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Computer Software

Over the past several years, there has been a significant reduction in the level of IT support available to the Libraries, with a simultaneous increase in the amount of equipment and software requiring support. As a result, the Libraries are not able to accommodate all requests for software installation on the public computers. In general, the Libraries cannot support software installation for single users, assignments, or courses. 

As an alternative, the Libraries recommend consulting the Office of Information Technology about their Virtual Desktop Service. OIT may be able to set up a virtual computer with the software needed for your class or assignment, which students can log into remotely from the Libraries computers, or their own computer (including PCs, Macs, iOS, and Android devices).

The Libraries may consider requests for software installations that are expected to serve a wide variety of students and courses (e.g. upward of 100 launches on Libraries computers per semester). However, please keep in mind the following:

  • Requests should be made one month ahead of the date when you wish the software to be available, and are not guaranteed to be fulfilled.
  • Software must be licensed for a lab environment. Software cannot be installed using a trial license or individuals’ personal licenses.
  • In general, software offerings are kept uniform across Libraries public computers; Libraries are not able to install software on a subset of computers and “reserve” those computers for use by members of a specific class. Computers dedicated to specific purposes (for example, those in the Multimedia Lab and in the Music and Dance Library) may have unique software installed as appropriate to those purposes.
  • Since the Libraries’ public computers do not permanently store individual user data, software that can function only by storing user-specific data persistently on the local machine may not function as intended.
  • Temporary installations (e.g. for teaching a single session) are not supported.

For instructors seeking to accommodate a small minority of students who do not have access to their own computer, laptops are available for borrowing that permit temporary installation of user-owned software. See Laptops for more information.