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A Modest Proposal to Replace Library Technology at Ashland High School

A Modest Proposal to Replace Library Technology Prepared for AHS Site Council February 18, 2003

Present Situation:

Ashland High School Library has a total of 32 Windows-based desktop computers available for student use. It serves as the only supervised facility available for student use throughout the school day, as well as before and after school, during lunch, and after classes on shortened days. The library also supports operation and annual maintenance of two networked laser printers which are used with these computers. Of these workstations,

  • 15 are in a small lab. These are 4-year old, former "ZapMe"Toshiba Pentium 2 computers. Though these are not equipped with CD-ROM drives, they function without problems and are expected to do so for two or three more years.
  • 17 are on the main floor of the library. They are Pentiums purchased in 1996 and have limited capacity to run multimedia applications, operate quite slowly, have frequent and persistent breakdowns, and have been upgraded and enhanced as much as they are physically eqipped to allow. Frequent student work is lost as they "freeze" and must be rebooted. Every attempt is made to keep them functioning, including last year's installation of DeepFreeze desktop security.
  • All are equipped with Internet access, Microsoft Office, the Follett online library catalog, online subscription databases, DeepFreeze desktop security and Norton utilities.


  • That we continue the model of providing networked workstations available throughout the day capable of running applications that best enhance student achievement.
  • That we research means to replace the 17 computers purchased in 1996 with state-of-the-art workstations, increasing the number of available workstations to 24 on the main floor of the library.
  • That knowing budget constraints are at work, we seek a means to fund such an effort in a creative way, relying on best models and practices, and offering long-range cost-effecitive solutions.
  • That one option may be to lease computers, therefore providing technical support and parts replacement for a three-year interval at approximately $24 per month per machine
  • That a campaign be devised and sponsors be sought for "Adopt a Computer" as a possible contribution from people and businesses in our community.
  • That in such a campaign we replace workstations one by one or in clusters as sponsorships are found.
  • That such a campaign not interfere with ongoing efforts in the community to enhance educational opportunities, such as the Ashland Schools Foundation, proposed technology levies, or pending grants.
  • That we organize and begin the campaign no later than April 1, 2003.

Thank you for your consideration and support.

- Ann Magill, Librarian

- Steve Mitzel, Network Administrator

- Scott Dewing, Desktop Support 

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