In the last post, the Pages received the UTVA Hardware Request slip that the team and Briscoe staff filled out. By using both the UTVA ‘informational packet’ on the UTVA Wiki and the UTVA Master Hardware Inventory list, the Pages were able to intellectually locate the console and its associated peripherals. After completing the Request slip, the pages were able to physically locate the items within the Briscoe by using, if needed, navigational images and pre-existing floor-by-floor maps of the Briscoe.
In this post, we move to the fourth stage of the checkout system/workflow: assemble and use the hardware.
Once the console and the peripherals have been assembled, the gaming system must be set up. For this step, it was possible that both the Reference staff and the pages would be unfamiliar with the Mattel Intellivision II. Considering that this system was first produced in the early 1980s and that the pages are college freshmen, our system might be twice as old as those responsible for putting it together. With this in mind, I took steps to help in the process.
First, I wrote some assembly instructions that were added to the UTVA ‘informational packet’ shown in the screenshot below. These instructions are system agnostic and can be applied (hopefully) to all hardware requests.
Second, for the Mattel Intellivision II specifically, I wrote step-by-step instructions and took digital images of the system along the way. The instructions and digital images are labeled using the console’s SKU# and hosted within the console’s folder on the desktops of the Reference and Page’s computers in the Reading Room. I felt it best to keep all of these access tools together in one place. The console’s folder made the most sense.
To complete the system, one piece of non-collection material is needed: a TV. The TVs are located in, or near, the UTVA cabinet. I used a Panasonic TV when I wrote the instructions. Digital images of the TVs and the UTVA cabinet are hosted on the desktops of the staff computers. As I mentioned in the last post, the “Resources” page on the UTVA Wiki presents a list of the locations of the photos.
So we have the objects and are ready to assemble. But where?
Deciding where to set up the system presents an issue because the games have sound. The A/V stations in the Reading Room come with headphones. But we currently do not have a dedicated spot for game play because the hardware is collection material. As such, it cannot remain in the Reading Room and must be reshelved. For the class tours, we set up in a conference room on the opposite side of the Briscoe as the Reading Room.
And the Briscoe’s public service space will be undergoing renovations starting February 2016. Researchers will be directed to the Benson’s Special Collections Reading Room instead. Unfortunately, requests that involve game play will not accommodated during our time at the Benson due to space and patron traffic. It is possible that, after the renovations, there will be a location reserved solely for A/V equipment. Game systems would be set up in this room as well. Perhaps with a TV reserved for such a purpose.
Finally, after working with the system, I tried to predict some potential problems and wrote a troubleshooting guide. The guide is also included in the console’s folder.
Once a location is selected and the system assembled, the researchers are able to get to work. In the next post, we will move to the final stage of the checkout system/workflow: reshelving the hardware.