Associate Dean Technology & Digital Strategies UNC Charlotte Charlotte, NC
Background: After years of planning, J. Murrey Atkins Library implemented a laptop self-checkout kiosk in the College of Health & Human Services building in January 2020. Our laptop checkout service within the library is popular with students, and this new kiosk allows students in the health and human services disciplines, as well as other students in nearby buildings, a convenient option for borrowing a laptop. This is the first self-service laptop kiosk on our campus, and at any of the state universities in our system.
Description: The library’s Technology & Digital Strategies Department, with the support of the Senior Associate Provost, purchased and installed the laptop vending kiosk. Once the kiosk was installed, training was provided for library faculty and staff by members of the Technology & Digital Strategies team to ensure our public services team can answer questions and provide front-line support to interested students and faculty members. The Health & Human Services Librarian coordinated marketing and communication about the kiosk to the faculty, staff, and students in the College of Health & Human Services, as well as to other units on campus.
Results: The usage of the kiosk was assessed during January-March 2020. During this time period, laptops from the kiosk constituted 21.1 percent of all library laptop checkouts. The number of checkouts increased over time throughout the first part of the semester, until Spring Break (the week of March 1st.) The majority of laptops were checked out by students in the College of Health & Human Services, though students from other units, and some faculty and staff, borrowed them as well. Among student populations, undergraduate students were the most frequent borrowers.
Conclusion: The closing of the CHHS building and the campus toward the end of March due to the pandemic meant that the kiosk and laptops were no longer available for students to access and use. However, the use of the kiosk by students enrolled in programs and taking classes in the building where the kiosk is housed up until that time does seem to indicate that students often have immediate need for access to a laptop in the vicinity of their courses. While there is ultimate interest in installing self-service kiosks in other locations on campus, these .