Answered By: Paul Williford
Last Updated: Apr 05, 2023     Views: 283

Q: What are SMART Boards?
A: We use the term "SMART Boards" to describe a small group (2 - ~6 people) workspace that has, at its center, an 87-inch touch-interactive display.

The library installed and configured 10 of these spaces in the Pace Library (2 on the first floor and 8 on the second floor) during the summer of 2012.

An 11th SMART Board was installed at the Professional Studies Library (Building 86, Room 105) in January 2013.

Q: Touch-interactive display?
Yup! Specifically, we're using SMART Technologies 685i5 87" SMART Board (basically the thing you touch and see the projected image on) with their UNIFI 75W short-throw projector. The projector and SMART Board are connected to the wall-mounted computer via standard VGA and USB cables. The computer itself is a standard Dell Vostro 360 all-in-one desktop.

Q: How do I turn this equipment on/off?
A: The wall-mounted computers are set to automatically turn on in the morning and should be left on while the library is open. If the display is blank, look on the bottom right hand side of the unit to find the silver power button. 

To turn the projector ON, locate the control panel on the bottom right hand corner of the SMART Board. The power button should be glowing orange (if it's blinking, the projector is cooling down and you'll have to wait a minute or two). Simply press the power button once and the light should turn green and the projector will turn on (it can take a few seconds for the lamp to warm up and make the projected image visible). 

To turn the projector OFF, click the power button twice to begin the shutdown & cool-off process. Help us conserve lamp life by shutting down the projector when you are done!


Q: The projected image doesn't fill up the available white space on the SMART board or the touch input seems to be out of alignment.

A: It's possible that the computer and projector have gotten out of sync. To correct this issue, press the "Input" button on the bottom right hand corner of the SMART board several times until VGA-1 is displayed on screen. The projected image should now fill up the entire screen and the on-screen cursor position should more accurately reflect where you have touched.

Q: Where are the keyboard and mouse?
A: You can log on to the computer that controls the SMART board using the touch keyboard that displays below the Username and Password prompt at the logon screen. Once you're signed in, your finger takes the place of the mouse. Drag your finger around the screen to move the cursor and single or double tap where you would normally "click" the mouse.

If you need to enter small amounts of text you can launch the on-screen keyboard application. At the bottom of the screen is the pen-tray and on the front of it are two physical buttons. Press the button on the left to start the on-screen keyboard application. If you press the right button , the next time you touch the screen, that input will be treated by the system as a right click (some programs use right clicks to bring up context-menus or to show other options).


The two physical buttons described above are duplicated in the SMART Bar software application (which automatically loads and is visible on the left side of the screen). 

If you need to enter larger amounts of text, or are more comfortable using a physical keyboard and mouse, you can check these devices out by visiting the Circulation desk on the first floor. Note: before you head down, look and see which SMART Board you are using (they are numbered 1-10). The staff at the Circulation desk will ask you for this information to make sure you get the keyboard and mouse that are tied to the particular machine you're using.


Q: Who can use the SMART boards in the library?
A: Anyone who is affiliated with UWF is entitled to use this equipment on a first-come, first-served basis. Patrons must log on to the computer with a valid Argonet user name and password (guest credentials will not work).

Q: What software is available to use on the SMART boards?
A: The wall-mounted computers that control the SMART boards have all the same software that is available on our other patron-use desktop and laptop machines.


Q: How can I draw on the screen using electronic ink?
A: There are two ways you can draw on screen - using your fingers or using the SMART Pens.

The SMART Bar software is pre-configured with options for using the black, red, "highlighter" e-ink and eraser tools. Once you select any of these options, the next time you touch the screen you'll be drawing (or erasing) electronic ink. If you click the "Gears" icon next to these tools you can customize them and select from any color and change the stroke width.

If you wish to use the SMART Pens you'll need to check them out from the Circulation desk on the first floor. Once you have them, place each pen and the eraser in its appropriate location in the tray at the bottom of the SMART Board. Whenever you remove a pen from the tray, its corresponding light will illuminate (meaning that color is active) and you can begin to "draw" on screen immediately. Simply swap pens to change the color of the digital ink!