Friday, April 29, 2016

Computer Use at Desert Broom

The Computer lab at Desert Broom.

Desert Broom has 33 public PC's divided between Youth/Teen/Adult and the Lab (which has 9 PC's). The entire building is wired for free WiFi and I found the reception good throughout the building.

PPL's computer-use policies are much different than Scottsdale's- only one hour of use per branch, per day. (Scottsdale allows 3 hours per branch.) I was a bit surprised by this since I often see people working on big projects or doing online coursework at the library. one hour is not nearly enough time. Policies like these get put in place because of abuse, that's how Scottsdale's policies evolved. I would imagine that there are patrons who branch hop throughout the day to get their computer use in. 

Though I was not able to inquire, I'm assuming the PC reservation system (you must have a library card even for the 15 minute Express machines) has a override to extend time on individual PC's. I would go further to suggest that staff is empowered to use best judgement on granting time extensions in certain cases. 

The PPL still offers community computer classes, but in watching the calendar for the semester, none are offered at Desert Broom. They offered a program on using Shutterfly, a site for uploading pictures and creating cards, albums and other products using your images, and used the lab for that, but overall, I  do not see the lab not being utilized much. One suggestion I'd give is to reach out to Homeschooling groups and see if any of them would like to use the lab as a classroom. 

These are the work stations for adults and when you look at them, the one-hour time limit makes sense. No one could last on those stools that long. I'm not a fan of the circle tables either, there's little room to spread out. I feel like these stations, combined with the policy, aren't serving people well enough. 

Adult computer work stations.

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