Laptop loans in libraries: self-service laptop lockers for universities
With tuition fees at a record high, universities and colleges must provide the best possible student experience to remain competitive and attract applicants.
For cash-strapped students who can’t afford their own laptops, the quality of IT services and the availability of laptop loans can have a big influence on where they choose to study. Unfortunately for some universities and colleges, the availability of librarians can limit their capacity to offer these services… queue the Diplomat™ LMS self-service laptop locker from LapSafe® Products.
The Diplomat™ LMS provides students with individual access, allocation, and deployment to securely stored and safely charged laptops or tablets using an intelligent access control system. It can store from 12 to an unlimited number of devices and has been specifically designed for libraries.
So how can the Diplomat™ LMS benefit universities and colleges?
Saving librarians’ time
Whereas manual loans require a librarian to dish out laptops or tablets in exchange for student’s library cards, the Diplomat™ LMS deploys devices to students on a self-service basis, leaving staff free to get on with their other duties. The locker can identify students by smartcard, biometrics, magnetic stripe or barcode, and can even ensure that disabled users are only offered the lockers that they can comfortably reach from their wheelchairs.
The Diplomat™ LMS issues laptops to students whenever they need them, rather than just during a librarian’s working hours. This makes things much easier for students with part-time jobs or lots of lectures, who can only use the library at certain times of the day. The locker is fitted with unique SmartLine™ low voltage charging with PowaSave™ technology that automatically detects when laptops have finished charging and cuts the power to these devices to save energy.
When a student wants to loan out a laptop, they simply present their library card or fingerprint to the terminal and follow the instructions on the touch screen. Provided that the student is allowed to borrow a laptop, the locker will allocate them the most charged laptop available. The student can then go to the allocated locker bay and identify themselves again in order to remove the laptop.
If the student doesn’t do this within a set time frame, the loan will be cancelled. This means a locker won’t be left open if a student gets distracted on the way to remove it and prevents attempts to pre-register self-service laptops, which would prevent others from using them. The student can also get a receipt when they loan and return a laptop.
Once they’ve finished using the laptop, the student needs to return it to the cabinet, plug it in to charge and close the door before they are released from the loan. This means that if they forgot to plug the laptop in, or don’t plug it in properly, at least the laptop will be secure – the door will be locked safe and the laptop can’t be stolen.
The Diplomat™ LMS can also be used to store students’ own devices. This is particularly handy for those living off campus and don’t have a safe place at the university to store equipment when in lectures. If a university wants to offer students the ability to loan out laptops and also store their own technology, the Diplomat™ LMS can cater for this too.
The Diplomat™ LMS also lets students log equipment faults, view their library account balance, other loans and print receipts for these too.