With a limited number of public computers available for student use in the library, I saw a laptop lending program as an excellent way to provide an additional service to our students while promoting the library as a place to be. The program had a soft rollout in Fall 2011, after the library was renovated. Without any publicity, beyond word of mouth, the library circulated the laptops 71 times. This low-impact introduction was done deliberately to give the student aides time to familiarize themselves with the procedures required to successfully operate the laptop program. In January 2012, the library, with the aid of the Department of Marketing and Communications, actively publicized the program. Our circulation of the laptops rose from 71 checkouts in 2011 to 909 in 2012. Through October 2013, the library has circulated the laptops more than 930 times.
The Flanagan Campus began circulating laptops in 2012 and, through October 2013, the laptop computers there have circulated more than 2,200 times. The Liston Campus joined the program in Fall 2012. When the IT Department instituted remote printing, the lending of laptops became even more popular. Now students have the dual advantage of borrowing a laptop to use anywhere in the library and be able to print their work from it.
Associate Professor Jim Salisbury handing a laptop to a student.