Technology Transforms the Library

From Kennedy Library's 2008 Annual Publication (23MB PDF).

Fall Quarter 2008 began with many upgrades in technology at the Kennedy Library. Some changes were very visible to students and faculty, such as the eight new collaboration rooms with digital display capability and a new media presentation corner on the second floor. Others were behind-the-scenes upgrades that raised the level of technology and research capabilities.

The role of technology in the Library has changed dramatically. "High tech" in the Library used to mean a computer-based catalog and microfiche machines. Now technology is focused around creating faster and wide-ranging search possibilities and more efficient online tools. "The trick is to make searching seamless and intuitive while yielding the most effective and scholarly results," says Dale Kohler, Director of Library Information Technology.

Because great technology is so integral to being a great library, access to technology and collaborative settings was also enhanced. Public computer locations increased this year with the addition of 30 new public computers on the third, fourth, and fifth floors. Over 130 computers were upgraded. "This fall, for the first time, all 300 computers have the same software load — the most complete suite of software applications offered anywhere on campus," says Dale. The Library currently has six schedulable computer labs and 148 open access computers—the only computers open to all students on campus.

SmartLabs with the latest in display and presentation technology as well as the satellite TV viewing room continue to be popular. Students appreciate the laptop checkout service as evidenced by 12,000 checkouts last academic year. This year, laptop users found many additional areas to "plug in" and work comfortably.

Side note:

To learn more about the computer labs at Kennedy library visit the Computing page of the library's web site.

In partnership with Cal Poly's Information Technology Services, the Library improved the network infrastructure in the building, upgrading wired network speeds, wireless access, and digital storage. This year students can watch for access to five additional PolyCard print stations and new laptops for checkout, as well as a remodel and expansion of the PolyConnect open access computer lab. "The goal of Library Information Technology is to expand and improve services and resources, create a welcoming environment, and enable students to succeed and thrive," says Dale.

"The trick is to make searching seamless and intuitive while yielding the most effective and scholarly results"