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Lab-of-the-Month: The Graduate Studies General Access Lab

By Dr. Elizabeth Hinkle-Turner, Student Computing Services Manager

Grad school getting you down? Has your advisor rejected Chapter Three of your fascinating and insightful thesis once again? Failed that Music History portion of quals for the fifth time? Believe it or not, there are some great perks to being a graduate student and one of them is that you have a general access lab of your very own! Located in ISB205c, the Graduate Studies General Access Lab was established specifically to cater to the needs of UNT's upper level student population. Alan Livingston, manager of the lab, notes "Most graduate students that come to our lab find it seems more comfortable than other labs they have used on campus. I think it's mostly because it is smaller than other labs, which cuts down on the noise, crowded work areas, and more personal service from the lab's staff. I have tried to put together a staff that not only can help the average lab user, but can make a stressed out graduate student feel like things might work out."

Photo of SLIS lab
The Graduate Studies Lab offers a quiet and productive work setting

Patrons of the lab will find the latest hardware and software available for their needs. Boasting 16 Pentium III 1 Ghz stations, a Macintosh G3 and a Macintosh G4 station, and laserprinters and scanners, this lab has some of the best technology on campus. Software available includes Office 2000 and Microsoft Project; all of the major statistics applications; Microsoft Visual Studio; Adobe Acrobat, PageMaker, Illustrator and PhotoShop; and Java 2.0 SDK. Additionally, the lab management has begun working with the graduate reader, Julian Long, to provide any student that is preparing their thesis or dissertation, a place to come and create the final PDF product, work on statistics with SAS or SPSS, and other tools that not all of the labs provide.

The Graduate Studies General Access Lab is located in the School of Library of Information Science (SLIS) because this school only offers graduate degrees. However, the current usage of the lab is equally divided between SLIS majors and other graduate fields and Livingston especially wants to emphasize that this lab is for all graduate students at UNT. Word is getting out quickly; usage of the lab has literally doubled in the past two years.

The Graduate Studies General Access Lab is open Mondays - Thursdays 8:00a.m. to 10:00p.m.; Fridays and Saturdays 8:00a.m. to 6:00p.m.; and Sundays from noon to 8:00p.m. A very thorough Website detailing all of the lab's services is accessible at http://www.unt.edu/slis/gradlab/