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Public Workstation Software Policy

Introduction | Software Requests | Requester Responsibilities | Committee Composition

Last Updated: 8/23/04


The Library is an open computing environment that supports free access to information for the purpose of supporting educational, instructional, and research-related activities for on-campus and Global Campus CMU students, faculty, and staff. In all instances, the primary purpose of the Libraries' public workstations is to provide access to information and data, both via library selected resources and the general Internet. In support of this mission, the library provides over three hundred publicly accessible workstations, each preconfigured with a library-supported software profile. This profile includes, but is not limited to, access to the following resources:

  • CMU Libraries' catalog.
  • Online periodical and reference databases licensed by the CMU Libraries.
  • General Internet access.
  • Microsoft Office Suite.

Software Requests

At the request of a current CMU faculty member, staff member or academic department, the Libraries will consider the addition of additional software to public workstations. Requests must be submitted via the "Central Michigan University Library Software Request Form" located online at Requests will be reviewed by the Public Workstation Software committee [Appendix A] according to the public workstation software criteria set forth in this document. Requesters should be aware that software requests may also be directed to the Information Technology lab on the fourth floor of the Library building. For details, contact Todd Zakrajsek, Director of the Faculty Center for Innovative Teaching [].

If at any time, in the committee's judgment, programs loaded on the public workstations conflict with the primary purpose of the library workstations, such programs may be removed or access may be limited.

  1. Requested software must provide access to information or data related to the curricular or research activities of Central Michigan University consistent with the Libraries' collection development policies, or must be an application supporting such access.
  2. Requested software should not duplicate subject content or functionality of existing Library resources.
  3. The Libraries' Reference Services department must be able to provide academic support for user assistance.
  4. Requested software must be technically supportable by the Library Systems department.
  5. Requested software must be compatible with existing Library hardware and software. If it is not, a request for the necessary hardware or software, along with a plan for funding such a request, should be included.
  6. If there are expenses involved in the acquisition or installation of software, the requesting department may be required to provide funding.
  7. Library public workstations are open to all members of the public. Therefore, software licensing agreements must allow public access. A copy of the license should be submitted to the library with any request.

Requester Responsibilities Are

  • Individuals or departments requesting software additions must allow ample lead time for the request to be considered, and if granted, for installation, training, and the development of help materials. In most instances, one semester advance notice will be needed.
  • Requesters may be required to meet with at least one member of the Reference Services department to explain the basic functions of the software and how students will be expected to use it for their assignments, in order to ensure that a minimum level of assistance is available at the Reference Desk.
  • Requesters must develop, in consultation with a reference librarian, an instructional Help Sheet with instructions on how to use the software for staff and students, if needed.
  • Manuals for approved software should be placed on library reserve.
  • The Library does not have the resources to train students in the use of course related software. Any necessary training on the software required for a class, must be provided by the Instructor.
  • Requesters must remain available to Library staff and students as relates to support of specially requested software. E-mail, electronic office hours, web-based Help screens and being available to consult with students while they are using the software all exemplify acceptable forms of requester involvement.

Appendix A - Committee Composition

The Public Workstation Software committee shall consist of:

  • Associate Dean of Libraries
  • Head of Collection Development
  • 2 members appointed by the Head of Reference Services
  • 2 members appointed by the Head of Library Systems
  • 1 member appointed by the Head of Access Services​