December 5, 2011
Oxford students who want to try an iPad can now check one out, literally. The Oxford Library has purchased a fleet of iPads and is making the popular electronic tablet available for 24-hour lending.
The decision to include iPads in the lending collection came after months of investigation. Sean Lind, Oxford's digital-services librarian, joined several librarians from Emory's Woodruff Library in evaluating an array of electronic devices, including the iPad and e-readers such as the Nook and Kindle.
"After a couple of meetings," says Lind, "it became obvious that the iPad was the most usable and most desirable device. It not only offers the most flexibility; it's also the most fun."
Oxford College Librarian Kitty McNeill was very enthusiastic about the idea of lending iPads, but wanted to ensure that their academic uses were emphasized. To encourage their use in classroom and study, the devices are pre-loaded with a variety of standard, free applications such as Dropbox, First Class and Evernote. Lind and other Oxford Library staff continue to investigate other possible applications.
"This program – which allows individual students to check out iPads and ‘personalize' the devices with their own apps – is the first of its kind at Emory University, so we're very excited about the possibilities," says Lind. "As the iPads begin to circulate, we'll be actively soliciting student input about the program. That feedback will allow us to provide the kind of positive user experience that students have come to expect from the Oxford College Library."
Coming soon to Woodruff Library
Students, faculty and staff will soon be able to borrow iPads from the Woodruff Library as well. Ten first-generation iPads will be available for a two-week checkout, beginning Dec. 19.
"We are just now establishing circulation rules and fines," says Frances Pici, branch libraries and reserve team leader.
Woodruff Library already offers e-reader loans from the Music & Media Library on the fourth floor. Learn more about how to check out a Nook e-reader and stay tuned for more information on iPads.