Case study interview conducted with Ann Byrne Liaison services for library and environment and Eoin O Sullivan Audio and visual Service (IT services) on the implementation of the LapSafe Diplomat LMS laptop loan lockers.
Set on 42 acres of wooded ground, only a 10-minute walk from Cork City Centre, Queen’s College Cork, now University College Cork was established in 1845 after a long campaign for a higher education institution in Munster. 115 students enrolled in QCC when the university first opened its gates in 1849. UCC Library is a contemporary university library providing a meeting place and offers a diverse range of study and research environments, including a creative zone, exhibition area, skills centre and library studio as well as the Assistive Technology lab. As UCC library now serves a student population of 21,000, management and staff decided to introduce a self-service laptop loaning system for the students with the help of LapSafe.
Ann – A number of years ago IT services had introduced a manual laptop loaning service. I’m not sure why but it never really took off. We felt that it might work more successfully in the library as students were already used to the concept of borrowing materials here and the footfall in the library is also very high.
Why did UCC decide to implement the LapSafe Diplomat LMS self-service lockers?
Ann – The service had been very successful in other university libraries and our Student’s Union were very keen to introduce this service for students in UCC. Implementation of the service was very much a collaboration between the IT services, the Library and Student’s Union. Following personal loans Mississippi bad credit discussions the Student’s Union applied for and received funding from the Student Charges & Fees Forum, a fund for improving student service.
Eoin – We went to tender for the project after speaking to other colleges who had implemented it already. Dublin City University was the first place that was visited.
Ann – Choosing LapSafe for us was the easiest part. The LapSafe Diplomat was the one that everyone was recommending, we visited Maynooth university and they were singing its praises. Maynooth also mentioned that it worked really well with their library management system, Sierra, which we also use.
Eoin – As we went to tender, we needed to include other competitors, however LapSafe stood out from the others due to the competitiveness of price, the units’ functionality and the customer service support that was offered. The sales process was pretty straight forward and the contact with LapSafe was good. The lockers are really low maintenance and the functionality was great, exactly what we were looking for.
What laptops did you choose to loan out?
Eoin – The IT Services Dept. decided on Chromebooks for the students, I think this is what has made it work so well as they are simple to use and are cloud based. The Chromebooks are ideal for a laptop loaning system because they self-update and all the students’ data is saved instantaneously and automatically. Unreturned laptops can be disabled remotely when required, a message appears on the laptop to return it to the library and this unique management feature prevents the laptops from going missing or getting stolen.
How many devices do you now loan throughout the university?
Ann – 120 devices are loaned out across the campuses. We have 72 bays and laptops available for self-service here at Boole and 24 at Brookfield. Twelve waist height bays here at Boole are reserved and available with full sized laptops in for students who require disability support.