Monday, 17 June 2013

MyPC user group

Image by kerolic
Last month I attended a user group session for MyPC, held at Bournville College. I found the West Midlands user group session of 2012 (blogged here) to be very useful, and the same is to be said for the 2013 session. I left the session having made 6 pages of valuable notes and action points!

MyPC is a computer booking system, which allows optimal usage of computer resources. It allows learners to book in advance or drop-in, and runs reports outlining usage patterns. Several local colleges were represented and it was interesting to hear how we all use the software differently.

Topics discussed included:

·         Introducing laptops to MyPC

·         Utilisation reports

·         System problems / software issues

·         QR codes linking to mobile bookings

·         Availability monitor

·         Policy settings (eg relaxed times)

·         LMS integration (which I previously blogged about here)

Various issues were introduced which hadn’t occurred to me before, so by talking about MyPC to other librarians my awareness of related issues has increased. I hadn’t before considered whether the monitoring option is mentioned in the college’s Acceptable Use Policy, or making use of the ‘relaxed time’ policies. As a result of attending this session, the priority action point I would like to implement is the mobile booking module. It looked fairly simple to set up (famous last words?), with minimal assistance from an IT technician required. I have added this to my list of ‘summer jobs’ with the intention of it being up and running in time for the new academic year. Attending this session also made me realise there are elements of the software I am not quite au fait with. I would like to familiarise myself further with the reports menu – other librarians seems to get a lot out of this. However, saying this, I do think we use the system fairly well and it suits our needs. We are currently experiencing a problem with the software (the client loses connection), but after attending this session I now know this is not specific to our system and upgrading (when the new version 6 is released) should hopefully resolve it.

As much as I got out of the session in terms of action points, it would have been beneficial had an IT technician been present. As the discussion frequently takes a technical turn, it is normal practice for IT technicians to attend with librarians. I knew this from last year’s user group, and although I requested the presence of a technician, unfortunately it was not to be. As an alternative, a text message conversation was in place for when I needed to know a technical point about our system. Next year I shall prepare for this eventuality in advance; it’s probable that an IT technician won’t be available again so I shall accost one beforehand and pump him for system details beforehand! Knowing these points will make the technical discussion far more relevant and I’d be able to understand a lot more of it, particularly when the topic of software problems is raised.

Two things happened during this user group which I did not expect. A lady from another college library approached and asked if she could visit to explore the finer details of our system and how we use both MyPC and Heritage. (It doesn’t happen very often but take it as a compliment when someone shows an active interest in our library.) Also, I was the lucky winner of the free prize draw! ITS is the company behind MyPC and they generously donated an Amazon voucher worth £100. I’ve used this to purchase a much-needed printer for home, which will help with the printing requirements of revalidating my chartership. It was the cherry on top of the cake!   

1 comment:

  1. Johnny 12 inch27 June 2013 at 12:30

    I thought that was a picture of the buffet, and you had uncharacteristically left the desert.