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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Policy changes will prohibit those not affiliated with the university from using some library computers

A new policy for some campus libraries requires that all UA affiliates use a NetID to log in before they tech out.

Starting May 14, all computers located in the Manuel T. Pacheco Integrated Learning Center, the Science-Engineering Library and the Fine Arts Library will require a UA NetID to gain access.

The new policy, which will be enacted after finals, was a result of the failed current policy that tried to expand computer use for students by restricting non-UA members’ time.

“We are now at the stage where we are going to put logins on all of the computers, and that way the policy will enforce itself,” said Travis Teetor, operations supervisor for UA libraries.

The libraries restricted community members who did not have a CatCard or library card to publicly available computers located on the fifth tier of the Information Commons in November 2011, based on student feedback about increasing the number of computer spaces. Community members then received a computer card that allowed them access for 60 minutes before getting logged out. But due to budget cuts, the library was unable to use staff members to monitor the policy and, as a result, it was not fully embraced, Teetor said.

“We have found that people are still using computers they are not authorized to use,” he said. “We were hoping the policy in itself would change behavior, but it didn’t.”

Teetor said he thinks the new policy will compel non-UA members to use the computers provided to them in tier five.

“The numbers of public workstations are not sufficient for the student demand much of the time, and public use has impaired student access to equipment,” Teetor added. “Public use is impacting the work we need to accomplish so that students and faculty are successful in their learning and research needs.”

Sgt. Juan Alvarez, public information officer for the University of Arizona Police Department, said UAPD responds to the library for a variety of calls such as theft, criminal damage and
other calls for service. The department does not monitor the use or non-use of computers nor differentiate calls based on UA affiliation or non-affiliation, he said. Alvarez said he is uncertain if the new policy will change anything or curb the number of calls the department receives.

“The actual use or non-use of the computer we do not monitor,” Alvarez said. “We just take the call and respond to the individual facts of the case.”

The new policy is expected to go into effect in mid-May, so it does not interfere with the current computer habits of students, Teetor said. Carlos Rodriguez, a pre-physiology freshman who regularly studies in the ILC, said he thinks the policy should be implemented sooner as a way to free up more computer space during finals week.

“I don’t know why we don’t already have logins for the computers,” Rodriguez said. “It makes sense because we, as students, pay for the computers, and we should be allowed access when we need them.”

Students pay $120 in fees to support technology used in libraries on campus. The libraries are able to accommodate everyone who needs to use books and documents, Teetor said, but must curb the demand for computer use due to budget restrictions.

“This is all to try and make sure all the resources are available to the students first and foremost,” Teetor said. “And this policy should help with that.”

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