Further Resources

Introduction to Managing a Library Help-Desk

Remote Desktop Software

Help-Desk Management Software

  • OneOrZero and osTicket are two popular open-source programs. For a complete list of open-source tools, see the Open-Source Help-Desk List. SysAid is a proprietary tool, but they offer a free version of their software. HelpSpot and Kayako are two well-known commercial programs.
  • TechAtlas also includes a basic, easy-to-use help-desk form that you can make available to your staff once you’ve set up a account. After you’ve registered and logged on, click Tools and Reports tab, and then click Event Tracker sub-tab. If you’re looking for more information, the Using Event Tracker presentation might help. If you’re new to TechAtlas, you can find more information at WebJunction.
  • Helpdesk.com has a directory of help-desk software, broken into six categories. Helpdesk2000.org also has links to vendors and applications. Slashdot has a long, useful forum discussion, where managers and techies describe their experiences with different help-desk programs.

Hiring the Right Techs

IT Assets

  • The Wikipedia articles on asset management in general and software asset management in particular have useful information.
  • Systems management software suites often include tools for managing hardware and software assets. Microsoft’s System Center Configuration Manager 2007 is one such package and it’s available to public libraries through TechSoup. In addition, help-desk management applications, network monitoring programs and other IT management tools often contain asset management functionality. So look around your library. You might already own an asset management tool.
  • TechAtlas and Spiceworks are two free products with robust asset management features. TechAtlas was actually developed for use in libraries, and you can find articles on how to use it at WebJunction.
  • If you’re looking for a standalone, proprietary asset management program, there are several to choose from, including systemhound and Computer Admin.

Software Assets (aka Software License Management)

  • Microsoft has developed lots of material on software asset management. You might begin with SAM Step by Step. They also created a free tool called the Software Inventory Analyzer that crawls your network and collects information about the installed Microsoft programs.
  • Keyfiler and LicenseKeeper (Mac only) focus solely on software asset management. They appear to be fairly simple tools and might not work well in a larger library. For a discussion of other low- cost techniques for managing software licenses, check out this review at Lifehacker, especially the comments thread.

Getting Rid of Old Computers Responsibly