Category Archives: academic use

Conduct using library computers

We have heard from you lately about public computers in the library being used for non-scholarly purposes.

The following are reminders about the Library Code of Conduct and Use of Libraries Computer Facilities.

  • The Library Code of Conduct and the University Code of Rights and Responsibilities requires that “All Members of the University, as defined in Section III of the Code, may reasonably expect to pursue their work, studies and other activities related to University life in a safe and civil environment. As such, neither the University nor any of its Members shall condone any conduct which adversely affects the University or any of its Members”.
  • The Policy on Use of Libraries Computer Facilities states that the library computer workstations are for academic use only and that the library does not censor use of the Library computer facilities.
  • Users must be respectful of those around them and take care not to inadvertently expose others to disturbing material they may need to view as part of their academic work.
  • Library users who are disturbed by material other users are viewing should report this to staff and/or directly to security (514- 848-3717) after hours
  • Staff will remind library users viewing disturbing material  that workstations are for academic purposes and will request that users show respect to others by viewing this material in a more private environment (such as a workstation that may be more removed from others, or facing a wall, at the end of a row etc.)

Thank you for your comments.

Computer use — academic or not?

You wrote:

I realize everyone is stressed with exams and final papers (believe me), but it is so infuriating when I try to find a computer and just see people parked there with their notebooks open, using the computer as a ‘break’ to occasionally check email or listen to music and just use the space in front like a table. Some of us legitimately have research to do and need the computer. If or when I ask them, suddenly they critically have to check email.

Could you please make a posting to let people know the computers are not just places where you can sit and studying, but that there are actually tables for that?

If someone could go around checking, that would be immensely appreciated.

and

….This is beyond ridiculous. This is a selfish waste of a resource- as long as they importantly start to check email when confronted. PLEASE could you make a sign that this is priority for people who have serious work to do?! Is it not possible for someone to enforce that?  There’s a difference between someone taking a five minute break to check email, and someone parked there to watch a foreign film for 2 hours while students with real ‘work’ to do, watch and are stressed out.

PLEASE can you do something about this- this is a stressful enough period without inconsiderate people adding to it.

Thank you for bringing up this important topic.

I like your idea of having signs  that make it clear that library computers are intended for academic use only.  I’ve passed it on to the Libraries’ administrators.  (In fact, I remember that we used to have  signs  and that the workstations would have such a message when a user would login.) However, I must say that this problem has existed since the Libraries first got the Internet!

When we started out, we had tried to block out all email websites, like Hotmail.  🙂 Then, for a short time, we tried to block out Facebook and Youtube….  Each time we did that, we would hear of a class or an assignment that needed the blocked out application.

It is a very tricky issue and I appreciate you bringing it up.

Sleeping in the library

You wrote:

I always see a young man…. He is not a student. Everyday he will come to the third floor of the library and sleeps there. I think it is a waste of our library resources as most students would come over and go away without able to use the space. I think you should look into it. When he wakes up after 3 hours of sleep, he will play chess with the computer.

Please don’t waste our students’ funds! 

I understand your concern, however, how do you know that this person is not a student at Concordia?  Furthermore, if he can login to a library computer, he must have a netname/password, therefore, he must be currently enrolled and taking classes.  It is difficult to say.  If you strongly feel that this person’s behaviour is disruptive, please report it in person so that we can follow up.

Equipment crunch

You wrote:

There has got to be something done about the lack of computers in the library. It’s not so much the lack of computers- it’s what people do on the computers- while those of us who have research and work to do, we have to watch as idiots watching Youtube films and sports games stay there for hours. Why does none of your staff do daily rounds? When these people are asked if they have any work to do, Suddenly they have ‘research’ and were ‘just taking a break’. 

This is amazingly unfair. And, although you have these wonderful signs saying if you leave things unattended for over 30min, someone else can use the computer- no one enforces this! I was waiting for over half an hour, and someone just left their jacket there for the whole time. Incredibly infuriating. 

PLEASE couldn’t your staff just walk around and AVOID such unnecessary frustration?! And while you’re at it, remove those people who stay at the computer as they read their homework assignments, but possessively won’t give up the computer, or the wealthy amoung us who insist on hogging a computer as they work on their laptops…

I understand your frustration.  The situation you describe has existed since libraries started providing Internet access to students, many years ago.  Although library computers are for academic use only, it is impossible for library staff to monitor what is happening on the computers.  We do not have enough people to do that.  Furthermore, for us to spy on students while they’re using a computer….   well, let’s just say that it’s not an option.  This is not high school.

Regarding our unattended workstation policy, if you notice that a workstation has been left unattended, please report it to the nearest library service point.  The 30-minute period begins when we receive a complaint.

If you can, you may want to visit the Vanier Library the next time you have work to do on a computer.  Although most of our workstations are in use during the day, we usually have laptops available.  Laptop availability is on our homepage.  You may also want to check out the IITS computer labs.

Thank you for writing.

Frustrating signage

You wrote:

I often work on the third floor in the Webster library (which does NOT at all have enough computers to meet the demand) and wanted to make two suggestions in terms of signage:

– “please note these computers are prioritized for academic work and research. If you are planning on staying here for hours on end, watching foreign films on Youtube, buying on Ebay, and updating your Facebook account, please consider doing it elsewhere” as I am often waiting to do work while people are enjoying themselves for hours at a time.

– ****”during busy hours, please look to the line-up for computers PRIOR to sitting down, as there may be someone waiting there for a while you just waltz in and (selfishly) grab the recently made available computer”

PLEASE for everyone’s sanity, make the line-up sign BIGGER and CLEARER as I just had to confront a guy who just waltzed in and took the computer, while I had been waiting for over 20 minutes near the very UNvisible and non-descript sign. Many people just think students are sitting there to study and don’t make the connection with the computers. This is incredibly frustrating, so any form of remedy would be better than how it stands now.

Thank you for your message.  We will review the signage for that area.

CLUES workstations for access to library resources

You wrote:

My suggestion is that there be a permanent guest past or net name for library use and academic research in the library and online especially during holidays. It would really be a convenience not to have to get the consent daily for use of facilities. I hope my request is given strong consideration….

Thank you for your email.  All databases, e-journals and e-books that are part of our collection are accessible on our “CLUES” workstations.  No login required.  CLUES workstations are available in both libraries on all the floors. 

Search for the resource’s title in CLUES and follow the links from there.

Cell Phone Talk & Computer Play

You wrote:

I use the computers in the library quite frequently and would like to make a couple of suggestions. First, can you please put signs up in the corridor between the stairs/entrance of each floor and the main areas telling people not to talk on their cellphones. They should leave the library completely. We can still hear them and probably even more clearly then if they were to whisper at their own area.

Secondly, it is extremely frustrating when a person is waiting in line for a computer and you see people playing games, on facebook, etc. These things should be blocked on the library computers. These people can do this things on their own time not when others are waiting to do actual work.

Thanks for these two suggestions.  You are right, sound from the areas near the stairs carries into the quiet and silent study zones all too easily.  Students need to be reminded that talking in conversational tones – whether on a cell phone or to each other –  should not be taking place anywhere in the library.  You are not the first to suggest posting more signs, and we agree.   A new set of posters is currently being printed at this writing.

Your frustration at waiting in line while others surf socially or play games is completely understandable, and it is shared by others. While blocking specific sites can be a tempting idea, it would be both technologically impractical and philosophically difficult: determining what is and what is not academic use of computers is not always a straightforward matter, and we prefer not make categorical judgments on everyone’s behalf.

Especially at this busy time of year, we do want to alert and remind all students that computers in the library are designated for academic use.  Notices to this effect appear as a screensaver on almost all workstations and at the top of each login screen, but it is obvious that they are not working as effectively as we would like.  As with issues related to food and noise in the library, our intervention can only go so far and it is ultimately a matter of individual students showing respect for each other. Your continued feedback and suggestions are most welcome, as we are always looking for new and creative solutions to this problem.