Have you ever gone to the library desperate to quickly finish or print an assignment only to find that all 12 of the computers were being used? Many students have.
In addition to being an asylum for silence, our school’s library serves as a computer hub to many students every day. However, considering that the library is pretty much the only public room from which students can print and do computer work, the 12 computers that it houses seem rather insufficient. The waiting time is dismally long.
But it is not an issue of computers. The library’s adjoining computer lab houses 25 computers, which could all be used to shorten wait lines.
“An issue we have is supervision,” says Julia Rion, the head librarian, from behind the library desk. “Because the library is very busy, we only have two librarians and no assistance so it would be really difficult for us to… open that door.”
True, it would be close to impossible for two librarians to manage an extra room when the library is already super chaotic, but what if they did not have to do it alone? For example, an extra teacher, one who does not have a homeroom, could be called in the morning and during break. The teachers could have a rotating schedule so none would be permanently assigned this job. Either way, opening up the computer lab would be great.
Another solution to this computer crisis would be to allow students to use the library’s laptop cart. The library owns 18 laptops that were purchased specifically for the history department, however over time they have been opened up for all teachers. Because they are not used during before/after school and during breaks, they would be a great help to students except, of course, only teachers can be responsible for them.
Lately, many students have been bringing their own laptops to school. So yet another possibility would be to give students access to the library’s printer. This way, no one would have to do additional supervising and there would be no protocol breach. A college-like print management system could be used.
“I brought that up around three to four years ago,” states East’s technical director Rick Friedman from his computer cave in F-wing.”The print management software… [allows] each student [to] have a certain amount of pages that they could print per month. But [the software is] really expensive… [but] within a month it would pay itself back.”
The school has three good choices to pick from. It may not exactly cherish the idea, but more computers must be opened up now.
Welcome to East Revealed! Over the course of the next several weeks, I will post weekly stories about Cherry Hill East’s dark deep secretes… why do the lights stay on at night? Why can students only use 1/4 of library computers?
Stay tuned, and get ready to embark on an amazing journey with me, your captain,