Remote Access Technology Problems

Remote Access Technology Problems

Diane M. Fulkerson (University of South Florida Polytechnic Library, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-0234-2.ch011
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With any remote access technology, problems can and do arise. Some of the common problems with remote access technologies are security, broken links, and privacy. Most remote technology is relatively stable, but unfortunately, problems occur from time to time. It is important that the library has someone monitor the technology to make sure there are no problems. Users become frustrated when trying to access a resource from off-campus only to find they cannot.
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No technology is perfect and we all have experienced at some point a technology or device that suddenly stops working. It could be the result of any one of a number of problems. The network is down and everyone on campus loses their Internet connection or the e-mail server goes down and you are unable to send or receive e-mails. Other times the server from the database publisher may be down or the remote access link does not validate the user as someone who is authorized to have access to library resources. All of these issues can be frustrating for users and the library because eventually students or faculty will complain about the problems that they have gaining access to library resources when they are off-campus.

While these issues can be minor inconveniences while on campus for an off-campus user they can become a major problem. If the library web site server is down you cannot access the library's web site and as a result will not be able to access the electronic resources you need. You will not be able to access the course management system if their server is down and as a result, you cannot submit your assignment. Technology has become prevalent in our society and as a result, we have come to depend on it and expect it will always work whenever we need it. Each of the technologies discussed in the previous chapters are subject to fail at some point for anyone of a number of reasons. Starting with the first technology distance education this chapter will examine each technology and provide a brief overview of some the technical issues that may cause problems for the end user.

Meeting customer needs is the driving force behind remote access technologies. Users want access to resources without having to come into the library. Understanding how to meet those needs can be determined from surveys and focus groups or a combination of the two. A problem with surveys or focus groups is once the information is received and nothing is done with the information. If library users participate in a survey, their expectation is, they will see changes made or problems corrected. Another problem is not doing a follow-up survey two or three year later to determine if users are still satisfied. Sometimes with implementation of recommended changes, there will still be dissatisfied users.

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