Campus News

Published by Communications and Public Affairs (519) 824-4120, Ext. 56982 or 53338

News Release

August 28, 2003

U of G library opens coffee bar, extends hours, adds services

McLaughlin Library at the University of Guelph is catering to students' needs by opening a coffee bar, extending its hours and offering new services, including a wireless network, a laptop rental program and a self-checkout station.

"Because the library is so central to the life of a university student, we want to provide U of G students with comforts and services that will help make their learning experience enjoyable," said chief librarian Michael Ridley.

Members of the university and general public are invited to the opening of the Williams coffee bar and lounge area on the main floor of the library Sept. 8 at 10 a.m. Free coffee will be served to the first 100 people.

Students can now also buy food, beverages and stationary supplies out of vending machines on the first floor of the library.

The food and beverage policy in the library has changed to allow people to eat and drink in all public and study locations except the archival and special collections section in the lower level. "We recognize that students spend many hours in the library and would enjoy an occasional beverage or snack while studying or doing group work without having the inconvenience of having to leave the building," said Ridley.

Beginning Sept. 8, McLaughlin will be open from 7 a.m. until 2 a.m. seven days a week. The Campus Safe Walk program will add a station in the library to serve students who are working late. Students can arrange a walk by calling Ext. 53200 or pressing the Safe Walk button on campus payphones.

A new wireless network allows students to access the library home page, including book and periodical information, from anywhere in McLaughlin. Instead of waiting in line to use a computer terminal for resource searches, students with the appropriate hardware can now sit anywhere in the library to conduct research. For more students to take advantage of the new system, 100 laptop computers will also be made available for student use in the library.

Wireless fidelity (WiFi) systems enable computers to communicate via radio waves from a base station. These radio waves have a radius of approximately 100 metres and can penetrate solid walls. The system will allow for very fast communication and will be encrypted to ensure that all communication is secure and private.

"This new WiFi system will unchain our students from desks and study carrels," said George Loney, library systems manager. "Students with laptops loaded with the appropriate LAN card will be able to connect anywhere in the library sitting on the floor, working in group study rooms. It gives them freedom, flexibility and mobility."

An 802.11b WiFi compliant wireless LAN card is required to connect to the wireless network. These cards can be purchased already installed in a new laptop and can be installed in some older models.

Library users will also be able to check out their own books using the new self-charge circulation unit in the library's circulation area later this fall.

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt (519) 824-4120, Ext. 53338, or Rachelle Cooper, (519) 824-4120, Ext. 56982.

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