to configure the barriers. The grant covered 75 percent of the cost.

Board members reviewed bids in August from two companies for IT management services in lieu of hiring another staffer for the post. Milburn said with the library’s resources, retaining qualified technology specialists at a $54,000 salary has been difficult.

Springfield-based KPM, in business since 1999, offered tiered bids for monthly services. Layer3, also based in Springfield and active for 15 years, offered three levels of service plus a 10 percent discount for a not-for-profit.

Board members selected Layer3 at the gold level, for a cost of $4,550 a month, not counting the discount, on a three-month trial basis.

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