Annual Report 2013
It is almost difficult to believe that it has been eighteen months since I began working at Lion. The past year has surely been a momentous one for the consortium, and I'm proud to have been a part of it. Lion seems to be growing with leaps and bounds through expansion of new services and the addition of new libraries, and I hope to continue growing my own services for the consortium with a strong relationship with staff, and an increasing level of attention to detail.
My primary goal at Lion has been to reduce the workload carried by Rick Widlansky and Matt Beardsley, allowing them to work on more intensive projects such as upgrading/replacing our email and web servers, or streamlining/diversifying library networks where appropriate. My main tasks have been to install new staff and circ-desk PCs purchased by Lion, and to maintain the public pcs on our annual update schedule, as well as general troubleshooting as necessary.
Throughout 2013, I have logged over 850 hours of on-site support at the libraries over the course of 113 work-order tickets. Of this, 26% of my time was devoted to updating the 187 public pcs assigned to me, and 10% of this was spent on installation of 21 new pcs as well as the redistribution of the computers they replaced. Perhaps most notable of on-site work was working with Matt to get the Acton Public Library ready to ‘go-live’. Other on-site¬ tasks spanned a wide range, from the mundane of troubleshooting basic printer problems to the more critical such as diagnosing network problems and failing hardware and virus removal. On several occasions I have worked to map library networks in preparation for installation of new routers or additional connections.
Some of my time at the Lion office has involved testing new software (i.e Windows 8 and 8.1, SmarterMail, and Reboot Restore RX) to determine its viability for real-world use, as well as assisting in its deployment, for instance, creating a visual guide to migrate staff email accounts to the new email server that was installed in March. I also made use of my background in graphic design to create up-to-date visuals for the wireless network splash screen at the Wallingford Public Library, and the newer patron desktop wallpaper that is now in use at roughly a third of Lion libraries. In the wake of recent issues with the Lion Mail Server, I worked with Rick to configure a backup mail server, which should provide a more stable experience going forward.
As always, my philosophy here at Lion has been mindful of the idiom, ‘teach a man to fish’; I strive to communicate with library staff about the computers I work on in language they understand so that they may better understand the root of the problem they are experiencing or discover more efficient ways to use their software. In 2014, I look forward continuing to provide this comprehensive support to the library staff, as well as working with Matt and Rick to pull our new libraries into the fold and continue updating our services.
Justin Strickland, Workstation Technician