Computers back on-line in library

By Jami Peterson

Students trying to complete their last-minute research papers can breath a sigh of relief, knowing the library computers are now ready and raring to go.

Although a temporary shut-down began Tuesday night, in no time at all the ILLINET on-line computers were running better than ever.

“They (the computers) are running and they’re actually running quite well,” said Computer Reference Services Coordinator Byron Anderson.

The shut-down, which lasted until Wednesday night, was a product of two separate problems with the mainframe computer system located at the University of Illinois and the telecommunications set-up.

Although the mainframe computer system was running smoothly by 7 p.m. Wednesday, the telecommunication system was not completely straightened out until 6 a.m. Thursday, Anderson said.

The telecommunications’ end of the problem reset itself some time between Wednesday night and Thursday morning, he said.

Elizabeth Titus, Information and Access Services associate director, said although this kind of thing happens, the library staff knows how to deal with it.

She said there are many other alternatives available, such as the card catalog and the OCLC terminal, for students to take advantage of. But because there is only one OCLC terminal, which catalogs current books, finding reference material can be “a little bit slower,” she added.

“If a student doesn’t have enough flexibility to come back (to the library) at an alternative time, reference librarians at the reference desks can assist them in some way and give them alternative options,” Titus said.

When the mainframe system goes haywire, it is a state-wide problem and every effort is made by the staff to notify U of I, she said. The computer programmers at U of I are quite aware when a problem occurs, because campuses state-wide are affected.