According to the Statistical Report of Kentucky Public Libraries, library computers were used nearly 5 million times during the 2011-2012 year. Antivirus and other protection software is a critical investment to safeguard the library’s computer hardware and to handle the high volume of traffic.
Antivirus software provides an insurance policy against viruses, malware, spyware, and other nasty bits of code that can be picked up while browsing the Internet. Antivirus software providers include AVG, Avast!, Kaspersky, and Trend Micro. Earlier this year, the license for Microsoft Security Essentials was updated to exclude government use. See their terms for more details.
Another vital component of stress-free public computing is a program to restore each computer to its original state and discard any changes made by individual users. Deep Freeze, Clean Slate, and Smart Shield are examples of restore software.
Investing in robust antivirus and restore software will improve patrons’ computer experience and reduce maintenance and support issues.
Many libraries use software to schedule computer sessions and release print jobs. Time management software can save staff valuable time and energy, reduce computer wait times, and cut down on the monitoring of patrons. As one director related in a BTOP project report: “We are very impressed with TLM. It has been a lifesaver!” Time management software packages include Time Limit Manager, Cybrarian, and Envisionware’s PC Reservation. Print management solutions include Pharos and Envisionware’s LPT:One.