The iPad and Tables in My Library

I recently begged the use of one of the school’s few new iPads to learn to use and to research its potential uses in the library. I’m waiting for approval for five of them that will be dedicated for library use. When I designed the new layout in my library, the adjoining multi-use room/computer lab was part of the library space but in September is was reassigned as a distributed learning / video conference classroom. I now have no dedicated library computers although I manage the 30-computer mobile laptop lab.

As technology and class projects are essential parts of the plan, I’ve had to make some compromises to get tables and computers into the library. Although originally designed for flexible seating with café tables, bean-bag chairs and cushions, spaces in the library will soon be filled with narrow tables and folding chairs.

You can see the accordion doors (one now covered) that lead to the lab

Pending funding approval, a laptop lab for library use and iPads will fill the technology needs. The laptops will be used of for class research projects and I can see many uses for the iPads, including many great ones mentioned in The WIFI–Eanes ISD iPad Pilot Project and The 20 Coolest iPad Ideas For Your Library.

I’m really excited to have potentially solved an important problem that came along with the loss of the computer lab. I don’t have space for desktop computers, nor do I want to have to pull out a laptop from the mobile lab (if it happens to be in the library and not out to a classroom) each time a student wants to search the OPAC and our databases. Spontaneous and personal browsing is what my new library is all about. I needed something that was unobtrusive space-wise, but constantly available for this purpose.

Just as I was becoming familiar with the iPad, I ran across a great idea to solve my problem at Jenny Luca’s blog. In her deliciously designed library the iPads are mounted on end panels for library catalogue searching.

I am still planning to look into getting slat-wall end-panels from a retail supply store since I still have 4 stacks without them. I think this will work perfectly.


Filed under Rethinking My Library, Technology

3 responses to “The iPad and Tables in My Library

  1. Pingback: Diigo links (weekly) « emanuelslib

  2. I am writing a grant for iPads to use in the library. Due to CIPA, they will be used in the library. But I love the idea of using iPads as OPAC’s. I’ve looked at some stands to use for them. I will only put them out if they are secure. Our technology department is looking into this. What worked for you? What is the best place to buy something that will secure an iPad? I liked yours at the end of your book shelves and I have room for that. How did you secure them? I have lot’s of questions and I appreciate any help from you! The other iPads purchased will be used for now in the library.

    • Hi Jenny.

      Sadly, I still haven’t received any iPads for my library. The ones pictured are from another library linked in the description. I have seen them propped in locking holders on tables as well. I have approval in principle for a small laptop lab (not the money yet) but not for tablets. At the moment I have a couple of computers set up that students can use to search the IPAC and 4 laptops that students sign out with a teacher’s permission. Certainly not up to learning commons standards yet.

      So…to (not) answer your question…I don’t know what works best for securing them. Sorry I can’t be of more help. I hope you’ll share what you find and how it works so that when and if the time comes for me and others we’ll have you as a resource.

      All the best,

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