UCB Libraries

Libraries Policies:
     Computer Replacement Policy



Information technology has become an integral part of practically every task performed in the University Libraries. In order to remain a leader in providing IT-rich library resources, the Libraries must dedicate significant recourses to replace aging workstations. The general rule of thumb is that computers have a 3-5 year life span. Many variables affect the life span, or usefulness, of a given computer.


    • Is the computer in a public area or at a staff member's desk?
    • What applications are run on the computer?
    • Is the computer a server?
    • How quickly do software applications change for given tasks?
    • Do other users share the computer via the network?

The Libraries has approximately 650 desktop and laptop computers that were purchased between 1979 and 1998. A review of the Libraries' inventory indicates the machines were purchased in the following years:

1991 or prior

* Chinook installed Dec 1994

The majority of these machines has reached or is very near the end of their expected useful life span. Many are running software that is three or four generations old. The Y2K bug will affect some of these machines.


Some replacement activity has occurred in the last two years but Libraries' departments have been reluctant to give up old machines because of the need for additional keyboards. It is not cost effective for the Systems Department to continue to repair machines greater than five years old.


Downstreaming machines older that 3 years old is also not cost effective and defeats the purpose of replacement. The time has come to manage replacement is a coordinated fashion. A replacement cycle of 4 years is recommended as a starting point.


Funding Sources

Funding for replacement computer equipment comes from four primary sources:

      • Libraries Computer Equipment Replacement Fund
      • Instructional Computing Working Group
      • Boulder Campus Faculty Computer Replacement Program
      • Libraries Capital Equipment Budget

This document describes how replacement funds from each of these sources will be applied.


Libraries Computer Equipment Replacement Fund


This fund was established in FY 1998/99. The Faculty Director of Systems based on the following guidelines will manage it.


Types of Equipment

All computer equipment and peripherals. First preference will be given to staff workstations since this is a primary replacement fund for machine of this type. Second preference is to network servers. Third preference to public workstations (WebPAC or CD-ROM/network stations).



First preference will be given to staff workstations since this is a primary replacement fund for machine of this type. Second preference is to network servers. Third preference is to public workstations (WebPAC or CD-ROM/network stations). While first preference is to be given to staff workstations, a percentage of this fund (15-20%) should be devoted to replacing servers. A small percentage should also be reserved for emergency replacement issues. The goal is to use up to $75,000 from the lost books fund to establish this fund. The amount of the lost book fund is used for a variety of purposes and varies from year to year. The amount available annually for computer replacement will be determined by the Associate Directors for Public and Administrative Services.

Instructional Computing Working Group (ICWG)


The ICWG distributes the fund collected by the Student Computing Initiative (student computing fee). The Libraries received approximately $20,000 during FY 97/98 and $50,000 during FY 98/99. The Faculty Director of Systems is the Libraries' representative on the ICWG.


Types of Equipment

Equipment funded from this source is intended for student use. In the Libraries, this primarily includes instructional computers (for example, computer and projector in E303 or Earth Sciences classroom or individual workstations in the Central Reference Learning Lab) and public WebPAC and CD-ROM/network stations.



The Libraries' has requested that our annual portion of SCI fees be equivalent to our percentage of the Academic Affairs General Fund budget (9% , or approximately $90K, in FY 98/99). The goal is to replace all public machines over a three-year period. The Systems Department will develop a replacement schedule based on the Libraries' current inventory.

Boulder Campus Faculty Computer Replacement Program


The Boulder Campus set up this fund in FY 98/99. It is intended to assist schools and colleges in replacing faculty computers on a three or four year cycle.


Types of Equipment

Desktop and laptop computers. The Libraries' opted to support desktop computers only in the first cycle of this program because of the age of existing machines.



This fund is dispersed in a very defined fashion. See web site.

Libraries Capital Equipment Budget


This was traditionally the only fund used for purchase of computer equipment. In addition, this fund must support all other Libraries capital equipment needs (chairs, desks, media equipment, etc.). The fund is generally split between the Libraries' divisions.


Types of Equipment

All capital equipment. New (additional) workstations.



Departments that are requesting new (additional) workstation should submit requests through their division's capital equipment process. Replacement machines will be purchased through the replacement fund, ICWG funds, or faculty computer program. If a division does not need additional workstations or does not spend their entire portion of this fund, the Associate Director may use this fund to supplant replacement machines. In that case, machines will still be replaced according to the replacement schedule developed by the Systems Department.

Jul 1999