Tech desk expands: New location in LC Mall

Victoria Walker, Staff Writer

Each day between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., students passing through the LC Mall are met with a flurry of activity as representatives from various clubs, organizations, and campus initiatives market products, advertise events, and blast music from their respective tables. This semester, however, many have noticed a new, permanent addition to the Mall lineup: a “7’s on the Go” table that will bring the library’s Tech Desk representatives to students with even more convenience.

This IT initiative arose from collaboration between Bucknell Student Government and the University’s Information Technology department. The two groups came together to discuss ways in which IT services could increase communication with and support for students.

“We threw out some suggestions, and they thought this would be a good idea, so we wanted to give it a try this semester,” Mary Ann Burkland, Assistant Director for Technology Support, said. “We’ll be here from Monday to Friday, 11 a.m. – till 1 p.m., while classes are in session, just answering any questions we can.”

While conveniently located, the new Tech Desk does not have the tools and machinery that one might expect. However, it is constantly staffed with a rotation of IT professionals and students, according to Senior Technology Support Specialist, Todd Fogle. These individuals will act as a resource for students.

“Things we can do here include connecting your local device to the wi-fi, maybe setting up a Bucknell account on your mobile device, answering general questions about what types of support we offer […], [and] directing you to other resources we have available,” Burkland said. “We may even be soliciting feedback on some new initiatives that we have coming up.”

One such initiative has to do with smart devices. In the future, students should keep an eye out for an “Alexa type of thing” which is specific to the University, stationed at the table, and sure to give the “7’s on the Go” table a bit of interactive flair. For the time being, students can certainly depend on the daily presence of approachable, well-trained peers and professionals who are ready to answer technology-related questions.

“This past week was our first week at the beginning of the semester and we haven’t gotten a lot of traffic, but we did kind of a soft launch,” Burkland said. “We wanted to have it here, make sure we have things in place and that we have it staffed appropriately. […] We’ll be looking to do more of a campaign sort of thing to make people aware that we are here.”

Fogle, who worked his first shift at the table on Jan. 23, said that the transition to working in the LC Mall was not a major one for any of the staffers. He also believed that the table would give tech professionals the opportunity to interact with students on a more regular basis and to hear their concerns.

“We’re always looking for ways to do what we do better,” Burkland said. “We enjoy what we do and we want to be able to look for more avenues to make your experience better.”

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