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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    “Libraries, computer labs hope to be friendly”

    Administrators are working to make it easier for new students to navigate the Main Library and find computer help using different resources on campus.

    The sheer size of the UA campus can be intimidating to new students, and that is why administrators like Dave Baca, director of communications and marketing, and assistant librarian Mary Evangeliste are working to make the libraries on campus more approachable to students.

    On Aug. 18, UA library workers will host “”The Amazing Library Race,”” for new students.

    “”The event is meant to introduce (new students) to the stuff we do in the library and get them comfortable with being in the building,”” Evangeliste said.

    She said the idea for the “”race”” came up after freshmen from past years said they were intimidated by the size of the library.

    “”People are put off by how big the building is and where to go for certain things,”” Evangeliste said. “”So we really want them to just get comfortable.””

    The game will help teach students how to navigate the library and will also teach them a little bit about Southwestern culture. Evangeliste said many new students don’t realize how helpful the library can be, especially when writing papers.

    “”You don’t need to wait to ask (a librarian) more difficult questions,”” she said. “”It’s important to ask them questions when you first start the project, not when you’re all the way into it.””

    Evangeliste also said proper use of the library is the key to the success of many students.

    “”That’s why our theme is ‘How to survive – Drink water, find shade, use library’,”” she said.

    The library Web site is also an important resource that many new students may not be aware of, and administrators are trying to make it as easy as possible to navigate the system, Baca said.

    “”Things like the Amazing Race are trying to make the library appear as welcome as possible. The point is to take away some of the intimidation,”” Baca said.

    Evangeliste said the event will draw more than 300 students to not only help educate them about the library but also give them an opportunity to meet new people.

    And the event won’t be all work and no play, Evangeliste said.

    “”We’ll also have free pizza and Eegee’s,”” Evangeliste said. “”It will provide an opportunity for them to see us and see what we do in a really informal setting.””

    Campus computing

    Many students like to take advantage of their free time by stopping by the Main Library to use one of the many computer labs available for student use.

    Britni Dutz, an English junior, said she likes to stop by the Information Commons of the Main Library whenever she has more than a one-hour break between classes.

    “”I come here to do papers because there are less distractions,”” Dutz said. “”I’ve also come in a couple of times when my computer wasn’t working.””

    For students who opt to use personal computers rather than the computers in the libraries, new additions to computer and research resources on campus means more good news for computer-challenged college students

    When it comes to computer troubleshooting, the UA has a variety of computer networking facilities that are available for students.

    The Office of Student Computing Resources (OSCR) hopes to make students more aware of the free services they provide for all UA students.

    The OSCR Web site (OSCR.arizona.edu) provides free anti-virus software and firewall protection for students on campus, said Jennifer Andrews, an OSCR Underground worker and a non-degree-seeking graduate student.

    OSCR Underground, located on the west side of the Manuel T. Pacheco Integrated Learning Center courtyard, also provides basic troubleshooting for students who are having computer problems, including general computing questions, virus and spyware removal, and purchasing recommendations, said Limell’ Lawson, the director of OSCR.

    But many students are unaware of the computing resources available on campus.

    “”There’s a lot of help on campus if you seek it out, but it won’t always fall in your lap,”” Dutz said.

    Lawson said that OSCR is working hard to make students more aware of the services they offer, and students living in residence halls will have more contact with OSCR services than in past semesters.

    “”In an effort to provide these services in a more convenient location for students, we are bringing assistance to a residence hall near you,”” Lawson said in an e-mail.

    Another free service provided by OSCR is the Multi-Media Learning Lab. Students can check out video camera equipment and also stop by the lab to edit audio and video tracks.

    “”Once students realize it’s here, they definitely take advantage of it,”” said Shiloe Fontes, a student employee for the OSCR Multi-Media Learning Lab.

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