Aug 242008
 
Authors: Scott Callahan

A new log-in system installed in all Morgan Library computers will allow more student availability to university databases and resources while limiting non-student community members to a two-hour limit of access.

Launched three weeks ago, the system requires that students type either a student name or identification number, and non-students type a nine-digit code from a community borrower’s card. The two-hour limit posed to non-students will reset daily at midnight.

Though new to CSU, the log-in access model is commonplace among university libraries throughout the nation. While at some institutions access is restricted only to students, Morgan’s system will allow limited access to the community while making sure students have the resources available.

“It’s a balancing act,” said Lindsey Wess, information and public computer services manager.

Wess said the log-in system will ensure “students have full access but not turn away community users.”

The incorporation of the system, Wess said, was not meant to address security or safety concerns.

“Today’s students are tomorrow’s alumni, and we want to make sure they have mechanism to all the library’s resources,” said Tom Moonhart, coordinator of on-site services.

Non-student community users can obtain a community borrower’s card by signing up for an account at Morgan’s front desk.

As an alternative, non-student users can bring personal laptops to the library for up to six hours of use, but a new user name and password must be obtained for each recurringsession.

With use of a non-student personal laptop, the Internet is available, but access to the university databases, which can be found on the library Web site, will not be.

However, students may use personal laptops to access the university databases from any location, not only in the library.

Non-student Liz Stonaker, a freelance editor, used the university databases to perform research.

Stonaker said she understood the reasons for change, but that it “was a luxury” to have database access.

Other non-student community members said the databases were helpful in searches for up-to-date digital information, as opposed to delayed information found in hard copies of research.

Senior history major Keith Moore said the change will keep the library quieter during stressful weeks, like finals week, and will allow students to better focus.

Wess reminded students to log off the system when finished. Otherwise, another student or non-student user can keep an account open under the owner’s name.

The computer system does log off automatically after 15 minutes of inactive use.

Though the new system is not expected to make a dramatic difference, library personnel said the system ensures students the availability of resources.

Staff writer Scott Callahan can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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