The start of the semester has brought new computer resources to Fondren Library. The library has added 14 new computers, thanks to a joint effort by the Student Association (SA), Graduate Student Association (GSA), Fondren and Rice’s Information Technology (IT), Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies and Finance offices.
The computers join the existing machines in the library’s ground floor Information Commons area and are connected to the Owlnet student computing network. Of the 14, two are express printing-only stations. They will be installed in the coming weeks.
GSA President Michael “Goat” Domeracki said the GSA and SA reached out to library officials at the end of the last semester to voice students’ concerns over the number of computers and access to printers. “The computers were unreliable and there were very few of them, so students often didn’t have the opportunity to print what they needed,” he said. “When they did find a computer and it didn’t work, it was very frustrating.”
He met with Vice Provost and University Librarian Sara Lowman and Diane Butler, Fondren’s director of information technology and access services. Butler said that the library’s annual LibQual customer satisfaction survey showed that printing and access to computers outfitted with critical science and engineering software applications is a top priority for students.
Domeracki, SA President Yoonjin Min, SA officers Nathan Liu and Ravi Sheth, GSA officers Melissa Venator, Anne Hellebust and Michael Sinai, met with Rice administrators from IT, Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies and Finance.
The group agreed that the university’s expanded student enrollment called for additional technology resources in the library, and 12 new computers and two express printing-only stations, plus two additional catalog search-only computers, were purchased.
“It was a pleasure to work with the GSA and SA officers to enhance computer resources in the library,” Lowman said. Domeracki agreed. “We could not be more thrilled and we could not find something more indicative of the way this university runs in a very supportive and collaborative environment,” he said.