K. Jane Burpee, Director, Libraries and Learning Centre with Gosha Trzaski, Senior Library Technician, Special Projects
Centennial College, one of Ontario’s largest colleges with 5 campuses located across the Greater Toronto Area, is firmly committed to providing essential library resources 24/7 to their growing student population. The makeup of this vibrant group reflects the makeup of Canada’s largest city: a strong international presence, urban, commuting to and from work and home, learning and creating to secure a brighter future.
Recognizing that the high demand for laptops at Library circulation desks was detracting from the ability for staff to support students who require directional or informational support, Jane Burpee, the Director of the Libraries and Learning Centers, decided to acquire laptop dispensers. The move allowed the library to continue to support student laptop loan programs without burdening library staff. Additionally, the self-serve dispensers outside the physical walls of the library allowed independent access to laptops for students on campus, even if the service desks were busy, and if the library had closed for the evening.
In 2019, student leadership funded the first installation containing 12 laptops. They provided the seed money for a ComputeIT laptops lending kiosk from Ristech Library Solutions. The laptop loan kiosk program has been steadily expanding ever since. Today, two of the largest campuses, Progress and Morningside, have a total of 11 ComputeIT towers which dispense a total of 132 laptops. Gosha Trzaski, Senior Library Technician, Special Projects, worked closely with the students, staff and Ristech to implement the ComputeIT lending machines.
Burpee and Trzaski note that while Centennial College initiated the beginnings of a “Bring Your Own Device” program in 2018, access to laptop loans on campus is expected to remain a vital library service. Part-time learners, students who have forgotten their devices and students with devices in need of repair will continue to benefit from having access to a device through the self-serve laptop dispenser.
Jane Burpee points out, “As educators become more proficient with technology, laptops are integrated into their teaching practices and students need a laptop in the classroom. The self-serve laptop dispensers support student success. The digital foundation of the BringIT program supports the college’s aspiration to be fully student-centric, institutionally responsible, and effective while embodying a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion”.
The Libraries and Learning Centre at Centennial College provide an essential service that supports the college’s diverse and growing student population. The self-serve laptop dispensers are an excellent addition to the library’s services, and they will continue to be a crucial resource even as the BringIT program continues to expand.
A very special thanks to Jane Burpee and Gosha Trzaski for agreeing to be interviewed and sharing their experiences with Ristech.