Library offers loaner laptops

Soon students will be able to lounge on the library’s couches while still having computer access. The library offered a new program to its patrons beginning on March 7. Students and faculty can now borrow five new Dell laptops at Access Services. The new service coincides with new wireless internet service offerings at the library.

Laptops may be loaned to students for up to three hours, and they may renew them for another three hours if no one else is waiting. Once a student has a laptop, it must remain in the library.

The procedure is identical to that of borrowing a book on three-hour loan. The only difference is that students must read and sign the TCNJ Library Laptop Loaner Policy, which outlines the terms of lease, and the consequences should they become damaged.

According to Taras Pavlovsky, dean of the library, this extra precaution is taken because of the high cost of the laptops – $1,500 each. Users will be responsible for this cost should the laptop be damaged or lost.

The laptops all have the same features as the library computers. They run on Windows 2000, and feature Office XP.

“I like the idea,” Pratibha Shah, senior library assistant, said. She, along with her two fellow senior library assistants, are the only people who have access to the laptops, which are under lock and key behind Access Services.

This considerable cost came out of the library’s regular Information Technology (IT) budget. The service was planned as part of the construction of the new library, according to Pavlovsky. “We requested them as part of the new computers for the new building,” he said, explaining that they were put in the budget over three years ago.

“We were thinking about it in the old building,” Pavlovsky said. The old library had ten ports for laptops, but the service was not offered then.

“It wasn’t within the scope of IT’s budget at the time,” he said.

Both Pavlovsky and Shah expressed confidence that the laptops would be heavily used.

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Myles Ma