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SCLS Network FAQs

(Revised October 21, 2010)

 

2011 will bring many significant changes to the way in which SCLS can deliver Internet service and PC support to your library. You are probably aware of the Federal Stimulus Grant that will eventually be bringing a fiber connection to most of the SCLS member libraries. This robust connection to the Internet allows us the opportunity to redesign the SCLS network, providing additional services to our members along with much faster Internet delivery.

The following web page is an attempt to answer many of the questions you may have about our vision for the SCLS network.

Some of this information was shared at the All-Directors Meeting in a document entitled: SCLS PC support and network services: A new vision for service.

Project Timeline

Since so much of what SCLS can offer is predicated on the installation and implementation of the Fiber Grant, it might be helpful to review the following timeline .

Phase I: "Preparing for the Fiber Stage"

Fiber optic cabling will be installed to you library, providing you with a faster connection to the Internet. Since this component of Phase I is out of the hands of SCLS, we are not sure of the exact date of library installs but predict that this phase of the project will be starting no earlier than April, 2011. In the meantime, SCLS technology staff are creating procedures, ordering network equipment, and preparing for the eventual fiber connection at the member libraries.

Phase II: "Bandwidth is Ready Stage"

After the fiber is connected to your library, the SCLS technology team will be making changes behind the scenes, moving computers off of any commercially provided Internet services and onto the new fiber Internet connection. From a library's perspective, this change will be seamless. In Phase II, wireless services will be available via SCLS as opposed to a commercial provider.

Since each member library has different needs and configurations, we will need to perform a needs assessment for everyone prior to rolling out any services. Before the start of Phase II, the Technology Team will be providing member libraries with a general timeline for Internet conversion.

Phase III: "Convergence Stage"

The new support options outlined in this document are available when your former non-LINK PCs join the SCLS network.

Perhaps the most important question.

How much will this cost?

At this point in the planning process, the individual cost of each service has not been determined. At the start of 2011, the Cost Formula Workgroup, a sub-committee of the Administrative council, will be reformed and tasked with coming up with a formula for charging back member libraries for technology and ILS services provided by South Central.

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Will SCLS support filtering services?

Yes, SCLS will support some manner of filtering services. At this stage, it is unclear what options will be available as the new SCLS Network is developed.

Will SCLS support live network connections, such as network connections in a meeting room?

Yes, network jacks located in public spaces such as meeting rooms will be "live", allowing users to connect to the Internet.

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Standalone PCs

Some libraries have standalone PCs like gaming or word processing stations that never connect to the Internet--either through a wired connection or wirelessly.
SCLS will support standalone PCs using the following guidelines and standards:

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Wireless Connectivity

Will SCLS support Wireless Connectivity?

The short answer is yes: SCLS will continue to support wireless services in your library. As the project timeline points out, we will migrate existing non-SCLS ISP services (such as Charter or TDS) onto the fiber connection once it's installed in your library. From a library's perspective, the change will be seamless.

Who will be responsible for supporting patrons' access to the public wireless network?

Library staff will continue to support patron's access to wireless networks.

What if I don't want to drop my Charter/TDS/AT&T connection?

You can choose to continue with your commercial provider. However, SCLS will not be able to support the connection or troubleshoot problems with connectivity or any devices on these networks.

Some of the hardware for the wireless is provided by our ISP (Charter, TDS, etc.). Who will be responsible for maintaining and upgrading wireless equipment after transition? Who will own the equipment? Will we have to purchase additional equipment?

Equipment currently providing wireless access is owned by the library. If additional services are requested, additional equipment may need to be purchased. SCLS will continue to maintain the hardware.

How much will wireless access from SCLS cost my library?

As stated previously, we'll have a better answer to how much things will cost after the Cost Formula Workgroup meets in 2011.

Will SCLS support wireless printing?

The 2010 Technology plan (http://www.scls.info/committees/tc/documents/2010%20Tech%20Plan-Final%20Draft.pdf) identified various printing issues--including wireless printing--as a two year priority. We have begun the investigation of wireless printing options but do not plan on implementing any products or systems until 2012.

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Laptop Support

Will SCLS support laptops?

Yes, SCLS recognizes that improving support for laptops is critically important to our member libraries.

I want to be able to take my staff laptop off of the SCLS Windows domain and use it at a conference/Starbucks/at home. Will I be able to do that?

Yes, we will be offering a model for supporting a configuration like this by early 2011.

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Will SCLS Support Voice over IP (VOIP)?

Voice over IP means many different things to people these days. For some, VOIP is simply a Skype client on their staff PC. For others, it's a robust telephony solution that incorporates existing telephone technology with a commercial VOIP vendor.

With that in mind, the Technology Committee has created a working group that will be gathering information on VOIP and its applications within member libraries.

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Peripherals

Will SCLS support microfilm reader printers?

Currently, most microfilm reader printers get support from their vendors. We would anticipate that this model would continue in the future.

Will SCLS support barcode scanners?

SCLS will continue to support the current barcode equipment purchased through SCLS.

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Other Devices

I have my iPAD and I want to take it out into the stacks and look stuff up. Will I be able to do that?

Yes, SCLS will be providing wireless service for both public wireless Internet access as well as Staff wireless Internet access. Currently, we are working on creating a service plan that will detail the level of support we will be providing to mobile devices such as iPads and Netbooks.

Will we be able to connect wireless devices to Koha?

Yes, since Koha is a web-based service, you will be able to connect via an Internet connection, including wireless connections.

Will SCLS support and manage the purchase of other devices?

Currently, we are working on creating a service plan that will detail the level of support we will be providing to mobile devices such as iPads and Netbooks.

 

 

For more information about the SCLS network, contact Vicki Teal Lovely.