Library annoyance addressed with time lock

23-02-2017, 15:50

Photo: Dick van Aalst

To the gym in between study sessions, or going for a extensive lunch. From next month, you cannot do this without losing your computer in the library. After 45 minutes, it will be released for other users.

It is vacation complaint number one: people who put down their towel on a chair by the pool in the evening, so that they have a spot next day. Something similar happens in the university library sometimes. Students take a seat behind a computer, leave some stuff and go to class, the gym or the Refter, to get back behind their computer a couple of hours later.

This is not right, thinks Wolter Jansen, functional administrator of the study areas. After the 6th of March, an unattended computer will be locked, and another user can log in on it. ‘It is a waste when computers are not used for that long’, says Jansen.

People leaving their computers without locking it, is a big frustration for Jansen. ‘Securitywise, that is not ok. When users are logged into their mail, strangers can send weird e-mails with it.’

Moreover, no files are lost when the 45 minutes are over. Students can always log back in on the same computer and retrieve their files.

The first reactions from students are mixed, but mostly positive. Alexandra Slebus (student business communication) often sees students logging in to computers and keeping them occupied without using them. However, she would have liked to see a more generous time lock. ’45 minutes is quite short.’ Luuk Bosch (business student) agrees. ‘It should be at least 90 minutes.’

Law student Jeroen Toet thinks the rule is socially fair. But he doubts whether it is necessary. ‘There are almost always computers free here. This feels like tokenism from the university board.’

According to Wolter Jansen, the 45 minutes have been established together with the student council. ‘I thought it was quite long, but we listened to the students’ wish.’

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