Canaanlibrarian’s Weblog











{March 22, 2009}   Onsite Visit Blog 4

Actual Interview: Sorry-I have no actual photos. It was a very busy long day.

URL of the Library: http://www.brownpubliclibrary.org/

Their network is wireless and they have two high speed Internet connections-both of which are free through local company advertisement.

The library is automated with Voyager in an agreement with the local Norwich University. This automation system is designed for a large University, something that can be overwhelming for the smaller public library. This is a web based system and patrons can access it at home for features such as book renewal. The server for this automation system is located outside of Vermont.  We then had a brief discussion about my current “do I update our Follett, combine with the school on Follett Destiny, or try something like Koha” dilemma.

The library has 5 computers for staff (1 is a laptop) and 8 for patrons. Patrons may use their own laptops on the wireless setup. 5 of the patron computers are provided by a contract with Norwich University, 2 are from the Gates Foundation and 1 is a patron gift-a very new computer.  The contract or tech budget with the University includes an upgrade of the computers every two years and service.

Brown’s Director Sue MacMartin did express an interest in updating their website, something she said was created sometime ago by a previous Director family member. I stated that I wished that I just had a website-that it is on my huge to do list.  A look at the libraries website reveals that they do have a subscription to Vermont’s Online Library database.

Sue gave me a copy of the library’s “Computer & Internet Use Policy” that was recently reviewed and re-approved in October 2008. The policy states the library mission, Internet Access, Responsibilities of library staff and users, disclaimers and unacceptable uses of computers, confidentiality of library records, procedures, response to violations and wireless internet. Public Internet Access Procedures are separate. She also gave me a copy of the form used to sign in and out of computers.

We then did a quick review of the space and furniture used for patron computers. Like most libraries, especially ones in older buildings, space is somewhat limited. Most of the computers are located directly in front of the circulation desk. Sue did point one computer out in another room that is not in the view of staff and she admits that patrons have abused this location in the past. She also stated that wireless access is pretty good in the building but that some laptops do some to do better than others.

I appreciate Sue staying at the library to meet with me though she was feeling rather poorly.

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