Cover image for Managing public-access computers : a how-to-do-it manual for librarians
Managing public-access computers : a how-to-do-it manual for librarians
Barclay, Donald A.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Neal-Schuman Publishers, [2000]

Physical Description:
xv, 223 pages : forms ; 28 cm.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
Z678.93.P83 B37 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize

On Order



A manual designed for front-line to upper-level managers responsible for making decisions about public access computers in libraries, covering both technical and managerial aspects. Topics covered include facilities planning, hardware and software, staff training, and more.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

"Effective management of public-access computers is a balancing act," Barclay says, between providing access to computers and maintaining them. He attempts to provide a one-stop source of information to enable achieving success at this balancing act. He first reviews the types of information about technology that a manager needs to know, then discusses the physical facilities for computer installations, hardware, software, CD-ROMs, and printers. Next, he turns to management issues (such as working with the systems department), security issues, issues relating to staffing public-access computer installations, staff training, and relations with end users.

Library Journal Review

An emphasis on management distinguishes this work from other introductions to library technology, at the same time lending it a hybrid quality. Barclay (Teaching Electronic Information Literacy, Professional Media, LJ 3/1/96) begins with an explanation of basic computer concepts, then addresses facilities planning, hardware, software, and security, all very methodically. A somewhat pass chapter on implementations of CD-ROM might have been better spent on particulars of network design and performance. (Barclay assumes for the most part that libraries' systems staff are distinct from their public and technical services staffs, the network being a given.) Finally, in addition to providing a realistic survey of issues involved with day-to-day operation and maintenance of public PCs, the text treats topics such as staffing, training, and communication. While these sections are germane, they are in places a bit cursory and not fully integrated with the discussion, reading like appended distillations of more general management literature. Sample forms (for keeping statistics, gathering survey data, training, etc.) serve as useful tools. An alternative recent work, Stephen Paling's A Hardware and Software Primer for Librarians: What Your Vendor Forgot To Tell You (Professional Media, LJ 4/15/99), has more detail about technology but does not address management per se. Despite its flaws, Barclay's book is recommended to public and academic library staff for its well-paced, practical approach.DDean C. Rowan, Whittier P.L., CA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. vii
Prefacep. ix
Introduction: A Public-service Approach to Public-access Computersp. xi
1 What Does a Manager Need to Know About Technology?p. 1
Kinds of Knowledge: Micro-level and Macro-levelp. 1
Basic Computer Concepts for Managersp. 4
Further Informationp. 17
2 Facilitiesp. 19
Physical Spacep. 19
Electrical Powerp. 20
Furniturep. 22
Dual-purpose Computer Classroomp. 34
Facilities Check Questionsp. 36
3 Computer Hardwarep. 41
Microcomputers: Bigger and Fasterp. 41
Other Hardwarep. 49
Acquiring Hardwarep. 56
4 Softwarep. 61
System Softwarep. 63
Application Softwarep. 65
Purchasing Considerationsp. 70
Access to Software: Servers and Hard Drivesp. 75
5 CD-ROMp. 77
CD-ROM Hardwarep. 79
Providing Access to CD-ROMsp. 82
Full-text CD-ROM Setsp. 85
Circulating CD-ROMsp. 85
Personal CD-ROMs in the Libraryp. 86
6 Printingp. 89
Printer Essentialsp. 89
Types of Printersp. 90
Networked Versus Non-networked Printersp. 91
Printer Maintenance and Servicep. 93
Paperp. 93
Toner and Ink Cartridgesp. 94
Pay to Printp. 96
7 Working With the Systems Departmentp. 103
Improving Communicationp. 105
Reporting Computer Problemsp. 108
8 Securityp. 115
Security Policyp. 115
Physical Securityp. 117
System Securityp. 122
9 Staffing Issuesp. 139
What Do Public-access Computer Staff Do?p. 139
Who Staffs Public-access Computers?p. 140
Part-time Staffp. 141
Staffing Levelsp. 142
Scheduling Staffp. 156
10 Communicating With Staff and Staff Trainingp. 163
Communicating With Staffp. 163
Staff Trainingp. 173
11 User Relationsp. 191
Communicating With Usersp. 191
Feedback From Usersp. 198
Conflicts With Usersp. 206
Indexp. 215
About the Authorp. 223