New Public Computers in the Library

“We are”, says Eric Van de Velde, Director of Library Information Technology, “nearly finished replacing all public computers in our five branch libraries.  The new computers are powerful workstations with very nice 24” wide screens.” 


For those readers not familiar with this service, the Library currently provides the Caltech community with the following public computers:

  • 24 in the Sherman Fairchild Library (most of them are on the 1st floor)
  • 20 in Millikan Library (located in the basement, on the 1st and 3rd floors, and on floors 7, 8, and 9)
  • 3 in the Dabney Library
  • 2 public computers in the Astrophysics Library
  • 1 public computer in the Geology Library

All of the above public computers are accessible whenever the libraries are open.   Software loaded onto these computers includes, but is not limited to, Microsoft Office, Mathmatica, EndNote and MatLab.  Users can access email and browse the web.  All that is needed is an IMSS account.  “You can”, explains Shane Clarke, Hardware/Software Technician in the Library, “do just about anything you want and need to do.  If a student asks for a specific type of software to be loaded onto one of the public computers (such as Visual Studio), we do our best to accommodate them.  As long as there are no security violations we are usually happy to help.”  Each log-in computer screen provides Library IT contact information as well as how-to instructions for computer utilization. 

public pcs

Users have the added benefit of being able to print to any of the public printers located in the libraries.  There are 4 printers in the SFL, 5 in Millikan, 2 in Dabney, and 1 each in Astrophysics and Geology. 

The 50 new public computers will be able to accommodate any potential upgrades (both hardware and software) that are in the forecast for the next five years.  “Our new public computers not only have large screens, but as far as we know they are now the best public access computers on campus!” says Shane.