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LTS deserves commendation

By Zach Phil Schwartz

Section: Opinions

November 13, 2015

Brandeis’ Library and Technology Services (LTS) is a vast and underappreciated service whose hard work is not often enough acknowledged. LTS employees deal with an onslaught of complicated issues each day, be it campus technologies, research or various other student issues. Despite all of the exceptional hard work that the department’s employees—both student and nonstudent—devote to the university, people are quick to complain when things go wrong. This is both undeserved and detrimental to one of the most important and intricate departments on campus.

Take a moment to consider all that falls under the jurisdiction of LTS. When classroom media systems unexpectedly fail, help is dispatched immediately. When online services like Sage and LATTE stop working and students panic, LTS employees fix the problem. When students are in dire straits after their technology fails, LTS is there to repair. The range of possible offerings is expansive and takes a significant number of employees in order to run smoothly. Despite the integrality of the department, many continue to take for granted what LTS does.

Students complain of issues with campus services all of the time, and when we see one department overseeing a so many amenities that students have grown dependent on, mounting frustration is understandable.

Just a few weeks ago, when early class selection once again came around, Sage began to falter. Students took to Facebook in droves, complaining about how it was unacceptable for anyone to have allowed the essential service to fail on such a crucial day. What these students failed to see, however, was that it was not LTS’ fault that Sage collapsed. Rather was the fault of the students themselves.

When online services like Sage or LATTE go down, people are quick to point the finger, usually at the most relevant governing authority, LTS. Contrarily, when these things happen, the department’s employees work frantically to get everything back online and up to speed. It is not the fault of the department when countless students overload Sage while trying to register for classes. In fact, amid the panic of that day, not many managed to thank LTS for its swift recovery of the system.

Problems with technology are inevitable and many times unannounced. When, for example, a projector failed in one of my classes, a representative from LTS was dispatched within five minutes and was able to set up a temporary solution to a disconcerting larger problem on overall campus technology. When my computer unexpectedly crashed and burned last semester, I brought it to the employees in the repair shop, who were in turn frank about the repair prospects and price. In the end, they were able to fix and return it to me in a speedy fashion.

Despite being a large department, LTS is efficient, friendly and, most importantly, human. Of the many interactions I’ve had with the department, from the Getz Lab to the archives to the repair shop, representatives have been nothing but helpful. The people that make up LTS work extremely hard, and as such they deserve far more commendation than they receive on a daily basis.

We all need to consider that LTS employees are industrious people the next time we decide to complain when something goes wrong. Instead of going on tirades that blast the competency of the department, we need to be respectful and patient, because it will be the employees of the department fixing the issue. They keep campus information services working at full capacity at all times so that students can use them.

We need to stop taking the services LTS provides for granted; there are so many offerings under the oversight of the department that many never even consider. It is extremely important that in the future we grow more thankful for all that the employees of LTS do, especially in the more complicated facets of the services. It is one of the most central departments to campus, but it is also among the most misunderstood. We would do best in the future to appreciate those that work tirelessly behind the scenes to maintain the services we take for granted.

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