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Computers are unreliable at some
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"It would be difficult to overstate the effect this is having on both the patrons and the staff," Sands said.
A top LSLC official countered by saying the city library causes its own problems because of its heavy drain on bandwidth. Even so, he said, the issue will be resolved.
Sands raised the issue during a
"As the person responsible for library operations, I have great concerns about the frequent and ongoing technical problems," she told the board.
"These problems have a serious and negative impact on patrons, a serious and negative impact on library staff and a serious and negative impact on the library's image in
She was particularly upset during a recent outage when members of the
"There was no resolution or real response," she said. "We were in crisis mode. As customers of the library system, we find this untenable."
Sands asked system board members if they were aware of the problem and, if so, what steps they'll take to correct it.
Board members made no response, moving without comment to the next item on the agenda.
The lack of response - or even an acknowledgment of the problem - left Sands fuming.
Now, city library officials are wondering if they can get the portion of state allocations spent on technology services and shop around for their own IT vendor.
Under the current arrangement, state funds for library services go to the system, which decides how to distribute those funds to member libraries.
Part of the deal, Sands said, is the system handles technology issues for those libraries.
"Look at it like any other business, where we tell a vendor, 'This is a problem. Fix it or you're fired,'" she said.
"Our circulation system has been, for the past month or so, freezing up and then crashing," Sands said during an interview last week. "When that happens, we are unable to check items in, renew items, check patron accounts, have patrons pay fines, place holds for patrons - which is how we get items that are not currently available or at another location - or issue library cards."
It's not uncommon, she said, for the network to be down a day or two at a time.
"When the system is up, it's often very slow," she added. "It can take two minutes to open a page for a patron's account.
"When you have a line, that can get bad. People get impatient - they have yelled at our staff."
The city library has 60 public-use computers, plus 15 each at the Leola and Mountville branches. Those, too, often are offline, Sands said.