A self-service laptop loan system which allows students to book laptops in and out as needed is undoubtedly a good idea.
Middlesex University wanted to implement such a scheme in order to enhance student IT provision and to provide a flexible option for students who preferred to work outside the library. They also wanted to address issues around access to desktop PC/Macs for students at peak times.
The library had previously operated a laptop loan scheme which had proved popular. However, the service itself was limited as laptops needed to be manually issued/returned during set times during the day, and this resulted in a relatively small number of laptops being issued.
In addition, the University had moved to a centralised helpdesk for all student enquiries which was also located in the library. In order to improve this and other services, it was important that students were not left queuing to get a laptop.
So a 24/7 self-service option was identified as a clear requirement.
The University at this point turned to Bretford, and we offered a solution that is already being used successfully in a number of Universities – the Bretford Myritrac.
Following the installation of a 30 bay control and recharge cabinet and the subsequent overwhelming positive feedback from students, a further three bay cabinets have since been installed.
As a result all the laptops have the same software installed on them as a desktop machine has, including the ability to print wirelessly, giving students a choice of devices to use.
As the laptops could be used on or off site students could work in other parts of the campus or take them home. In essence, laptops have become just another ‘loanable’ item students can take away with them.
For further information on Bretford Myritrac please click here.
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