Yellow cables for checkout

While I was working at the Armstrong circ desk a student came up to me and very adamantly suggested that we put barcodes on the yellow internet cables and check them out. He thought it was the most obvious thing. Just thought I would throw it out there. Thanks for listening.

From Prerna

2 Responses to “Yellow cables for checkout”

  1. Michael Roy says:

    The yellow cable problem is something we have, alas, given much thought to. What began as a simple way to provide students with a resource that they could borrow and return on the honor system has turned into a bit of a nightmare. It turns out that lots of people borrow the cables, but barely any return them, resulting in hundreds of cables having gone missing. When we decided that this was no longer a good way to spend our precious budget dollars, people started stealing cables from our printers and desktop computers, rendering these devices temporarily useless. While we agree that barcoding and loaning out cables might work, and we’ll explore the logistics and costs of this, we do wonder what’s going on that people feel it is okay to steal cables from the College’s computers and printers. Also, given that we provide wireless network access to much of the campus, we also wonder why these cables are still in such high demand. And then there is the same question that we wonder about missing socks: where do all these stolen cables end up?

  2. Ann says:

    To answer your question of where these cables end up– in students’ rooms, carrels and library lockers. While I understand the logic of lending these cables and relying on the honor code for their return, LIS fails to see (in the yellow cord program and again in the recyclable bag program) that the culture of our college is not exactly one of honor and respect…so long as no one is watching. This too can be seen in the death of the yellow bike program, after bikes were stolen and trashed. Either the color yellow is cursed, or there is a real problem.
    Since lending without supervision clearly does not work, why not lend these cables as we lend everything else as Prerna said?
    Or, better yet, why not fix the wireless internet reception at Main and BiHall so that these cables are not needed? At many times, the internet connection is so slow in these buildings that wireless is rendered useless. This problem seems to be exacerbated during midterm and finals weeks, when most students use the libraries. Furthermore, I think more students would bring their dorm cables if the book store sold short ones. It’s this problem that has led to the rampant stealing of yellow cables from campus computers and printers.
    Thanks for reading!

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