Service & Policies - Spring 2012

The iPad 2 Now Available for Borrowing

As we began the fall 2011 semester, students were pleasantly surprised to find the latest addition to the Library's circulating collection: the iPad 2. The tablets were introduced to students during the summer sessions, and by mid-September the three new devices became the most popular items getting checked out of the Library.
Currently registered students can borrow the iPad 2 for a one-day loan period. Students must sign a loan agreement which thoroughly explains the conditions of use and are informed that the iPad 2 must be returned before closing on the following day. The iPads that are not returned on time incur fines at the rate of $20 per day and can result in the suspension of iPad and laptop borrowing privileges. Students may use their iTunes accounts to download apps or other digital files. In addition, to ensure the privacy and security of our students, each iPad is reset by circulation staff after being checked in. Resetting the tablets deletes all the student's installed apps from the iPad before it can go out to another student. In order to make the iPad more appealing to the student body, each borrower is asked to fill out a survey to provide feedback on how they are using the tablets along with any comments or suggestions. Moreover, we are constantly updating the iOS software to keep the iPads running efficiently.
We have found that some students borrow the devices on an experimental basis in order to help them decide if they would like to purchase one for themselves. To aid them in their studies, they use them for reading and note-taking. Apps such as Pages, Keynotes and Numbers are productivity apps that can be used to read and work on Word, PowerPoint and Excel documents. Safari, among the fastest of web browsers, is a great tool for doing research. Students are using the iBook app to read books on the device, which makes reading more convenient. When exhausted from their studies, students can quickly convert the iPad into to a great source of entertainment. The device is equipped with two cameras; one on the front and one on the back. This feature is called FaceTime and allows the user to video call family or friends through the Skype app. Our surveys indicate that apps such as YouTube, Pandora, Twitter and Angrybirds are among the most widely used.
With such high demand, there is no guarantee that a student will be able to borrow an iPad at any given time. Accordingly, we are frequently asking students to check back later to see if one has become available. Thus, it is understandable that the most recurrent comment, or suggestion, that we've been hearing is, "Purchase more of them!"

Patricia Savitts