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Managing Public Access Computers: A How-To-Do-It Manual for Librarians

Barclay, Donald A.

Neal-Schuman Publishers
Published:March 1, 2000

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Description: From Library Journal
An emphasis on management distinguishes this work from other introductions to library technology, at the same time lending it a hybrid quality. Barclay (Teaching Electronic Information Literacy, Professional Media, LJ 3/1/96) begins with an explanation of basic computer concepts, then addresses facilities planning, hardware, software, and security, all very methodically. A somewhat pass chapter on implementations of CD-ROM might have been better spent on particulars of network design and performance. (Barclay assumes for the most part that libraries' systems staff are distinct from their public and technical services staffs, the network being a given.) Finally, in addition to providing a realistic survey of issues involved with day-to-day operation and maintenance of public PCs, the text treats topics such as staffing, training, and communication. While these sections are germane, they are in places a bit cursory and not fully integrated with the discussion, reading like appended distillations of more general management literature. Sample forms (for keeping statistics, gathering survey data, training, etc.) serve as useful tools. An alternative recent work, Stephen Paling's A Hardware and Software Primer for Librarians: What Your Vendor Forgot To Tell You (Professional Media, LJ 4/15/99), has more detail about technology but does not address management per se. Despite its flaws, Barclay's book is recommended to public and academic library staff for its well-paced, practical approach.DDean C. Rowan, Whittier P.L., CA
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Description:
Achieving a balance between the need to provide the public with access to computers and ever-increasing security and maintenance concerns requires more than technical knowledge. It also requires a public service perspective and effective management practices. This unique how-to written for front-line to upper-level managers responsible for making decisions about public access computers in libraries, cover both technical and managerial aspects.

The first chapter answers the question "What does a Manager Need to Know About Technology?" Subsequent chapters cover facilities planning and management, hardware and software, CD-ROM and DVD, printing, system security, working with systems people, staff training, and public services. Every chapter includes helpful tip sheets and "Focus On" sections devoted to such commonplace problems as how to keep patrons from stealing track balls in computer mouses and what is the most cost efficient way to buy printer toner. Includes a wealth of forms and checklists, a FAQ sheet on pay to print policies, and technology training checklists for new library staff.

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