Questionnaire - public access workstations

Questionnaire to CAUL
Library public access workstations
Message sent:
Dear colleagues
We are in the process of compiling a tender for new public workstations used to provide
access to the Library catalogue, databases and other networked services. We currently
have IBM thin client technology with Windows NT operating system.
The thin client solution has been generally successful and has enabled us to control and
update software more efficiently. We have had some problems providing access to some
databases and have been forced to retain stand alone PCs in some locations. Our main
concern has been the dependence on IBM to install new versions of software and the
added costs of configuring the system for databases which use variant operating
I would be most appreciative if you could provide responses to the following questions.
We will, of course, provide a summary for your future delectation.
What workstations are used? (eg PCs, thin client, terminals)
USYD : 290 IBM thin clients, 60 PCs (for databases which cannot be accessed
from thin clients)
ANU : In public access areas PCs are in use at present for Library catalogue,
databases and other
networked services. There a few WYSE terminals dedicated to catalogue access only.
However, we are planning to provide access to all Library services from all access points
in the Information Commons irrespective of hardware platform or operating
UNSW: Current: 150 PCs, networked but not centrally managed, security
software Fortres100 used, configuration/image distributed locally via CDROM; 55 textbased terminals; further 30 PCs & 15 Macs in 4 small computer labs
Planned: 250-300 PCs similar config/management as above; no text-based terminals;
possible addition of further lab
Murdoch: Primarily PCs, still some terminals for catalogue access only. We
had previous experience with thin client but were not happy with the
performance at the time.
Deakin: PC's 122
UOW: 60 thin-clients (NCD Thinstars, 8mb RAM, Windows CE on
Win2K Servers); 80 PCs authenticated against Win2K servers
100 Tektronix/NCD thin clients with Citrix
100 Sun Ray Thin clients
55 PCs for databases and Microsoft Office applications
5? PCs for users with disabilities
VUT: 120 PCs and 20 terminals
U. Newcastle: Sun Ray - networked computers (25 with 50 being ordered for
2002 to replace remaining text only terminals) and server for catalogue and databases.
Novell networked PCs
CQU: Approx 90 PCs - most are Pentium III's
QUT: Laboratories - 438 PCs Public Access Workstations - 66 PCs + 31 HP
ThinStars (to be migrated to all HP ThinStars this year) Training Rooms - 74 PCs
UNE: 47 PCs , 2 PCs for cdrom databases that are not networked.
UNISA: 200 internet connected PCs under Windows NT. 50 of these are
limited to the University IP range (primary use is as catalogue)
LTU : 210 PCs (Various configurations and ages)
NTU: 32 PCs, 10 terminals
USQ: 12 thin clients (catalogue only); 29 PCs
UWA: 55 PCs of which 20 have some standalone CD ROM databases installed as
RMIT: University: over 300 pcs & around 30Macs
BOND: 24 Sun Microsystems "Sunrays"; PCs 44
Uni of Melb: 292 PCs, 39 terminals, 8 Macs
UQ: All PC's - Compaq Deskpro PII; HP Vectra VLi8 PIII ; Digital PII
What services are provided?
USYD: email , Internet (Internet Explorer and Netscape), catalogue, databases,
Microsoft Office (selected sites only), Microsoft Office viewers (word, excel,
powerpoint), Adobe Acrobat viewer, Endnote (PCs only), SciFinder Scholar (PCs only)
ANU: Email, Internet (Internet Explorer and Netscape), catalogue, databases,
Microsoft Office (limited access), Microsoft Office viewers (word, excel, powerpoint),
Adobe Acrobat viewer, Endnote.
UNSW: email , Internet (Internet Explorer and Netscape), catalogue,
databases, Microsoft Office viewers (word, excel, powerpoint), Adobe Acrobat viewer,
SciFinder Scholar,
Microsoft Office (selected non-networked PCs, and in one lab), Endnote (selected PCs
Murdoch: Internet - (Various versions of IE and Netscape) which includes
catalogue, databases, Office (some machines only), Office viewers (all other
machines), Adobe Viewer, Endnote, Scifinder, Norton antivirus corporate
edition, Foolproof for security.
Deakin: Internet (Internet Explorer and Netscape), catalogue,
databases,Microsoft Office,
(word, excel, powerpoint), Adobe Acrobat viewer, Endnote , SciFinder Scholar
UOW: email , Internet (Internet Explorer only),
catalogue, databases, Microsoft Office (all PCs), Adobe Acrobat viewer,
Endnote (some PCs only), SciFinder Scholar (some PCs only), usual plugins for
browser (Realplayer, Quicktime); Winzip, Roxio CD burning software (only
on PCs fitted with CD-RW drives)
email, Internet (Netscape), catalogue, databases, Microsft office on selected PCS,
Acrobat reader, Scifinder scholar (on selected PCs)
VUT: email , Internet (Netscape), catalogue, databases, Microsoft Office
(selected sites only), Microsoft Office viewers (word, excel, powerpoint), Adobe
Acrobat viewer
U. Newcastle: Sun Rays: Netscape & plugins.
Novell networked PCs : Same as core software available in all public access Labs on
campus - MS Office, Endnote SciFinder, networked cdroms, statistical software, etc an extensive list.
CQU: Internet (Internet Explorer and Netscape),
catalogue, databases, Microsoft Office (selected sites only - Word,
Excel, PowerPoint), Microsoft Office viewers (word, excel,
powerpoint), Adobe Acrobat viewer, Endnote, SciFinder Scholar
QUT: Laboratories - email, Internet (IE and Netscape), catalogue, databases,
Microsoft Office, Adobe Acrobat Reader, EndNote, SciFinder Scholar, Citrix ICA Client
for accessing databases networked using Terminal Server. Public Access PCs - email,
Internet (catalogue, databases) Training Rooms - as for labs
UNE: email, Internet (Netscape only) catalogue, databases, Microsoft Office (in
Training Lab only)
UNISA: email , Internet (Internet Explorer), catalogue, databases,
Microsoft Office viewers (word, excel, powerpoint), Adobe Acrobat viewer,
LTU: email , Internet (Internet Explorer), catalogue, databases, Microsoft
Office (selected PCs only), Microsoft Office viewers (word, excel, powerpoint), Adobe
Acrobat viewer, SciFinder Scholar (2 PCs only, Audio Access (Selected PCs only for
online access to Video and audio files)
NTU: email, Internet (IE and Netscape), catalogue, MS Office, Adobe Acrobat
USQ: email , Internet (Internet Explorer and Netscape), catalogue, databases,
Microsoft Office (some PCs) Adobe Acrobat viewer, Endnote(some PCs only)
UWA: Internet (Internet Explorer), catalogue, databases, Microsoft Office
viewers (word, excel, powerpoint), Adobe Acrobat viewer, Quicktime player and Flash
RMIT University: email , Internet (Internet Explorer and Netscape),
web catalogue, databases, Microsoft Office, Adobe Acrobat viewer, Endnote, & other
specialist software recommended by academic staff & students; access to student's
Faculty "home" directories. Also provide access to scanners, zip drives, networked
printers (including colour printing) & staff supervised cd burners.
BOND: student email, student servers, internet (Netscape and Explorer)
catalogue, databases, Microsoft Office.
Uni of Melb: Varies with site or machine but may include:
email , Internet (Internet Explorer and Netscape), catalogue, databases, Microsoft
Office, Microsoft
Office viewers (word, excel, powerpoint), Adobe Acrobat viewer and writer, Endnote ,
Real Player, QuickTime (+Pro), Flash, Photoshop, iMovie, Scanning (hardware and
software), Dreamweaver, Desktop sharing .
UQ: email, Internet (IE & Netscape), Library and website (including
Catalogue), Microsoft Office 2000 & Endnote 5 bundled (selected
workstations), MS Office Viewers, Adobe Acrobat viewer, Adobe
Acrobat Distiller (selected workstations), SciFinder Scholar, other
PC based databases
SWINBURNE: email, Internet (Internet Explorer and Netscape), catalogue,
databases, Microsoft Office (all sites), Acrobat and other plug-ins, and in some cases
more specialised software. At Swinburne the library provides an open access general
purpose computing facility (i.e. computer lab) at four of the five campuses. Note also
that 40 of the PCs are provided in training rooms, but all training rooms are available for
general use when not booked for training.
3. Is a standard suite of services available from all workstations or are there
dedicated workstations for selected services?
USYD: Microsoft Office only available at some workstations, Endnote and
Scifinder Scholar only available on PCs
ANU: The plan is to move towards providing full access to all information
resources within the Commons from all publicly accessible systems and manage access to
these resources based on the user's role in the organisation.
UNSW: Current: standard service available on all 150 PCs as well as lab
workstations. Only variations are Wordprocessing & Endnote, and text-based terminals.
Planned: all 250-300 PCs will have standard services; wordprocessing & Endnote
variations will remain for foreseeable future, likewise labs
Murdoch: mostly standard, with one lab with Office, and dedicated
workstations for CJK access and cdata access
Deakin: All Machines are configured the same
UOW: Common desktop for PCs and thin-clients throughout,
except for Endnote and Roxio CD burning (available on some PCs)
Standard suite on Citrix thin clients:- Netscape, Acrobat, MS Office viewers
Standard suite on SunRays:- Netscape, Acrobat
VUT: Microsoft Office only available at some workstations, email also limited to
some workstations.
U. Newcastle: Standard suite for each system in item 2 above.
CQU: 34 have all software listed above installed, 46 have same as
above except for Office software, 11 have IE & Navigator only.
QUT: Any licensed software is only available from authenticated PCs. Printing is
currently not available from unauthenticated PCs, but this will be rectified by providing
the option to authenticate in the near future.
UNE: Microsoft Office only available on PCs in Training Lab
UNISA: Adaptive technology (Zoomtext), some Multimedia resources and
CDATA restricted to 3 PCs per campus.
LTU : Microsoft Office only available at some PCs and Scifinder Scholar only
available on 2 PCs Standalone CD-ROM databases only on 5 PCs Audio facilities only on
20 PCs
NTU: email, Internet, MS Office, Adobe Acrobat available on most PCs,
except for 5 PCs in Kiosk mode locked down to catalogue access only
USQ: Thin Clients for Web catalogue access only; 9 PCs for database
access; 6 PCs for Internet access; 12 PCs for word processing; 2 standalone
PCs for dtabases which cannot be networked.
UWA: The services described in 2 above are available on all workstations.
RMIT University: The pcs are divided into 2 categories: 1. access to web
catalogue. 2. every other pc has access to the suite under question 2 . There are far
more pcs in category 2.
BOND: 10 dedicated email workstations; 13 dedicated OPACS; 8 dedicated Law
Library Research only (databases) workstations.
Uni of Melb: [ Largely] dedicated workstations for selected services;
Some machines catalogue only [telnet of webpac]
Some machines mainly for accessing databases [but will include catalog, e-mail]
Some machines for multimedia activities. These are as above but also have some or all of
Microsoft Office, Acrobat Writer/Reader, Real Player, QuickTime (+Pro), Flash,
Photoshop, iMovie, Scanning (hardware and software), Dreamweaver, Desktop sharing
(when machines used in teaching activities), EndNote
UQ: All workstations get Library website (including web and telnet
catalogue). Microsoft Office & Endnote are bundled together and
available at selected workstations, including all training rooms.
Some databases available only in specific branches.
SWINBURNE: We are moving to a more standard approach. At present there
are some separate machines dedicated to catalogue access (64 and falling). Some higher
powered machines are used for applications which require high RAM.
How are workstations managed and supported?
USYD: IBM are contracted to manage all aspects of the service although the
Library IT help desk is involved in recording and diagnosing problems before reporting
them to IBM.
ANU: All systems and services are managed internally by the Systems and
Desktop Services group. Problems are reported to the DoI helpdesk for resolution.
UNSW: Current: Library IT Support Unit provides all maintenance and support.
Standard Configuration developed/revised by IT & Information/Reference staff.
Planned: support/maintenance will remain within Library
Murdoch: Library IT helpdesk
Deakin: Learning Services' IT Support manage all machines, Active desktop is
configured, machines are locked down using policy editor only difference is single licence
products sit on one machine,(same numbered machine on each campus.) We are currently
discussing the possibility of the University's ITS Division taking over support of the
public access machines with a view to having all public computing facilities managed by
UOW: Library Systems manage all workstations, including server
configuration and maintenance.
Flinders: All supported by Library staff
VUT: VUT I.T. are contracted to resolve technical hardware,
or networking aspects of the service.
Library staff resolve database related software issues.
U.Newcastle: System admistrator staff of Communication and Information
Systems portfolio, University Services Division, support and implement both systems.
The Information Desks in the Libraries and computing Labs trouble-shoot and support
users. Education & Technology Services staff in the Education Services portfolio
support the technical setup and maintenance of all hardware & peripherals.
CQU: All supported by the Library's system section
QUT: Library Systems Group manage all Public Access and Training Room
Workstations and labs except for V Lab and the Researchers' Centre at GP. These are
managed by TALSS. Hardware support is outsourced to a Desktop Maintenance Group in
IT Services. Software images are currently managed using Ghost software, but we are
shortly to move to software known as REMBO which will allow greatly flexibility.
UNE: Primary support provided by internal library IT staff. Secondary support
provided by University IT Help Desk
UNISA: Library manage all aspects of the service
University IT Service responsible for network issues outside of library
LTU: At the Bundoora and Bendigo campuses the PCs are managed and supported
by the local Library Information Systems staff.
At the Albury/Wodonga Library they are supported by the Campus IT Services.
NTU: Information Technology Management and Support Division at NTU
responsible for software and network connection issues. PCs leased from
various companies which includes maintenance. Unicard contracted to run the printer
attached to workstations, but NTU does the rest.
USQ: Library has a Microcomputer Support Officer; USQ's Information
Terchnology Services provides backup and maintains Internet and word processing PCs
UWA: All workstations are managed and supported by Library IT staff.
RMIT University: hardware is leased as part of University sole supplier
agreement, third party maintenance is through the lease agreement; software is either
purchased through University licencing or in some cases by the Library. Library IT
staff are involved in managing & supporting at a site level & then also have contact with
third party maintenance supplier.
BOND: Library PC Support officer supports local troubleshooting and service,
local instalations of software. Information Technology Department handles
networking/server problems and major installations.
Uni of Melb: Managed by University through the Information Division [which
incudes library]. For sites away from Melbourne through Faculty local IT expert.
UQ: Hardware support for units under warranty is provided on-site
by engineers from the respective vendors. All other IT support
(software & hardware) is carried out by the Library IT staff and the
LITLOS (Library IT Liaison Officers), who are a specially trained
group operating across each branch and section
SWINBURNE: Library staff, including several specialist IT support staff,
provide first level support. University ITS staff provide next level support and also
organise installation, replacement, etc.
5. Is equipment leased or purchased?
USYD: leased over three years
ANU: Purchased with planned rollover every 3 years (platform dependant).
UNSW: Both. Although, moving back to outright purchase as provides more
flexibility and value for money.
Murdoch: purchased, with a 3 year rollover budgeted
Deakin: Currently a mixture of owned and leased over three years. We are
moving to all leased machines.
UOW: Purchased
Flinders: Purchased
VUT: Purchased
U. Newcastle: Leased over 3 yrs.
CQU: Originally leased, now being purchased due to changes to Qld Treasury
QUT: All equipment is purchased. PCs and servers are rolled over every three
years. A rollover schedule for thin client devices has yet to be determined.
UNE: purchased
UNISA: purchased
LTU: All current PCs for public access have been purchased
NTU: PCs leased over three years. Terminals owned.
USQ: purchased
UWA: All equipment is purchased.
RMIT University: leased over three years
BOND: Not specified in the reply.
Uni of Melb: Purchased
UQ: Purchased outright.
SWINBURNE: I am tempted to say yes. Some equipment is leased, some
purchased. In general TAFE funds are provided on the condition that equipment is
purchased; the University's preference and policy is to lease all IT equipment over three
to four years.
Are costs funded from the recurrent Library budget or by special grant?
USYD: all costs are met from recurrent operating funds
ANU: All costs are met from recurrent operating funds
UNSW: Both (additional 150+ library workstations will be funded from specific
one off system implementation fund).
Murdoch: recurrent Library budget
Deakin: Some capital costs have been funded by Major Equipment grants,
otherwise costs are funded from the recurrent Library budget
UOW: all costs are met from recurrent operating funds
Flinders: Mix of both
VUT: all costs are met from recurrent operating funds
U. Newcastle: University Infrastructure Development budget. The bids for
maintaining and implementing new IT equipment must be made against the University's
central expenditure on IT and communications each year.
CQU: Originally, most were acquired through special grant - now recurrent funds
QUT: Costs are met from the University's central funds for IT Infrastructure.
UNE: all costs are met from recurrent operating funds.
UNISA: all costs are met from recurrent operating funds
LTU: all costs are met from recurrent operating funds
NTU: all costs are met from recurrent operating funds
USQ: all costs are met from recurrent operating funds
UWA: Costs are funded from the recurrent Library budget.
RMIT University: all costs are met from recurrent operating funds
More details are available at
BOND: University funds.
Uni of Melb: Uni of Melb: all costs normally met from recurrent operating funds
UQ: All costs met from operating funds, although additional PCs
are sometimes bought from Development Funds or occasionally
some other source.
SWINBURNE: equipment purchase and lease costs are generally met from the
University's ITS and equipment budgets, not the library's. There are some exceptions printers and print stations in particular.
Other details:
ANU: The Library at ANU is now part of the Division of Information.
UNSW: We are moving to a new system & architecture, so will describe both current
and planned from end of 2002. Let me know if you need further
QUT Library responses to John Shipp's questionnaire below. Just to put them into
context, let me explain the situation at QUT. The Library has "public workstations"
which fall into three categories;
* Laboratory PCs in defined lab spaces and only available for the use of QUT members,
* Public Access workstations (actually a mix of PCs and HP ThinStar thin clients) which
do not require authentication and spread around the Library buildings, and
* Training Room PCs, which are for defined training purposes only except in the Law
Library where they are used as a lab overflow.
There is another department within our Division (Teaching & Learning Support Services
- TALSS), who are responsible for the provision of most of the University's central labs
(i.e. not Faculty labs). We are working towards a time when we will work collaboratively
with them on the provision of all central laboratory spaces. But at this point in time
they are running some, but not all of the labs which would have previously been at least
partially considered to be Library labs, notably the V Lab (321 PCs) and the
Researchers' Centre (56 PCs) at Gardens Point. I have included these significant PC
numbers in my response, because the reality is that they exist within the Library
building and students would believe them to be Library labs.
Researchers' Centres at our Gardens Point and Kelvin Grove campuses, are labs which
are only available to postgraduate research students and staff. They are recently
renovated and offer higher levels of comfort/space, but are otherwise technically
identical to other labs.
USQ'. Response herewith relates only to workstations provided by the
Library, not the general student labs which also of course allow access to
the network.
M. Davis
29 April 2002