Library computers can be tracked online

In the library from Monday to Thursday, around 11AM to 2PM, anyone at FGCU would agree that the computer lab is packed and the study rooms are taken. Students stand in line at the computer kiosks to print out papers before class starts. All computers seem to be occupied.
Even if there is a lone computer in the back corner, no one bothers to check because of how busy the library seems. Many students at FGCU are unaware that finding an available computer is easier than it looks!
 
Mario Bernardo, the Assistant Director for Library Computers, and the rest of the Technology Systems staff used a software called Lab Stats to develop a program that allows students to see which computers in the library labs, kiosks and study rooms are available.
 
“It is real time, down to the minute, as to how many machines we have, how many are available and how many are in use,” Bernardo said.
 
It is remarkable how many students are unaware of the program, because it can be accessed from any device on the FGCU website.
 
By clicking on the “Library Computer Labs” under the Library tab on the FGCU home page, one can find maps of the computer lab, kiosks and study rooms. If computers on the map are grey, this indicates that these computers are available. If the computers on the  map are blue, they are taken.
 
Under the same library tab, one can even find library lab usage and login statistics to predict when the computer lab is going to be busiest.
 
Bernardo described how useful the program is due to the limited space in the library.
 
“There are not really many places we can expand and put computers, so we have to find a way to be able to give students more information,” Bernardo says.
 
Their primary goal was to inform students who live in campus, and save them a walk if the lab happens to be full.
 
“There are times where we see the computer lab maxed out. All blue,” Bernardo said.
 
Little did they know how beneficial it would be to students who live off campus as well.
 
“Gas is precious,” Lauren Gorecki explained. Gorecki is a Junior and Bio Tech major. Her schedule is comprised of mostly studying, and she finds it beneficial when she can make it down to the library.
 
Gorecki explains how she is more apt to drive over to the computer labs at FGCU now that she knows about the program.
 
“If the computer lab is full, I can see that. I won’t have to make the drive; however, the atmosphere of the library benefits my studying,” Gorecki said.
The staff of technology systems hopes to make the process even more simplistic by making an app for smart phones in the near future.