Investigating Student Laptop Use

File under keeping up with your students’ technology use. Brian Mathews reports on investigating how his library could better support the technology needs of students:

http://theubiquitouslibrarian.typepad.com/the_ubiquitous_librarian/2008/12/tell-me-about-your-laptop-what-libraries-can-do-to-provide-support.html

I am not talking about IT support, although that is offered by people in our building, but rather about  the types of software, gadgets, accessories, tools, furniture, or supplies that would help people to be more productive. So I asked them:

  • Recliners and more ottomans
  • More outlets
  • More headphones for check out
  • Power strips
  • Extension cords
  • Book stands / paper stands
  • More small cubical-like spaces
  • Wireless keyboards
  • Wireless mice
  • Laptop docking stations
  • Comfortable chairs with tables and power outlets attached
  • Live chat with IT Help Desk
  • A bunch of common chargers available for checkout
  • Power outlets in all of the furniture
  • Laptop friendly tables and chairs (everything adjustable)
  • Swirling desk chairs
  • External drives
  • Flash jump drives
  • More laptops for check out
  • MacBooks for checkout, not just Dells

That’s the quick and dirty.  We asked other questions as well, but this gives you a taste. One direction we are talking about heading is creating a package specifically for groups or individual users in which they can check out a case with a power solution, keyboard, and mouse with perhaps a few other accessories bundled together. 

I’ve seen libraries circulate content creation devices and such, but this list expands that thinking to furniture, easy access to assistance and even more varied tech. What might your users need or want to improve their experience in your facility? Have you asked them?

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