Johns Hopkins Gazette: July 11, 1994


Work will begin this summer to complete a high-speed data
transmission network on the Homewood campus and link it to a
significantly upgraded information system at Eisenhower
    The project, supported by a $1.9 million grant from The
Pew Charitable Trusts, will make the library's resources--
increasingly available in electronic form--more widely
accessible to faculty and students, said Theodore O. Poehler,
vice provost for research.
    It will also make possible any number of other research
and teaching applications, such as interactive databases,
multimedia instruction and other uses not yet anticipated,
Dr. Poehler said.
    "It will give us a fairly high capacity network all over
this campus, more or less going to every desktop or lab bench
and putting fiber optic lines to every building," Dr. Poehler
    Library director Scott Bennett said the project also
will remake Eisenhower Library's information system. Within
the library building, a changeover from terminals to PCs will
allow readers to find and use information in ways that are
just not possible with existing equipment, Dr. Bennett said.
The library also will switch to software that will provide a
new, more easily used graphical interface and support more
robust network connections with readers everywhere.
    "Our first objective is to increase utility for
readers," Dr. Bennett said. "Our second is to improve our own
productivity [in areas such as cataloging, and the third is
to reduce costs."
    The campus networking portion of the project is expected
to be substantially finished in about a year, Dr. Poehler
said. Eisenhower Library staff are now studying alternatives
for new software and hardware, and it is not yet clear when
they will be selected and installed, Dr. Bennett said. But,
he said, users will begin to see significant improvements in
access to an array of information resources as personal
computers replace terminals on A- through D-levels this fall.
    About half of major Homewood campus buildings currently
have no connections to the fiber optic network; most
buildings that are hooked up have insufficient connections
within the building to accommodate all the needs of faculty,
staff and students.
    Under a plan drafted by Homewood Academic Computing, Dr.
Poehler said, new wiring will be provided for an estimated
3,600 of the 5,600 labs, offices or student stations on the
campus. Interbuilding connections to 12 buildings will be
upgraded from the current maximum capacity of 10 megabits per
second to 100 or more megabits per second.
    The plan will be reviewed soon by the interdivisional
Information Systems Coordinating Council, Dr. Poehler said.

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