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.
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.