Technology Services Help Desk
MLC provides free limited technical assistance and technical consulting to public libraries. Libraries may contact the Technology Services Help Desk via a toll free telephone number or via email.
Contact the Help Desk at: 1.877.652.8324 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Network Services also acts as a liaison between the library, library vendors and AT&T to handle issues such as internet outages, internet filtering, internet firewalls, and email problems.
MLC contracts with a local vendor to provide email accounts for public library staff members at no cost to the library. The email server is hosted off-site at a vendor location but is administered by the Technology Services staff. The library has several options for accessing email:
To create, delete or modify email accounts (such as password changes), please complete the E-Mail form. It is recommended to complete the form using the Internet Explorer or download the form and open it in Adobe Reader. Use the submit button to send the completed form or fax the completed form to the Technology Services Help Desk at 601.432.4479.
The MLC Technology Services Division will assist the public libraries with problems associated with sending and receiving email.
The library may use a POP account which is accessed by using an email program such as Microsoft Outlook or Outlook Express installed on the hard drive of a computer workstation. Using a POP account downloads or “POPS” the email from the server onto the hard drive of the computer workstation.
Webmail is accessed by entering a URL into a web browser such as Internet Explorer or Firefox and supplying proper login credentials. You may access webmail by entering the URL which includes your domain name, i.e., http://webmail.yourdomain.lib.ms.us, ie. http://webmail.yazoo.lib.ms.us. Webmail is NOT downloaded to the hard drive of the computer from which it is accessed. It is simply viewed from the vendor’s server on which it resides.
Both POP and Webmail
You may use either method to access email. Webmail is sometimes preferred when traveling or when accessing office email from your home.
Email Antivirus Software
MLC provides at no cost to the libraries SPAM filtering and Antivirus filtering for Email only.
Internet Circuit for Connectivity to the MPLS Statewide Network
MLC provides backbone connectivity to the statewide MPLS Network. The MPLS network is a cloud based network which provides connectivity between the headquarters library and the branch libraries. Each library has an independent and direct connection to the AT&T internet. The MPLS network was designed in this manner so that if the headquarters library was down, the branch libraries would still have internet access.
MLC provides and pays for the statewide backbone connection for the libraries. The libraries pay for their internet circuit and bundled services which include a leased router, firewall, content filtering and internet access. Libraries order internet access through specific state contract AT&T representatives assigned to the MPLS statewide Network. Do not call the AT&T service and repair telephone numbers listed in the telephone directories for internet orders or problems. Several options exist for the type of internet circuits offered and your AT&T representative can supply the list of options. If you need assistance understanding the options, please call the Technology Services Help Desk. Also, before ordering any internet circuit upgrades, it is important to consider E-rate funding. Contact the State E-rate Coordinator for questions concerning E-rate eligible items and circuits.
To report internet problems or outages and problems with internet filtering or firewall issues, contact the AT&T Network Operations Center (AT&T NOC) at 1.866.937.3664, Option 3. You will also need your service id number and your site name. Contact the Technology Services Help Desk to obtain your site name and service ID for your library system. It is extremely important to record the AT&T Help Desk Ticket Number for future reference. Please inform the MLC Network Services Help Desk if you are experiencing internet issues so that we can ascertain whether or not the issue is state-wide or only with your library system. Let us know if the issue is not resolved within 24 hours so that we can escalate your AT&T ticket to provide resolution.
Telephone lines are also ordered through state contract pricing and through a specific state contract AT&T representative. Contact the Technology Services Division at 1.877.652.8324 or email@example.com to find out the name and contact information for the AT&T representative for your area. Libraries should call the service or repair telephone number in their local telephone directory for repair or service on existing telephone lines.
AT&T provides internet filtering to comply with CIPA. The library has web access to the AT&T filtering server which allows the library to make decisions concerning what internet content and categories will be allowed or blocked. Libraries also have the ability to allow or block specific URL’s within a blocked category. Included are instructions on how to login and change the settings on your filter.
Be aware that the internet filtering provided by AT&T does not automatically include filtering for secure sites which begin with the URL https://. Many remote proxy servers use https in order to bypass filtering allowing a user to access otherwise blocked websites. Young adults are very familiar with the remote proxy websites. If you notice that users are visiting inappropriate sites, they could be using remote proxies to bypass your filtering. In order for AT&T to implement https filtering, they have to process valid https sites vs. invalid https sites such as remote proxies. Common world-wide sites are recognized and added to a white list. The sites that may be blocked are local sites such as local vendors, local restaurants, local schools and colleges requiring https to login to school servers, etc. This process takes a couple of days during which the library may need to call AT&T to let them know that a valid site is being blocked. AT&T will make adjustments as necessary so that valid sites are allowed.
Internet Filtering Bypass Password
Each library was provided an Internet Filtering Bypass Password at the time the internet account was setup. The bypass password allows staff members of the library to enter a password at a patron’s computer to bypass the internet filtering for a specific site. Library staff can enter a password which will temporarily allow the patron to view that specific site. The bypass for that site stays in effect for up to 60 minutes. You can select the number of minutes to allow bypass to a specific URL. After the time limit is exceeded, the password will need to be entered again. It is important to safeguard the password so that patrons cannot bypass filtering on their own.
If your staff does not know the bypass password, it will need to be reset by AT&T.
AT&T provides firewall protection for the libraries. AT&T is responsible for opening or closing ports through the firewall for each library. If a library vendor needs access to servers residing in your library, a port must be opened through the firewall. Contact the 1.800.727.222 Option 8, then Option 2. If you need assistance opening a ticket and communicating your needs to AT&T, your library vendor or both, please call the Technology Services Help Desk at 1.877.652.8324.
If you need assistance getting a problem resolved with AT&T or getting your AT&T representative to return your call or getting a status update on an order, please contact the Technology Services Help Desk at 1.877.652.8324.
E-Rate funding for Bundled Internet Services
Libraries utilize E-rate funding to assist in paying for their internet bundled services and telephone services. Contact Technology Services for further guidance concerning E-rate. Sharmaine Frazier is the State E-rate Coordinator for all libraries in Mississippi and can assist in filing for E-rate funding. The contact information is as follows: Sharmaine Frazier, firstname.lastname@example.org, or (601) 432-4094.
MLC’s network staff will provide free network consultation for any questions about your computer network, wireless network, hardware, software or infrastructure. We will assist in getting quotes from vendors for equipment.
Web Site Hosting
MLC pays for library systems to have a web site stored at a hosted site with a contract vendor when using the domain “lib.ms.us”. You have full access to your web site and the library is responsible for content and editing the content on the hosted vendor’s site. MLC provides website templates and will assist in creating the website layout using the content management system WordPress.
Network Monitoring and Bandwidth Utilization Reports
The Technology Services Division monitors the statewide library network backbone and has the ability to see at any given time which libraries are experiencing internet outages. The Technology Services Division can also pull bandwidth utilization reports for public libraries for the past 30 days. If you are experiencing latency or a slow internet response, call the Technology Services Help Desk at 1.877.652.8324 for a bandwidth utilization report. By viewing the report you can see how much bandwidth is being utilized and what times of the day you are utilizing the most bandwidth. Bandwidth utilization reports are helpful when making decisions about upgrading your internet circuit.
Department of Information Technology Services (ITS)
Libraries may use state contract prices for purchasing computer equipment and educational software at discounted prices. The Department of Information Technology Services provides an interactive express products list (EPL), showing the discounted prices for computer equipment and a list of vendors authorized to sell the products. The website of the EPL is http://www.its.ms.gov/Procurement/Pages/EPLs.aspx
For assistance in using the EPL or for state procurement questions, contact the ITS Procurement Help Desk at the following telephone number or email address: 601.432.8166 or email@example.com.
Summary of Contact Information
Technology Services Division Help Desk
Sharmaine Frazier @ MLC
ITS Procurement Help Desk
AT&T Network Operations Center