Annual Report, Systems Manager 2007

System Manager Report
2007 Annual Report

Building Projects
2007 was a busy years for LION libraries either starting or finishing building renovation projects.

Norwich – Their building project was completed early this spring. We moved their CEN DSL line in early April and got them up and running in their new building.

Wallingford – Moved them into the new part of their building while the old section is renovated. This meant moving all their computers and setting up wireless connections where possible. This required connecting two telecomm closets via fiber optics. Installed new, faster switches (10/100/1000) and Ethernet to fiber transceivers. We spent many days at various times moving departments around the building as sections of the building were finished and others closed. They are nearing completion of their building and should be making the final move very shortly.

Guilford – Matt and I moved the libraries technology into their temporary  building. We setup the majority of their PC’s via wireless so they didn’t have to run cables in the temporary building. We have met with them several times to discuss their future technology needs in their new building. I believe they are looking at a summer return to their renovated building.

Barracuda Spam Filter
LION Installed a new Spam Filter called Barracuda back in February. It took time to teach it what is and isn’t Spam. I think it is running very nicely now. Very few Spam messages get through. The one’s that do I flag so next time it catches it. Fighting spam is a constant battle which requires due vigilance. I have installed several firmware updates since we installed the Barracuda. We are currently running firmware version which is the latest general release. To date, over 6.5 million e-mails have passed through the Barracuda, with 95% being Spam. I think it has done a great job keeping junk out of our inboxes.

New Computer Installs
I helped Matt install the new Dell computers. Matt did the majority of them, but I pitched in and did several libraries when he got backed up.

Haddam – We upgraded Brainerd Library from Frame Relay to a much Faster DSL telecomm circuit when it became available in the area. This was done in June.

CEN Workshop
I attended a workshop put on by the CEN regarding Network Security. The CEN is looking to host several technology workshops in the coming year.

Meriden Bookmobile
Upgraded the Internet connection in the Meriden Bookmobile. They went from a SLOW cell connection which was about the equivalent of a dialup connection to a high speed broadband mobile connection. The speed is around the same as a lower tier DSL connection. They are very pleased with the performance and it is actually around $20 cheaper per month. More speed and less money is always a good thing.

Wireless Splash Pages
I have started to install new firmware (Firmware called DD WRT) on the wireless routers in our libraries which allow’s a splash page to be displayed when a patron connects. The libraries who have implemented this have chosen to display their Internet Use Policy. The patron must click on a button to accept the policy in order to continue. The patron is then redirected to the libraries homepage where they can then go off and surf the web. I will be finishing the rest of the libraries who have requested this feature in the coming days.

Technology Roundtable
I attended several Technology Roundtable Meetings. I am in the process of helping create a technology committee for LION per the Board’s request. I have created a blog ( and e-mail list ( for the committee. I send out any relevant information regarding technology as it relates to the library world when I come across it. Hopefully this committee will become more active in the coming year with more participation from library staff.

Of course, this is all in addition to the routine things that Matt and I take care of on a daily basis. Things like system backups, e-mail notification, broken PC’s, wireless, barcode readers, printers, vendprint, thin clients, web page updates, etc, etc….. The list is nearly endless.

I have a feeling 2008 will be no less exciting and busy. Westbrook, Guilford and Wallingford will all be finishing their building renovations. LION will once again be deploying new Dell computers to replace aging IBM’s, which of course means redeploying those same IBM’s in other areas such as Internet PC’s for the public.

Of course there is also the matter of adding Orange to the LION family this summer.

The great part about this job besides working with so many interesting people is I have learned to expect the unexpected. Technology changes so fast and with it comes new opportunities to provide new and exciting services for the public.


Respectfully submitted,

Rick Widlansky
Systems Manager

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