The University of New Brunswick and St. Thomas University are continuing to meet for a solution to the recent changes in internet services at the Harriet Irving Library.
“We tried to work with UNB to find some solution and we are still going down that path,” said Jeffrey Carleton, director of communications for STU. “STU is involved, I.T. is involved and so are the librarians at the Harriet Irving Library. So, they’re now meeting to see what options they can look at- either short term options or a long term solution that can resolve this for our students.”
The recent changes, which took effect last week, no longer allows dual login for both UNB and STU students on approximately 40 computers in the library. However, STU students are able to access the wireless Internet on their laptops and personal devices.
“There are other computers at the library that are accessible, but these are the key computers in a very key location,” said Carleton. “They can access the other computers, they can print, they have wireless access, you can get access to all their resources on your laptop, smart phone or tablet. It’s just these particular computers aren’t accessible to St. Thomas students.”
Director of communications for UNB, Greg Carriere, says this issue is because of a change in software.
“UNB recently migrated its lab computers from Novell to Microsoft Active Directory. This change no longer allows us to use the same dual login method that was previously used,” said Carriere.
UNB’s decision to change its system was made to enhance user security and maintain budget costs.
“UNB chose to upgrade and modernize its internal network system to provide enhanced security, greater reliability and lower costs to maintain. This was part of UNB’s long-term strategic plan,” said Carriere.
Carleton understands the need for improved security but believes there is a place for STU within those modifications.
“UNB had some difficulties last year with their system security so they’ve upgraded their system, but security is a spectrum and if you want 100 per cent security on your system, don’t let anybody use it,” Carleton said. “But you can’t do that if you’re here to provide a service. On that spectrum we have to find a place for St. Thomas University.”
STU has no personal library and pays for students to use the HIL. This makes the HIL a major resource for STU students.
“It’s a serious issue for us,” said Carleton. “St. Thomas transfers $1.9 million a year to UNB for shared services, and of that amount, $1.5 million is dedicated for the library. We also know that STU students are significant users of the library.”
Laura McNutt is a fourth year student at STU. She is unhappy with the changes made and hopes to see it settled.
“I wish they had taken our internet usage and login accounts into consideration while making this change. The library is ours, just as much as it is for UNB students so leaving us without internet was a really bad move. Hopefully it is fixed as soon as possible,” said McNutt.
Until a decision is reached between UNB and STU, students are able to access regular wireless internet on all other computers and devices.
“You can’t sugar coat this, it is not an ideal situation so we are going to do everything we can to try and resolve it,” said Carleton.
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