Monroe Broadcast has had a partnership with the Scotland County Memorial Libary for a number of years. 2017 has brought lots of exciting projects for the library and we’ve been excited to help with every step of the way.
New website and hosting project
Like many smaller libraries and schools in Missouri, Scotland County Memorial Library was spending quite a lot of cash for the state internet and hosting provider. Having moved the internet services to a regional provider two years earlier, the website was next on the move list. We moved their sub-domain to an Amazon Web Services Authoritative Service called Route53, and built an all new website that fit a more modern workflow. The website is now hosted on an Amazon Web Services server as well.
Check out the site at scotland.lib.mo.us
Virtualized Computing Project
Gone are the days of individual workstations. In small and large installs alike, virtualization can be employed to save money both up front and in the long run. At Scotland County Memorial Library we set out to improve the patron computing experience by installing something more modern than they had. We did the install in three phases. This was easier for us to plan and for them to communicate their needs and ideas to us.
Phase One was installing a hardy managed switch. The library went with a HP Procurve because that is what one of their suppliers sold. Cisco would have also served well in this capacity. Having a switch capable of handling the virtual traffic is important. With a cheap “Hub” Switch you would have a poor user experience because of the constant traffic.
Phase Two was the large server. In virtualization everything lives somewhere. Instead of generating the user’s session on a machine just for them, we do it centrally. This decreases overhead costs by not purchasing individual machines for each end user, but rather just an access terminal. All the heavy lifting for many users was going to be done by this large central server. We opted for a Dell PowerEdge Tower model. The library doesn’t have a rack for mounting such equipment, so a tower server was the better option. We also had a demo thin client set up for staff to use, so they could get comfortable with this different technology.
Phase Three was the big one. N Computing L350 Zero Clients, New Dell Monitors, and Fresh Keyboard/Mice Packages were all purchased and installed. The system had growing pains like any system would. The library used proprietary access and print management software that worked in concert with their circulation system. That system took some finessing to make happy, but with advance testing and input from library employees we were able to make it behave as it should. The same was said for an old serial printer that was used for library receipts. We were not able to make the serial device work reliably in virtualization, and it was outlined as a concern early in the project. Therefore a new USB printer was budgeted for ahead of the project, but we did try to make the legacy equipment work before purchasing. Sometimes old and new don’t work together, and so you’d be well advised to think of some of those things before going down any route of replacement.
If you have any questions about this project drop us a note on the Contact Us Page.