60 · SPEC Kit 302
allocations, as well as our laptop loan program, are two of our most heavily used services at the library.”
“Without question, without reservation, over the last 5 years the demand for public computing has
“I would say that demand for public computing at the university continues to increase.”
“This is a difficult question to accurately answer. It appears that we have a lower demand for public
computers, be we have added additional public laptop computers in the last five years. It could be that use has
shifted from the desktop computers to the laptops.”
“Over the last five years, we have added a significant number of additional PCs that are available to students.
Those machines are fairly heavily used.”
“We are anticipating that it will decrease over the next several years, because approximately 75% of students
are now coming to campus with laptops.”
‘Demand for PCs-in-general increased between 2002–2005, demand for wireless and laptop docking ports
surfaced and increased between 2005–07. Anecdotally, it looks to me like desktop PC demand is slowly
decreasing as more students bring their own equipment to the library.”
“1. I’d definitely say that the demand for wireless access and electrical outlets to support laptops has
increased significantly over the last 5 years. I’m inclined to say the demand for actual physical public
computers has stayed about the same, but that is just my gut feeling—no data to back it up. Also, it may have
been affected by our allowing the public to use the machines, but not having any productivity software like
Word on the machines. I suspect CATS may have experienced an increase in demand. They might have data
based on logins.
2. I’m not sure about empirical data, but given what I’ve observed, I would say it has increased (based on
Reference librarians struggling to find available computers).
3. There’s no real distinction being made in the question about public computing. Does that mean PCs we
provide or access we provide including wireless and the simple electrical outlet? Our informal studies show
that many students don’t want to carry their laptops so they depend on our hardware. Computer use in the
library has increased because we are the central location on campus and are the preferred building for users
to come to (based on an fairly narrow anthro study, including, and most importantly, for social contact which
shouldn’t be minimized as a reason to use the library. (Like an old commons). It isn’t hard to understand
given [the university’s] limited space for computing resources and we are the major provider of central (not
dispersed) IT resources, unlike labs. We also have added MS Office, although I can’t say based on statistics if
that has increased usage of PCs, but I think that it will over the long run. There’s no real way to capture usage
beyond anecdotal to point to the following as reasons for increases. Both hardwire and wireless:
Adding wireless access
Adding MS Office
Most seat availability
Positive public service
My hunch is that if we were to add more PCs we would have the students there waiting to use them. So after
this long-winded and anecdotal feedback, I still would say check the Increase line.”
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