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Volume 70, Issue 132, Tuesday, April 19, 2005


Library upgrades increase utility

Computer facility to open in fall semester

By Derek Dickson
The Daily Cougar

Doing computer-based research at the M.D. Anderson Memorial Library is sometimes a headache because of a lack of available computers, but a remedy will soon be on the way.

A new computer research facility at the library, scheduled to open by the fall, will significantly increase the number of computers available. There are 165 computers for use in the library now; the new facility will open with 250.

Though the facility was supposed to have opened six months ago, setbacks in the libraryis expansion and renovation project pushed the opening to the late summer or beginning of the fall semester.

"There isnit one reason the new facility has been delayed for so long ? weather, paperwork and renovations all contributed to the delay," program coordinator Chad Thome said. "Also, it would disrupt students who depend on us if we moved the computers during a semester, so our goal became summer."

The research center will be located on the ground floor. In addition to the main computer area, there will be seven group study rooms for students to reserve; each will have its own computer.

"We strive to make sure studentsi library fees go directly to what benefit them the most," Thome said. "I think students will greatly benefit from the new research facility and added computer workstations."

Among the advantages of the new facility will be upgraded printers that will handle jobs more quickly than those previously used and upgraded CD-ROM and USB access.

"Students today are becoming less reliant on floppy disks and more reliant on CD-ROM and USB drives," Thome said.

Maintenance on the facility will also be easier: the wiring will run under the floor and will be accessible by lifting a piece of carpet and a metal plate. In the past, the wires were in the ceiling, which meant repairs took longer.

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