When you’re lacking time and money, it’s tempting to wait until a computer breaks or a piece of software becomes obsolete and then think about how you’ll replace it. Even in smaller libraries, this approach leads to unscheduled downtime, inconsistent service and funding problems. In large libraries, it’s completely impractical. When you replace a batch of computers or upgrade a major piece of software, your budget takes a hit, you may want to do testing, your staff may need training and you’ll spend a significant amount of time installing and deploying.
When a computer is beyond repair, or if you’ve decided that you really have no use for it, you have a few options, depending on your situation. To help you sort through these options, we’ve provided a Computer Disposal The Safe and Easy Way — Quick Reference. It outlines different situations along with a list of solutions.
Sometimes you’d really like to replace those wheezing, five-year-old computers, but you’re a bit short on funds, so you have to make the TRS-80s last a while longer. To help you make the best use of technology that you currently have, we suggest you download our Prolonging Computer Use — Tips and Tools. It outlines some of the different ways to prolong the usable life of your equipment.
In the life of every computer, there comes a day when you have to pat it on the monitor and say goodbye. It has served you faithfully (mostly), but it doesn’t fetch URLs as fast as it used to and it chews up your Microsoft Word documents.
So how do you treat an old computer with the dignity and respect it deserves?
You have several options. You can:
Whether you’re rolling out a single new computer or a hundred, you need to first ask yourself some questions about the who, what, where, when, why and how behind your deployment decision.
To help in your deployment efforts, we recommend you review our Deploying New Computers — What to Ask and Why tool.
While nonprofits may hold on to hardware equipment until the last bit of life has been squeezed out of it, many corporations abandon working computers in good condition after just three or four years of use. While this equipment may be outdated for the bleeding-edge needs of a large enterprise, that doesn't mean it doesn't have years of life that it can offer your organization — especially when its components have been examined and updated by a professional refurbisher.
Use the following chart as a guide to set expectations around the competencies that can help you succeed.