Drexel University and the Free Library of Philadelphia are making iPads available for loan to both students and local residents via a self-serve kiosk at the University that holds a dozen iPads that can be checked out by any holder of a Free Library of Philadelphia card or Drexel student ID card.
Residents of Philadelphia’s Mantua and Powelton Village neighborhoods bordering Drexel’s campus will be able to use their Free Library of Philadelphia card to sign out an iPad and use it for a maximum of four hours. With a swipe of their Drexel ID, students will also be able to check out an iPad.
The iPad will come with a variety of preinstalled apps, that,“explore art, digital storytelling, early literacy, games, geography, music, news, photo editing, science, astronomy and video editing.” Don’t worry about the security of any personal information you might enter while using the tablets, as the iPad will automatically wipe any user data once it is returned to the kiosk.
Drexel conducted a similar experiment back in 2013, when it offered 24-hour MacBook rentals via a similar vending kiosk setup. The program proved popular, so the university decided to try out an iPad lending program.
“Based on the success of the laptop lending kiosk in our library, self-service technology has proven to serve as an easy, attractive option for access to items we know our library users want,” said Danuta A. Nitecki, PhD, dean of Drexel Libraries. “We are exploring more opportunities to share technology via kiosks as well as new options for enriching the learning spaces where our Drexel community engages with information. It has been exciting to work with colleagues at the Free Library to think how tools might help our neighbors gain access to self-help training and practice discovery of information sources.”