MORGANTOWN , W.Va.West Virginia University College of Law Library staff are working toward technology solutions that will help the school save money and reflect a commitment to sustainability.

Forty-five virtual desktop devices called thin clients were recently installed on 28 monitors in the George R. Farmer, Jr. Law Library and 17 monitors in the Leo Carlin Computer Lab. The new computer technology will help the school cut down on energy consumption and costs while also providing additional benefits, staff said.

The thin client consists of a small, metal box that is connected to a remote server across the schools network and contains a processor, memory and video card like a regular desktop computer, but has no operating system, no drivers, no software, and no moving parts,said Keith Walton, manager of network services at the WVU College of Law.

The server provides a desktop with applications that are streamed to the thin client when users need access.

Walton said the installation of the thin clients is the equivalent to the cost of replacing the 45 library computers with regular desktops, and the College of Law will see savings in the form of energy costs and maintenance fees.

This is the first installation of its kind at West Virginia University,said Brian Caudill, director of communications at the College of Law.As this is a demonstration project of the technology, information technology managers from across campus have already toured the installation, so they can evaluate using it at their locations.

The thin client solution was proposed by Nancy Young, a senior administrative assistant at the George R. Farmer, Jr. Law Library. Dean Joyce E. McConnell helped secure funding for the upgrades.

Dell engineers met with College of Law administration and staff in early spring to map out a technology solution.

During the course of evaluating the needs of the library and its patrons, the virtual desktop, with its additional �€~greenadvantages, just seemed like a wonderful fit,said Susan Wolford, acting director of the George R. Farmer, Jr. Law Library.

The thin clients in the library and computer lab will also create savings on licenses and software costs, eliminate traditional hard drives that generate heat, offer strong virus protection, and more leg room for patrons using the library and computer lab.

In every possible way, we try to be good stewards of our environment and campus. We take our fiduciary responsibilities seriously and want to provide the best resources possible for the students attending the College of Law,Young said.

With a collection of over 300,000 volumes and volume-equivalents, the WVU College of Laws George R. Farmer, Jr. Law Library is the largest public law library in the state.

The Carlin Computer Lab was created in 1989 and housed only eight computers. The lab now offers 16 student workstations and one workstation for an instructor with an overhead projection unit.