Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Improving Laptop Support in the Commons

I enjoyed reading this post from Brian Mathews about what we might offer students to enhance library laptop use. When we think of support, most of us typically think in terms of desktop support/customer service/help desk: "I can't get on the wireless network!" or "My laptop won't power on!" While that is important (we too offer that kind of support in the Hub), he moves beyond that by asking students what else they need, such as:
  • Specific kinds of furniture, like ottomans, desk chairs, etc.
  • Extension cords
  • Flash drives
  • Wireless keyboards and mice
  • Docking stations
  • And so on...
He includes many other things on the list, some of which had never occurred to me but are terrific ideas. I like their idea of packaging some of these items together and offering a sort of "laptop kit" for checkout.

We offer laptops for checkout at the Hub but haven't moved much beyond that yet. Our labs offer headphones and a "power bar" of sorts (various power adapters available for checkout). I've mentioned previously that I'd like to see us offer more. We certainly get the requests from students, though I suspect it's unlikely we'll expand our offerings in the current budget climate. Still, it's vital to keep asking the questions and have some ideas and proposals ready should a funding opportunity arise.

Photos courtesy UK IT

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