Emporia State University is a public liberal arts college with approximately 6,000 students. The school and its library were first established in the mid 1800s as the Kansas State Normal School. In 1903, a library building was constructed and named the Kellogg Library in honor of the school’s first president, Lyman B. Kellogg. In 1951, a new library was constructed and named for William Allen White, editor of the Emporia Gazette and also an influential figure nationally in journalism and politics.
Today, the library’s most recent repurpose of physical space is the Learning Commons which provides more collaborative research, study and social interaction. The area is equipped with computers, flat screens, laptop lending services and movable furniture and dividers to support a collaborative environment. The Learning Commons is now open 24/7.
As the intellectual heart of ESU, the University Libraries and Archives are dedicated to fostering an engaging learning environment for its student body and faculty. That mission comes with many challenges: declining budgets, less library staff, rising costs of materials, and requirements for expanded services and operating hours.
One of the library’s biggest challenges was the library staff’s handling of the lending of laptops, iPads, and MacBooks at the service desk. The laptop-lending program has been in place since 2005 and continued to demand more of the staff’s time for lending purposes rather than for patron assistance and research.
In 2014, the Library decided that it was time to tackle the laptop lending challenge and implemented the computeIT solution from D-Tech International. The D-Tech solution is a multi-bay, modular kiosk locker system designed to safely store, charge and dispense laptops, iPads, and MacBooks. Users gain access to the computer assets through an easy to use checkout touch screen interface. With its steel chassis and doors and temperature-controlled environment, computeIT is an extremely secure, centralized location for dispensing and managing computer assets.
The computeIT system is a fully integrated, keyless self-service solution with reliable asset management functionality that seamlessly expedites the checkout process. computeIT is linked
to library’s Worldshare ILS system and the LDAP main system through SIP 2 interface with single sign-on capability.
With the installation of the computeIT system, the library has been able to eliminate many of the desktop computers and related costs of the monitoring software. The library’s more open environment lends itself to more student interaction and project collaboration.
– Expanded services outside normal hours – 24/7 access
– Improved services – faster and more convenient
– Reduced staff time for laptop lending by approximately 30%
– Budget friendly – cost per use less than $1 for kiosk lending versus cost per use of $7-10 for traditional electronic resources.
– Increased laptop-lending usage: in 2014 loaned: 3,870; in 2015 loaned: 5,206; and in 2016 YTD loaned: 5,725.
“In the Systems & Technical Services Department, we are challenged to find new ways to support the “Connecting and Engaging Adaptive Learners” Vision of the Library. We have to continue to innovate. In the long term, it will become a more mainstream requirement to offer more online resources to meet the changing dynamics of our students, faculty and staff.”
– Art Gutierrez, Head of Systems and Technical Services