Proposal

Introduction

Proposal ID 2015-044
Submitted January 16, 2015
Owner akh368
Department University Libraries
Category Computer Labs
Funding Status Fully Funded
Metric Score 4.25

Contacts

Primary
  • Name
  • Title
  • Email
  • Phone
  • Mailbox
  • Aimee Hirahara
  • Program Operations Specialist
  • akh368@uw.edu
  • 206-221-3793
  • Box 352900
Budget
  • Name
  • Title
  • Email
  • Phone
  • Mailbox
  • Kathleen Larson
  • Director, Financial Services Office of University Libraries
  • klarson@uw.edu
  • 206-685-1472
  • Box 352900
Dean
  • Name
  • Title
  • Email
  • Phone
  • Mailbox
  • Lizabeth (Betsy) Wilson
  • Dean of University Libraries
  • betsyw@uw.edu
  • 206-543-1763
  • Box 352900

Descriptions

Abstract

The University Libraries requests funding to replace 324 existing Student Technology Fee-funded workstations (known as AccessPlus computers), along with 168 monitors. We are proposing to replace this equipment, which has begun to exhibit hardware failures due to age and heavy usage, to improve functionality for users and create hardware uniformity throughout our spaces.

Category Justification

Category: Computer Labs

The UW Libraries currently maintains 324 computer workstations open to all UW students throughout 9 branches of the Libraries. 256 workstations are spread out among general access spaces within the Libraries’ branches and are available during the Libraries’ business hours. The remaining 68 computers are housed in 3 designated labs - the GIS and Suzzallo Instruction labs in Suzzallo Library, and the Engineering Library Instruction Center - which are available on a drop-in basis whenever those Libraries are open, except when classes are being taught in the lab. The workstations provide access to productivity and some specialized software. A complete list of software is available at http://www.lib.washington.edu/services/computers/access.

Background

The UW Libraries is an international leader in imagining, creating, and realizing the promise of the 21st century academic research library. We are an educational technology leader and are committed to providing an excellent student experience at the UW. We are continually seeking new and more effective ways to leverage resources to meet learning needs of students both on campus and remotely. Library technologies, facilities, and expertise enable students to actively engage with information at their point of need.

The partnership between UW Libraries and the Student Technology Fee enables us to provide students reliable technology spaces where every student has access to a computer on campus. Our various branch locations are open to the general student population and are a popular location for studying and productivity. In fact, during the previous academic year, the UW Libraries saw an average of 77,000 visitors per week. Our unique combination of open access and location popularity allows the Libraries to satisfy the student demand for general access computing. Library computers consistently rank as an important Libraries’ provided service to students in our library surveys, and in the most recent survey, students commented frequently that newer/faster/more computers would greatly improve the library for them. Our metrics for Fiscal Year 2013-2014 (July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2014) support this assertion:

Total Computer Logins: 355,136
Total Unique Computer Users: 50,042

In addition to standard productivity software, these computers make a variety of specialized software, such as ArcGIS and the STF-funded SPSS and Adobe Acrobat Professional, widely available to students. These applications would otherwise be unavailable to students, not only due to cost, but hardware limitations.

However, due to age and frequent use, these older machines often suffer hardware failures, making them unavailable for use. This problem is exacerbated because the machines are outside the manufacturer’s warranty and simply replacing parts on these machines is not only costly, but an unsustainable practice for our department. Monitors in many locations were not replaced during the last replacement cycle and, being over 8 years in age, have started failing regularly. We have been able to resolve this temporarily by replacing them with surplus monitors, but their quality, size and age vary. The surplus monitors are often smaller in size and of lower quality than what was previously installed, which degrades the image quality that the computers are capable of displaying.

Benefits to Students and the University

In a recent library survey, students, especially undergraduates, ranked library computers as being an important service to them. The AccessPlus workstations have been a great asset to UW students and fulfill an important student need. However, in that same survey, there were numerous complaints about the current workstations and the amount of time it takes to log-in to the machine. The older computers can take anywhere from 3 to 5 minutes to log-in, which negates the usefulness of these machines to many students. These workstations are frequently used by students to check email or edit and print papers on their way to class, but they are often disregarded by many because of the log-in issue. Upgrading to newer hardware would greatly improve this functionality as testing has proven it would decrease log-in time to 30-40 seconds, a 90% reduction in wait time.

In addition, current equipment in several spaces are older than the rest our fleet; some are at least 7 years old. Many of the applications installed require greater processing power than is possible on a budget friendly machine. By upgrading the hardware, the University Libraries will be able to provide a ubiquitous and more consistent technology experience across campus where students no longer have to seek out a particular lab or space to complete their assignment. The Libraries believes that providing students with excellent resources–including spaces for learning and collaboration, robust technology, and access to outstanding information resources–is critical for student success.

In order to provide students access to expensive engineering software not otherwise included in the Libraries’ standard image, we are planning a joint management effort with computer support staff from the College of Engineering for the machines housed in the Engineering Library Instruction Center. Libraries Information Technology Services staff will manage the hardware deployment and repair while College of Engineering computer support staff will install engineering-specific software and manage the lab on a day-to-day basis. The ELIC space and hardware remain assigned to the University Libraries. This cooperative effort is an innovative way to meet student needs while sharing workload across IT units on campus.

Departmental Endorsements

I am writing in support of the Libraries STF proposal in general, and specifically for the computers they plan to replace in the Engineering Instruction (ELIC) student lab. Every student at the UW needs access to computers whether it is to check mail, or develop a class presentation. The library computers are the go-to place for most of these students. Having a reliable, well maintained computer they can depend on for their course work is a must. The aging computers in the different UW libraries need to be kept up to date to meet the student's needs.

I'd like to specifically call out that part of the proposal concerning the replacement of computers in the Engineering libraries ELIC lab. I've agreed to collaborate with the libraries to manage the software on those computers once they are upgraded. The standard image deployed across all the libraries does not contain all the expensive software often needed by engineering students and others. The software is too expensive to deploy campus wide. I've agreed to purchase and install additional software such as Matlab, Maple, Ansys, Simio, and Solidworks. These are software titles I've heard requested by students.

I am specifically targeting the 2,000 pre-engineering students who need access to engineering software, but since they have not yet been admitted to an engineering department, don't have access to department labs. While targeting pre-engineers, this student lab and software, will be available to all students across campus.

David Fray
Director Departmental Computing
College of Engineering

-------------------------

I’m pleased to offer my full endorsement and support of the University of Washington Libraries’ proposal to replace several student computer workstations and monitors in the nine branch library locations on campus.

The branch locations of the UW Libraries provide the students of the University of Washington with many opportunities to utilize powerful and useful technology and the student workstations in these locations are heavily utilized during library hours. The campus community takes full advantage of these resources and it is important to ensure that the user experience and ease of use in the branch locations matches that of the other library spaces. The replacement of these workstations will provide a large improvement to the speed and functionality of the workstations that are available in these locations. By serving the entire UW student population with these computers, the UW Libraries are in a unique position to truly exemplify the spirit of the Student Technology Fee.

UW Information Technology is proud to consider the UW Libraries as a highly collaborative and innovative partner in our efforts to provide the highest quality technological experiences and opportunities to the students we support.

Nate McKee
Director, Learning Technologies
UW Information Technology

-------------------------

I am pleased to write in support of the Libraries' STF request to refresh and enhance computing resources for students. The proposal, which requests funding for new computers and monitors to be distributed throughout many of the Libraries on campus, will support a core need for access to up-to-date computing. The newer equipment will allow for much faster log-in times (30-45 seconds vs. 3-5 minutes), thus addressing an issue frequently raised by students in the Libraries' surveys. The Libraries provides access to computing resources for all students and upgrading these resources is key to providing a convenient and efficient way for students to get their work
done while on campus.

Thank you for your consideration of this proposal.

Cynthia Fugate
Associate Dean for Research and Instructional Services
University of Washington Libraries
Box 352900
206.221.0541

Installation Timeline

The equipment purchase and installation will be completed by Autumn Quarter 2015.

Resources Provided by Department

The Libraries employs 1 full-time Help Desk Manager, 1 Computer Support Analyst and a team of part-time students who provide computing support. They will provide deployment and hardware support services for the installations. End-user support will be provided in person by on-site librarians and online via email.

Regarding the 17 machines in the Engineering Library Instruction Center, the College of Engineering computer support staff, consisting of 4 full time staff will manage the lab and install specialized software in addition to other standard packages already on the computers.

Access Restrictions (if any)

All UW students with a current UW NetID will have access to these machines. The majority of the workstations will be dispersed over 9 libraries and hours vary by building. Whenever the libraries are open, the equipment will be accessible.

The monitors will be installed in locations that weren’t upgraded during the last cycle, which includes Suzzallo/Allen, Music and Engineering.

Computers will be deployed in the following libraries: Art (12), Built Environments - Gould (5), Drama - Hutchinson (6), East Asia - Gowen (8), Engineering (14), Foster Business - PACCAR (53), Mathematics Research - Padelford (4), Music (17) and Suzzallo/Allen (137).

The remaining 68 workstations will be used in the GIS Lab (21) and Suzzallo Instruction Lab (30) located in Suzzallo/Allen and the Engineering Library Instruction Center (17) in the Engineering Library. The computers will be available on a drop-in basis whenever those Libraries are open, except when classes are being taught in the lab.

Student Endorsements

I am an off-campus commuter. Though I have a laptop that works well for simple tasks, like taking notes, I also need something that I can use during my downtime between classes to get real work done. I like having a solid, quick system that I can jump on to do homework between classes. Faster/newer equipment would allow me to do that more quickly and with less time spent waiting for the computers to catch up. Furthermore, I am seeing a lot more smaller, older monitors circulate through the campus libraries; larger screens would help to multitask or see multiple things at once.

Jason Schriver
Freshman/Sophomore
Computer Engineering / Chemistry

-------------------------

I am often on a tight schedule, so a faster computer and a larger screen would help me get my work done a lot easier.

Geoffrey Liu
Junior/Senior
CSE

-------------------------

I use the library computers for all kinds of uses. Doing homework, collaborating on projects, preparing for after graduation...New computer equipment definitely help me do my academic work more efficiently.

Leah Kim
Other
Informatics

-------------------------

I typically log onto the Access+ PCs when I have about a 30~40 minute break between classes to do a little work. Between a job, full class schedule, and research, these little breaks are vital for me to get stuff done. However, whenever I log onto the Access+ PCs, I always end up having to wait about 5 minutes to finally get onto my account. This is detrimental to my use of time, and believe that an update of these computers would be extremely beneficial. Also, I work at the library, and often times see students frustrated because they cannot print a document within the 10 minute break they have between classes. By the time they have logged on, they would be late for class. Please update these computers. They are well-used, and thousands of students will be so thankful.

Kasumi Maeda
Junior/Senior
International Studies

-------------------------

Suzzallo for various reasons is my preferred area to study in, chief among which is the quieter and more private atmosphere. That being said, the slow wait times and outdatedness of the computers have essentially made it better worth my time to just bring my own laptop to the library. This is an adequate solution for me, but for other students with similar needs as mine who may not have the financial resources to own their own laptop, this is a serious access issue. Just based on the numbers of people I see logged on to the Access+ computers on a daily basis there quite evidently a need for these resources, so I believe they would be well worth the investment of our STF funds.

Adam Lathrop
Graduate/Professional
Library and Information Science

Items

Group Funded Item Unit price Quantity Subtotal
Computer

HP UW Desktop Package C

$824.00 324 $266,976.00
Description

1 x Core i7 4790 / 3.6 GHz, 8 GB RAM, HDD 500 GB, DVD SuperMulti, HD Graphics 4600, GigE

Justification

These computers will replace older machines throughout the Libraries and have the necessary processing power and memory to run the software we provide to the students.

Monitors

HP EliteDisplay E221i

$178.10 168 $29,920.80
Description

LED monitor, 21.5", 1920 x 1080, 250 cd/m2, 1000:1, 4000000:1 (dynamic), 8 ms, VGA, DVI-D, DisplayPort

Justification

These monitors will replace failing displays in the Libraries and are of similar technical specifications to the previous STF-funded equipment.

None

Sales tax

$28,205.20 1 $28,205.20
Description

As calculated on the Washington State Dept of Revenue site.

Justification

Tax

Total requested: $325,102.00

Total funded: $325,102.00

Group Funded Item Change in Unit price Change in Quantity Change in Subtotal
Monitors

HP EliteDisplay E221i

$1.94 0 $325.92
Description

LED monitor, 21.5", 1920 x 1080, 250 cd/m2, 1000:1, 4000000:1 (dynamic), 8 ms, VGA, DVI-D, DisplayPort

Justification

These monitors will replace failing displays in the Libraries and are of similar technical specifications to the previous STF-funded equipment.

None

Sales tax

$526.76 0 $526.76
Description

As calculated on the Washington State Dept of Revenue site.

Justification

Tax

DisplayPort cables

$13.26 156 $2,068.56
Description

Justification

These cables will be used to update the older, but still in use HP monitors in the Libraries to connect to the new, more powerful computers. These monitors are currently using old VGA or DVI on each machine and updating the cables would provide students with a consistent experience on all computers in the Libraries.

Supplemental request: $2,921.24

Deicision: Funded

Group Funded Item Change in Unit price Change in Quantity Change in Subtotal

Supplemental request: $0.00

Deicision: Funded

Group Funded Item Unit price Quantity Subtotal
Computer

HP UW Desktop Package C

$824.00 324 $266,976.00
Description

1 x Core i7 4790 / 3.6 GHz, 8 GB RAM, HDD 500 GB, DVD SuperMulti, HD Graphics 4600, GigE

Justification

These computers will replace older machines throughout the Libraries and have the necessary processing power and memory to run the software we provide to the students.

Monitors

HP EliteDisplay E221i

$180.04 168 $30,246.72
Description

LED monitor, 21.5", 1920 x 1080, 250 cd/m2, 1000:1, 4000000:1 (dynamic), 8 ms, VGA, DVI-D, DisplayPort

Justification

These monitors will replace failing displays in the Libraries and are of similar technical specifications to the previous STF-funded equipment.

None

Sales tax

$28,731.96 1 $28,731.96
Description

As calculated on the Washington State Dept of Revenue site.

Justification

Tax

DisplayPort cables

$13.26 156 $2,068.56
Description

Justification

These cables will be used to update the older, but still in use HP monitors in the Libraries to connect to the new, more powerful computers. These monitors are currently using old VGA or DVI on each machine and updating the cables would provide students with a consistent experience on all computers in the Libraries.

Overall total funded: $328,023.24

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