Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Jcards and Printing

During intersession many students stop by the library with a need to print forms for a variety of reasons. Unfortunately most of the time their Jcards are not activated to pay for the copies. Thanks to Ann from Clarkston, we have instructions that might help us help the students.  She writes:

I just spoke with the JCard Admin office. I was told that between semesters, JCards are in a dormant state, i.e. deactivated and without access to Print Management Funds (Paw Prints).
If you have students who need to print or photocopy, they/we can call the JCard office at x3330 (678.891.3330) and JCard staff will activate the card right then. Students will still not have access to Print Management funds, but they will be able to add money (JBucks) to their cards either at V-machines or online,
JCards for fall students will be reactivated around August 12 (Convocation) when financial aid funds are released.

Today we had an immediate need to test this system, which demonstrates that the Jcards are very complicated.  Deactivation between semesters is one reason the cards won't work, but there are many others:  funds in negative balance; students not really registered, though they think they are; Jcard policy hasn't been approved, etc.  The process Ann outlined above will only work if deactivation is the only reason the card isn't working.  What's more, the reactivation is very temporary--for printing with Jbucks money on that day only.  The system load overnight will deactivate the card again until the new semester starts when all student cards are activated with new PawPrints money.

Jcard "fun" facts:
  • PawPrints is the $7.50 technology money put on the student card each semester to be used only with the Pharos system. Money accumulates on the card through fall, spring, and summer semesters, but is purged after summer semester. So a student registered for all three semesters would lose $22.50 if they don't accept the Jcard policy and use that card!
  • JBucks is added money from the v-machine or online site which can be used for print/copy plus vending machines, cafe, and bookstore. This money does not get purged, but the account will be closed after 12 months of non-activity.
  • Financial aid funds (up to $1000, after tuition and fees) can be linked to the Jcard, but that is only available the first two weeks of a semester, mostly for book and supply purchases.
The bottom line is that Jcards are the ideal option for printing and copying during the semester when a student is registered. At other times, purchasing a Vcard and adding value is a viable alternative.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

OPAC/Kiosk Computer

The computer that is just inside the entry is supposed to have access to GILFind, GIL Classic, and "Get My Login," however the only functional link is for GILFind. A ticket was submitted to get it fixed last week, but OIT needs to completely reimage the computer--if not completely replace it. Therefore, for a few days you'll need to help new students find their login info on the Ref Desk computers.  Sorry about the inconvenience.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Common Course Outlines

It's almost registration time!  Thank you for your cheerful help to the students printing many forms to finalize their admissions and financial aid.

You may be called upon for another kind of help, as I was today on chat.  A former student is trying to get credit for a GPC class at another school, which can be a complex process. The registrar at the new institution needs to examine the course contents for equivalency. Having a syllabus to review is one way of doing that, but this student no longer had the syllabus and took the class a few years ago from a professor no longer here at GPC. 

There are two web pages from the GPC Registrar where each academic department has filed outlines of the essential content in each course (called common course outlines).  This first page is for current classes, and the second page is for classes before Fall, 2011.The former student I helped was very happy to find a resource that might save many hundreds of tuition dollars!

The first page could also help students trying to decide which classes to take based on content.  As most of you know, the schedule of classes can be found in the Student Information System (SIS)  under Class Schedule. (Find the SIS under Quick Links from the college home page.)

Isn't education exciting?

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Happy Independence Day!

Have a safe and fun 4th of July! 
Good luck to Gayle and Margaret on the Peachtree 10K.

                                                                  CC license from Bob Jagendorf's flickr photostream

Monday, July 1, 2013

Emergency Phone Numbers

Last week we received a communication from Lt. JP, commander of Public Safety at Dunwoody, clarifying, among other things, the appropriate number to call when we need assistance.

All requests are processed through a central dispatch in Clarkston.  Emergency call boxes, the 5500 and 5511 numbers, and even the local administrative office number we had listed previously for non-emergencies all go to this central dispatch number. That all important number is 678-891-3940 or ext. 3940.  However, you may continue to use the 5500 (non-emergency) and 5511 (emergency) numbers you are accustomed to, because they all get routed to the same place.

It's very important when you call to give your name and location (including campus), phone number, and reason for calling.  If there is any reason you cannot openly describe the need for an officer, simply use the codeword:  NORA.  It stands for Need Officer Right Away.  For example, if a very upset student is there to overhear your call, and you determine that the situation is unsafe, then dial the Public Safety number (perhaps under the guise of calling your supervisor), and say, "Hi, this is Pat at Dunwoody library. Could Nora come out to help a student with a concern?"  You get the idea. 

During the evening shift, contacting Public Safety is appropriate for any concerns regarding plant operations as well for requesting an officer.  Also during the evening, an officer is often downstairs in the library keeping an eye on things. All in all, our wonderful support services personnel are available to help both staff and patrons whenever the library is open.