By: Lara Delengowski
CCC Journalism Program

Blackwood – Beginning in the fall 2010 semester, students must show a valid college ID during peak computer hours.

The computers located at the Camden County College Blackwood campus library are in high demand. Hundreds of students are in and out of the building every day, using the computers for everything from Facebook and Youtube to academic research.

“During any time in between classes, I can be found at the library most likely doing homework or research on the computers,” second year student Danielle Trout said.

With the computers meeting such high traffic volumes, many students were surprised if not shocked when the new computer policy began.

Students must show valid ID and be logged on to the computers by a lab aid during the peak hours of 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday through Friday, to use the computers in the research commons area located on the first floor

The new policy left many asking why.

Miriam Mlynarski interim director of CCC Blackwood library said the policy was started because statistics showed that 60 percent of the requests for assistance at the library reference desk were printing/computing questions.

In response to this data and to support this need, lab aides were hired to work in the research commons area of the CCC library, she said.

The goals of the new policy is to give more assistance to students’ academic needs, and to support their computing and research needs while still being consistent with computer polices already in existence.

Improvements to the current computer usage policy have benefits that allow students better access to the computers during peak hours, while giving librarians a greater opportunity to assist students with research and assignments.

“Checking IDs is a policy of the third floor computer lab,” Mlynarsky said. “To be consistent with policies regarding use of computers in the building, the aides follow a similar policy in the research commons area.”

According to Mlynarsky, students have been cooperative with the policy and have seemed to accept it well.

Issues only tend to arise when students do not have their college IDs and are unaware of the computers available on other floors. Complaints have been made and are being taken into consideration with this pilot policy, she said.

Students have found the policy to be annoying and a hassle.

“The policy itself doesn’t bother me too much, but it’s the waiting to sign in and having to show ID,” Janelle Santos said. “I just want to go in and do what I need to do on the computers and not be bothered.”

Another student, Michael Lang said, “I hate having to show ID to surf the internet or go on Facebook, if I don’t need library assistance why do I have to show ID.”

“I love the new policy and the fact that there are more free computers for students who are actually doing school work, and not just playing around in between classes,” Trout said,

This new policy not only helps accommodate CCC students at the research common area but it also gives them better access to the library staff and online research tools when they most need it. Mlynarsky said.

“Students have access to computers, library online research tools, librarians, and resources when most needed,” she said.

Mlynarski said the new policy will continue until May 2011, when it will be reevaluated.

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