Updated: Jun 14
Harrow Council Public Libraries
As part of a review of the Libraries IT service, Harrow Council wanted to minimise the number of on-premise servers, utilise hosted and cloud services where available and take advantage of some of the additional services suppliers can provide. Following the review, Insight Media was appointed to provide iCAM Workstation Control, Printer Control, Wi-Fi, and a range of managed services.
Harrow Council’s IT department worked on the design for the IT architecture and had a clear vision as to how they wanted the solution to look and work. There were multiple IT service providers involved, with a number of interdependencies and some challenging time scales, but the project was well managed and the solutions for the library service were all in place and up and running within the agreed timescales.
Although the change to the IT infrastructure and architecture would improve the IT provision overall, the library service was keen to maintain the range of IT services they had in place and ensure if anything had to change that it would be an improvement. The final design for the public access aspect of the library services uses completely separate, segmented public network and public wireless networks which both utilise the hosted services in the Insight Media datacentre.
This project included the following range of services:
iCAM Workstation Control replaced the existing booking system and provides online bookings, integration with the Library Management System, management reports and total control over the access and pre-booking of the publicly accessible workstations.
The implementation of iCAM Printer Control was well received by library staff and provides a range of additional benefits for users and staff over their previous solution. Staff quickly became familiar with the improved solution and appreciated the enhancements it provided in terms of managing print payment and release and reducing waste.
The project also included replacement of most of the public access computers in the libraries so that all the computers now run Microsoft Windows 10 and Microsoft Office software.
The project team explored the options available for creating and deploying new images, deploying operating system updates and patches, and generally keeping these updated. It was agreed that Insight Media would create the standard build and software image for the public access computers and implement a method to patch and update these systems.
There are a variety of options and IT solutions available to manage the building and updating of computers but the solution provided by Insight Media used existing products that the library service had in place and meant that IT didn’t have to implement a domain or domain controllers for the public network.
The existing public wireless was replaced with Insight Media Wi-Fi Authentication, which integrates with Harrow’s Library Management System. It is straightforward for users, who simply need to enter their library number and PIN to access the Wi-Fi. By authenticating users in this way, the library service can manage who accesses the Wi-Fi, minimise inappropriate use and get detailed management information and statistics.
“Following a review of Harrow Libraries IT, Insight Media was chosen to manage our public PCs and wireless networks. This has enabled us to upgrade all our computers and provide a more user-friendly booking system while making significant cost savings. Insight Media ensured a smooth transition and the new system has been well received by the public and staff.”
Tim Bryan, Head of Service – Culture and Leisure, Harrow Council