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USFSP Library Information Commons Becomes Sole Open Use Lab
Posted by Berrie Watson on 15 May 2013 01:16 PM
USFSP Library Information Commons Becomes Sole Open Use Lab

May 16, 2013

The USFSP Library Information Commons (IC) is expanding to assume the role of the sole open-use lab at USFSP. Located on the 1st floor of the Nelson Poynter Memorial Library the area aims to provide students with new open-use computer lab configurations for enhanced collaboration, study, and research.

As of May 6, 2013, construction began in the Bayboro Hall 226 and 227 computing space, closing the open use computing lab and replacing it with a testing center and an extended Help Desk workspace. The renovations are scheduled to be completed during the week of May 20th. Students, faculty, and staff should still direct all non open-use lab technology issues and questions to the Campus Computing Help Desk in BAY 226 or online at  The Help Desk will continue to provide access to Scantron scoring to faculty. Classroom-based printing in Bay 226 will resume once remodeling is complete, and Bull Bucks will print in Black & White from the USFSP Virtual Lab and through wireless printing (contact the Office of Campus Computing for details).

This change was planned jointly by the Library’s Systems and Digital Technology office and the Office of Campus Computing with the goal to consolidate computer labs on the campus without diminishing the service provided to students. Changes to the Library’s infrastructure and financial support will be necessary to complete the transition.  The information below addresses each major facet of the services offered in the former CCS open-use lab, and how the Library’s Information Commons will address the service need.

The CCS open-use lab used BullBucks exclusively, and there were no other open-use labs on campus, dorms or service areas using BullBucks for printing.  The library will not change its printing service but instead will continue with the Ricoh system and a cash-based payment option while other options are evaluated.   So, for the summer, there will be NO CHANGE to the Library’s printing service..  The price of printing in the Information Commons will remain at .15 for the immediate future. Future pricing and printing options will depend on the volume of printing and other service demands
Alternative printing is available free of cost for students in the SLC (Student Life Center).  Any other questions about BullBucks should be referred to CCS at BAY 226.

There are several applications that the CCS lab loaded locally for students and that the USFSP Library information commons did not utilize.  Below is a listing of each of these, and the status of their adoption within the library IC.  All applications are available now in our facility, through different sources both onsite and virtually.

Virtual Locations referenced in the software items below include:
USFSP CCS Virtual Computer Lab
USF Virtual Apps

SPSS- We are running this locally on all machines.  It is also available via 
SAS- Available via the library Laptops through, although with limited functionality.  Also available on computers 01 – 05 on the east end of the “horseshoe”.  More workstations may be added as determined by demand.
Adobe InDesign (Indesign, Photoshop, Illustrator)- These apps to be provided by USFSP Campus Computing via VMWare View.  We will continue to run Photoshop on one end computer in the Info Commons, but will not support OCR scanning or automated scanning activities.
ACL Workstation 9 – This software is installed locally on all IC machines.  Also it is on the Tampa virtual application server at
MyITLab – This plug-in is installed on our PC laptops.  The dataset is rather large for this application, but will be made available via a hosted or external drive upon request.
ArcGIS-  Available on laptops or the Info Commons at, data for it is available from that location. 
ERDAS-   Available under ArcGIS Desktop Virtual environment at USFSP Apps.  Use the link under All Programs called VMWare View Client, or if on a laptop follow instructions for VMWare View at .

The CCS lab allowed unassisted OCR scanning in their lab.  This will not be available within the library. The Library will continue to provide both Adobe Photoshop and image scanning with instructions, as we have in the past.

Future Computing Availability
In the short term, power and network installations will enable several other areas on the 1st floor of the library to house additional computers and furniture.  The most likely locations for this are to the west of the current Info Commons configuration, especially surrounding each of the “pillars” and across to the adjacent area on the opposite side of the library atrium.  This is one potential model for a pillar-based addition (taken from the recent UCF library remodel):


UCF Library Remodel 


Computers were transferred from CCS to the library to allow additional future computing resources to become available. At the same time, the campus made a commitment to refresh all 65 Information Commons machines in the upcoming Technology Fee budget for 2013. As desk space and furniture become available, look for more machines to appear in the Library’s Information Commons.

Questions and Comments
If you have any questions or comments, please contact USFSP Library Systems & Digital Technology at or submit your comments through the Systems online form at Students and others are encouraged to leave comments regarding the print system and computing availability and operation.  Name and email fields will be mandatory on this form to allow us to update users of planned changes.

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Off-site Access to Library Resources
Posted by Berrie Watson on 01 April 2013 11:40 AM

One of the most popular topics for Library Systems, and one that generates some of the most puzzled looks from users is how to access library resources from home or other remote locations.  Due to copyright, usage, and other restrictions the resources offered by the USFSP Library or the USF System vary.  An anonymous web user can access only a limited listing of databases, full-text articles, and other materials.  Web users that establish student, staff or Faculty status through the USF Portal are given a more full listing, and can access both abstract and full text articles, databases and more.

How to Get Access to More Material

For currently enrolled students, the method to access full listings of library resources begins with the USF NetID, and with the University System portal- simply visit  This is also the primary access portal for Faculty and staff. For retired faculty or others who should have access but do not have a NetID, the library "205..." barcode is used, through a proxy portal found at: 

All users of the portal should navigate to a specific area to gain proxied access to library resources.  The word 'proxied' refers to access that is passed through another, or specifically it is passed through the University's network.  Much like a vote can be by proxy (where another passes the vote in your place) a proxy allows use of all resources as though you are sitting in a lab or classroom on campus of USF. 

For USFSP students, or those who are listing USFSP as their campus,  a link will appear directly in the navigation on the left side of the screen:

Library Link in USFSP Resources

 Once you click on the Poynter Library link, you will then be proxied and can conduct searches.  If you don't have a "My Faculty/Staff Resources - St. Petersburg" link, then the process is a bit longer.  First you navigate to the BlackBoard link, then from the BlackBoard menu you select the "USF Libraries" link.

Please direct any questions or comments to me using the FeedBack form located on the Systems and Digital Technology web site at .

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New Cisco Wireless Access Points Show their Mood
Posted by Berrie Watson on 19 November 2009 04:35 PM
Systems Update: Wireless Access Points Installed

Three “G” speed wireless access points are now providing expanded service, and give a clear signal to the 2nd floor group study rooms, 2nd floor study area outside of the Instructional Media, as well as within the studio.

Cisco’s latest technology involves a lighted ring that gives the condition of the Access Point:

If you look up at each access point as it sits within our drop ceiling tiles, you will notice that this is a happy access point, as it is radiating a blue color. A green ring indicates that the access point is establishing a connection. The green mood can come and go and may not indicate a problem, but an amber ring shows that the access point is in error- if you see this let me know.

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New Science & Tech building classroom technology
Posted by David Brodosi (Import) on 12 October 2009 10:56 AM
As of October 8th, 2009 all classroom technology in the new Science & Tech building is installed. SMART software, and classroom technology training will be scheduled for the first part of November.
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New Wireless Access Point Installed
Posted by Berrie Watson on 02 October 2009 04:00 PM
The new access point will allow connections to both 802.11 "B" and "G" networks, running at 11mbps and 65mbps (Mega-bits-per-second). The first floor access point will be replaced in the near future. Unfortunately the older unit is completely dead.

Good news on the topic of the wireless network is that Joe Rogers in Tampa will be upgrading the management equipment for the wireless network on this campus, and I have convinced him to allow us to use some older but faster equipment. I am hoping that we will receive two additional access points for the library, which would bring us to a total of SIX units running "B" and "G" networks. This would effectively blanket the library and allow access from study rooms as well as the studio.

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2009, Year of Virtualization
Posted by Berrie Watson on 18 September 2009 03:48 PM
Virtualization is the act of taking computing hardware and moving it to software so that multiple hardware devices can be merged. This buzz word, ‘virtualization’, seems to be everywhere in computing recently, as many of the largest computing companies (VMWare, Microsoft, Citrix and Red Had Linux) are competing to win a space in the Virtualization market. In step with Apple’s use of the little “i” to capture us through introspection, this latest computing craze has kept Systems Administrators busy by renaming all of our standard computing terms with a leading “v”. VMWare’s latest offering, vSphere, renames all of our hardware to be software with that little ‘v’, so now a switch is renamed a vSwitch, a NIC is a vNIC, and so on.

This summer the library initiated its own service virtualization project that promises to save energy, system refresh dollars and minimize future downtime. The project has collapsed or ‘virtualized’ several library servers onto a three machine virtualization cluster using VMWare’s Foundation software. The first floor Information Commons and lab has been virtualized, and staff areas will soon follow suit, resulting in a significant reduction in systems hardware. Eventually, through desktop virtualization, students may be able to connect to and use software from very small ‘thin clients’, or even from their own computers.

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Library Computing Upgraded
Posted by Berrie Watson on 18 September 2009 03:46 PM
During the summer, there were some minor upgrades made to both the Information Commons and lab computers. These include the latest version of SPSS Statistics software, Acrobat Reader, Flash Player, and FireFox. For compatibility reasons, Internet Explorer 8 was not installed. Also, a new anti-virus software was installed, Symantec Total Protection, and newer scripts were added to keep our machines safe and clean. Take note that items saved in the “Temporary Drive” are allowed to remain there for two days. After that, they are deleted automatically.

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