For a computer lab to be sustainable, it needs both technical knowledge to keep the computers operational and financial infrastructure to keep the enterprise possible. LIS 451 is working with Mr. Pirtle over the long term to develop a sustainable business plan to support the future computer lab / cyber café in the adjacent space. For the short term, we have pursued two strategies to support sustainability. Involvement and experience in the local community is key to sustainability, and is ultimately more important than the work done to construct the lab if it is to be self-supporting over the long term.
On-Site Technical Support
Mr. Pirtle has arranged for volunteers to aid in managing the computer lab. Unfortunately we were not able to meet with them while we were in East St. Louis.This is a possible followup project for next semester.
We also provided on-site technical documentation, both in paper and as bookmarks to information online. This documentation covers basic troubleshooting procedures for the computers, operating system, and the Internet connection / network itself.
Off-Site Technical Support
To help support the computer lab, we have carefully documented procedures and equipment/software (recorded in the Technical Documentation and Justification of Technology Choices sections of this website). This information is meant to serve as a guide to the foundational decisions underlying the computer lab, and will be useful if the computer lab needs technical assistance, and also for future 451 classes and other GSLIS and ESLARP engagement with this project. That promise of future engagement is also a large element of our sustainability strategy, and we have written this report and our paper documentation with those ongoing relationships in mind.