Waterfield Library has experienced record-breaking numbers of visitors this year and as a result, resources such as laptops have been limited to students.
Adam Murray, dean of University Libraries, said the demand of laptops and desktops stays high.
He said laptops are checked out 25,000-30,000 times each academic year and are one of the library’s most used resources.
Waterfield has 60 desktops computers available and 50-60 laptops for students to check out. Laptops can be checked out for a two-hour duration period.
Murray said the desktops in the library are usually all occupied, but due to limited space and the electrical infrastructure of the building, it is unlikely more will be added.
The electrical system for Waterfield has not been updated since 1978.
Murray said there was an issue with the University’s network this semester, so many laptops were out of use for a period of time.
“There were complaints a few weeks ago about not having enough laptops available, but the laptops would not have worked,” Murray said. “The issue was out of our control.”
Murray said laptops are sometimes out due to repair from the heavy use which they receive.
Sara Holmes, senior from St. Charles, Mo., said she sometimes experiences difficulty checking out a laptop and has had issues with the laptops being slow.
“It has been somewhat of an inconvenience at times,” Holmes said. “It would be nicer if the laptops and network were faster.”
Garrett Wheatley, help desk and user services manager, said the new wireless network was implemented over the summer.
“The new networks were created in order to improve security,” Wheatley said. “This helps to keep other nearby from snooping on what (students) are doing online.”
Wheatley said students needing assistance with the new network can check out the support site at http://support.murraystate.edu or call the help desk at 809-2346.
Murray said the laptops are replaced on a fairly regular cycle and a segment of laptops will be replaced this year.
He said the library hopes to add more laptops since they are such a high use item.
To help out with the high usage of computers in Waterfield, the library also offers resources such as iPads to students to check out.
Murray said the library is also experimenting with chrome books this semester for students who do not need printing capabilities.
Chrome books are devices which can be connected to the Internet and support applications through the Web, as opposed to other devices which support applications through the machine itself.
The library has 20 iPads and five chrome books available for students to check out at the information desk.
Taylor Bell, senior from Litchfield, Ky., said the library has done a good job providing the resources she needs for her academic success.
“The library has always provided me with the resources I have needed for my assignments,” Bell said.
Bell said resources such as laptop computers have been a valuable tool for her when studying and completing projects.
The average number of visitors to the library each day is more than 4,000 people, and the highest number has been 4,300 in a single day.
Murray said it is important for students to have resources such as computers at the library so they can complete assignments.
Said Murray: “Anything (students) are required to do anymore requires a computer, so it is important for the library to have these resources available.”
Story by Rebecca Walter, Staff writer