Library entrance gates about to close again, just in time for the exam period

Library entrance gates about to close again, just in time for the exam period

Did you spend the lecture-free period and the carnaval holiday week studying in the university library? If so, you probably noticed that the entrance gates remained permanently open. The reason? A technical problem caused by a small change in the serial numbers of new student cards. The gates will probably close again later this week.

Foto: Univers

Photo: Univers

Normally, you simply scan your card at the entrance gates as you mentally prepare yourself to search for an unoccupied computer in one of the library’s study zones. However, over the last few weeks you did not need your card to walk into the L-building, as the gates were opened wide already.

This was not caused by a millennium bug, but by a fault in the serial numbers of the student/employee card. The card supplier, OmniCard, changed a zero into a one. As they reached the limit of a batch of serial codes, the first part of the nine-digit code was changed from 9100 to 9101. The software of the entrance gates was no longer compatible with the cards, and 1500 new students and employees were unable to enter the library as a result.

It took a while before the bug was located, as it was unclear whether the problem originated at the supplier or in the software. In the meantime, the gates remained open permanently. “This was to prevent our staff members from having to produce guest cards for the library all day long,” Marga Bastiaan, chief of the Library, explained. “To make sure they were able to attend to their other responsibilities, we opened the gates.”

As for now: the problem finally seems to be solved. Today was used as a testing day, and the gates are expected to be permanently closed again as of later this week. Just in time for the exam period. The library has an agreement with the student parties SAM en Front regarding access to the library in this period: TiU students only. With open gates, this policy is a lot harder to maintain.

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