Category Archives: languages

Sound problems on library computers

You wrote:

On the 3rd fl. Samsung SyncMaster 920wm – the sound system is not working at all. Please fix it.

Thank you.


I’m frustrated with the library facilities – getting from bad to worst. Now with W-325 on the 3rd fl of the Lib I can’t access the speakers. I am trying to
learn some Chinese pronunciation and there are no speakers!


On the 2nd fl MS-Office Internet W-235 the speakers are not working. I can’t hear a thing.
Please help!

Thank you for your emails.  All the computers in the Libraries (except the CLUES-only workstations) have sound capabilities.  However, patrons must use headphones, even if speakers are there.  If you do not have headphones, you may borrow a set at the Circulation desk.

Random Script Flips Revisited

A couple of weeks ago we recieved and posted a question about seemingly random keyboard language switches on some of the public computers at the libraries, asking if there was ‘quick-key’ to switch back to the original language. We recommended restarting the computer as the best solution when faced with this problem at the login screen, but have since received a comment that seems worth highlighting. You wrote:

You don’t have to restart the computer at all. The switch in language happens by people accidentally hitting Ctrl + Shift. When you see Arabic font, just hit Control + Shift a few times until English is back.

Thanks for the advice. This might well be a better solution for many students, just the ‘quick-key’ requested.  And on a related note: in the coming weeks you will likely notice that some of our pubic workstations have been identified as pilot stations for the testing of  our planned upgrade from Windows XP to Windows 7. The keyboard language flip doesn’t occur on these stations, but you may well discover other small problems or anomalies. Please feel free to use the Suggestion Box to report any of these – we will be sure to pass them on to the Systems team.

Random Script Flips

You wrote:

There is something odd happening to the library computers. They seem to randomly flip into Arabic script. The only way I have found to escape this is to shut it down (restart) the terminal. It happens at the 10 min computers and in LB 203. Is there a “quick-key” way to switch it back?

Thank you for the question. Though I’ve never heard of this happening randomly, it sounds like you are encountering computers on which the keyboard language has been switched.  As of last year, almost all library workstations now offer the following choices, in accordance with the language programs offered at Concordia:  English (Canada & U.S.), French (Canada), Arabic, Chinese, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Italian, Russian, Spanish.

If the script has changed and you are already logged onto the computer, you can simply click on the keyboard language icon at the bottom right of the computer task bar. If you are trying to log into the computer with your netname and the language has been set to a non-Roman script, you will indeed have to restart the computer. For those of you making use of one of those languages on our computers, try to remember to switch back to English before you log off – it will be much appreciated by your fellow students. Thanks!

Your Suggestions Make a Difference

Though we can’t  always act on each question or comment we receive, here is a quick progress report on some of  recent library developments directly related to your Suggestion Box input: 

Electrical outlets
There have been many pleas for more electrical outlets in the libraries for all those students with laptops. Though we reported that the electrical system at Webster would be upgraded and that outlets would be installed throughout both libraries over the summer, work delays beyond our control have slowed this process down. We did want to let you know that this issue is still a top priority and that the renovation work will definitely be completed this semester. Special thanks go to the CSU Library Services Fund Committee for its support and funding of this improvement project, which will result in about 800 additional electrical outlets in the Libraries.

Keyboard Languages
Though there has been no blog post about this until now, we  received requests one-on-one  that additional keyboard languages be made available on the library computers so that students could more easily write their papers in languages other than English and French.  You might have noticed in our What’s New that almost all library workstations now make the following available, in accordance with the language programs offered at Concordia:  English (Canada & U.S.), French (Canada), Arabic, Chinese, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Italian, Russian, Spanish.

Dirty Keyboards
Also off the blog so far, we received comments about dirt and germs on keyboards at some of the computer workstations at Webster. We have now initiated a more regular cleaning program for the keyboards of all computers in the library,  and hope that this should improve the situation. Do note, however, that:  a) unusually dirty keyboards or work areas can always be reported to the nearest service desk, and b) computer keyboards in a public area like ours will never be germ-free, no matter how often they are cleaned, so be sure to take proper hygiene into your own hands.

Ask a Wizard
We received more than one plea to get rid of the Ask a Librarian “wizard” that popped up and flew around on public workstations at every login.  Now that the Ask a Librarian service is featured  more prominently through other avenues, we’ve decided to go with the flow and bid the wizard adieu.

What’s New With Noise
You very recently asked what new initiatives we have implemented regarding noise reduction in the library. We didn’t mention it in the post but would now like to highlight that last month, the rubber-like linoleum floor covering in the Webster library entrance area was completely replaced by carpet, which should be much better suited for the important task of noise absorption.

Thanks for your contributions! Let us know if you are curious about the status of any other items you’ve seen mentioned on the blog.