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Public Services Steering Committee
May 4, 1999
Minutes

Members Present: Carol Turner, Carol Drum, Rich Bennett, David Hickey, LeiLani Freund, Gary Cornwell, Bill Covey, John Ashcraft, Tom Minton, Jan Swanbeck


1.    Public Machines
    The question was raised as to whether printers should be attached to the public machines in the stacks. Bill suggested that if printers were not needed, it might be good to use IMACs because they are all-in-one computers that can be easily secured. Another possibility would be to use small, low-end computers. Most of these are now priced below $1,000.

    Gary Cornwell asked if patrons would have access only  to  terminal  LUIS  with  no access to the web, or if they would  have  access to WebLUIS, in which  case  access to other parts of the  web would  need to be filtered out. A discussion   followed regarding  this matter.  One concern about patrons having access to  the web in  the stacks was  that those areas are not monitored and there would  be no control over  what the patrons did. Rich Bennett said that using terminal   LUIS rather  than WebLUIS could cause problems in keeping terminal LUIS up-to-date.


    Another concern was the amount of staff time the machines would require if web access were provided. John Ashcraft suggested setting the machines up to provide internet access and then switch it to terminal LUIS if the web access creates problems. He also suggested installing the computers with  web access this summer to see how often they were used and what problems arise.

     
2.    98 Upgrades
    John asked if Windows '98 needed to be installed all public machines. He said some of the older machines  don't have adequate RAM for  '98 and he wondered if the Windows '95 patch should be  put on those  computers to make them Y2K  compliant. Bill said he wasn't convinced that the patch worked.   He suggested leaving '95 on the old computers until they are replaced.  Leilani said all the computers in the classroom should be upgraded  at the same  time. Carol Turner said they would be replaced with the next shipment of new computers. Bill also said that the library would not be switching to Windows NT.
3.       Finals Week and Library Computers
Carol Turner announced that during finals week, library public computers were   used to create problems in at least three instances, including  one in which students were sent a false message that an exam had been cancelled.   She said the expectation is that we will have to provide some type of security   on the public machines from now on. Bill said that there are many anonymous  ways to access the web and the UF policy makers are not favor of anonymous   authentications. He said that people who have Gatorlink accounts can dial   in from home, using UF as their service provider and it will look like the   message is coming from the library.
Rich suggested finding out if there is a way to issue a pseudo-Gatorlink account that wouldn't let people access if from a remote site. Carol said the library needs to identify  who is using library accounts, although it  would be impossible to authenticate everyone.
Since the proxy server has been in place, the instances of email and chatting have decreased dramatically. Nothing is 100 percent  secure because even with the proxy server, people can still download Netscape and send email from that.
Everyone expressed concerns about having web-accessible machines in areas that were not supervised by staff.  It was suggested that computers be put on the third floor of Library West to see what happened.  If the emailing privileges are abused, the machines will be removed.
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