In today's world, libraries are no longer just for books. Computers are now a very big and very important part of a library. Public access computers, or PACs, serve an important role in the environment of a library. They allow some patrons who might not have any other access to computers or the internet the chance to use them, and they offer other patrons another resource other than their home or work computers. While PACs continue to be of growing importance, they also continue to be a big trouble area for library IT staff. Without a central management system, patrons can use any computer for any length of time, creating an inequitable computing environment. And trying to manually manage how long patrons use PACs can be stressful and often ineffective.
With Pharos Sign-Up you will be able to centrally manage your computing environment. Sign-Up is a computer reservation system that will simplify management and allow for you to enforce various rules and time restrictions. It has many features built-in, such as a variety of reservation options, security features, detailed reporting capabilities, and methods of authenticating patrons. Equitable access to your PACs will never be an issue again, so patrons will enjoy an enhanced user experience while allowing your staff to spend their time on the main job activities.
The user experience starts at a Sign-Up Station, which is where a patron would swipe or scan their library card in order to authenticate and make their reservation. Sign-Up offers three reservation types: scheduled, queued, and immediate. The patron can then access their session by logging in with their username, ensuring that they will be the only person that can access their session. At the end of their session, a warning will appear to inform them that they only have a few minutes remaining, giving them time to save their work. Once the time allotment has expired, Sign-Up will log them off and place the PAC back into the queue of available computers.
There are also a number of beneficial and useful administrative tools. Sign-Up offers detailed reporting and auditing features, allowing your administrator to run usage statistics and other reports about the environment. The solution also includes what is known as the Nerve Center. This is a web-based management tool that allows for library staff to remotely manage the PACs. Staff will be able to send the patron messages to re-enforce rules and regulations and can even end a patrons session.
With the Sign-Up solution, equitable access to your library's PACs will never be an issue and managing your computer environment will never be easier. For more information about Sign-Up for your library, please contact an MDS representative today.