University Information Services opened its third service desk on the third floor of Lauinger Library last Wednesday after a three-month pilot program. The walk-up desk will be the third of its kind, joining a walk up desk in St. Mary’s Hall and a 24-hour call-in desk.

The desk will be open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends.

“The added walk-up service option that we’re putting in Lauinger for students, faculty and staff will be helpful in providing them the service they need,” Lisa Davis, chief information officer, said. “Our UIS service desk re[solves] technical support for all issues.”

The service desk will be able to address most student needs regarding university technology issues. However, students will have to call the 24-hour help desk for password reset due to privacy concerns.

According to Jennifer Smith, Coordinator of Communications, Outreach and Programming at Lauinger, library staff and Information Services had been working together during the implementation of h.print last year. Because various issues with the software arose during the implementation of that program, library staff requested an increased UIS presence.

“Because it was such a big transition, we decided together that it would be helpful to have UIS on the ground here,” Smith said. “That’s when they set up the pilot.”

In addition, Davis explained that multiple technological issues were being reported to the Lauinger circulation desk, which is unequipped to deal with them.

“A lot of these issues were being escalated to the Lauinger reference desk,” Davis said. “We had continual service issues with printer support to restock the paper, paper jams [and] assisting students with basic printing questions.”

The pilot system, which lasted three months, allowed UIS to determine if a new location would prove useful for the university community. According to Davis, the program tested the demand for the desk as well as the student response.

“Within two days the Lauinger staff reported to us that they had already seen a significant reduction in the number of technology questions,” Davis said of the pilot. “That was already a positive outcome.”

Davis said that the desk received about 688 requests for help during that three-month span, which was a larger number than UIS expected. Due to the high volume, the need for the desk was confirmed.

“We felt that number justified a need to put in a walk-up service desk,” Davis said.

Other than the addition of a few outlets next to the service desk, there are no extra costs that will be incurred by the university, Davis said. One student working at the St. Mary’s location was reassigned to the Lauinger desk but Davis did not indicate how many other students are currently employed at the desk alongside the transferred student.

According to Smith, the partnership between UIS and Lauinger has gone well for the past three months.

“We’re very happy to have them here,” Smith said. “We’re all about providing the best service possible, and having them here makes it easier to provide service, particularly for printing.”

Davis said she is eager to work more frequently and closely with Lauinger staff in the future.

“What we always strive to do is improve our customer service,” Davis said. “[At Lauinger] we are meeting [students’ and faculties’] needs and providing the best service that we can.”

Aditya Pande (SFS ’18) was supportive of the decision to add the new desk to the library.

“This makes it really convenient now when I’m in the library to have some place to go to fix my computer problems,” Pande said. “There hasn’t been a technology help center that has been as convenient as this one.”

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