The Mary and Jeff Bell Library introduced a new laptop checkout kiosk service this week for students, a project that has been in the works since August 2020. Spurring this initiative, the Bell Library recognized a need for this service due to COVID-19 protocols and the variety of instructional methods which further widened digital equity and inclusion. CASA’s Title V Project GRAD grant helped fund the laptops for the kiosks.
The laptop checkout kiosk will help facilitate laptop circulation in the library while minimizing COVID-19 spread by reducing close contact interactions between staff and students. Moving from a service desk checkout model to a self-service model, the Bell Library has expanded laptop checkout hours. Furthermore, because of COVID-19, the changes in instructional methods have created a need for students to have many students may not have devices that are equipped with web cameras or microphones, or have devices at all, and need an opportunity to borrow devices equipped with the necessary technology. This helps to support digital equity among students by ensuring digital inclusion.
As partners in student learning and success, the Bell Library is excited to offer the laptop checkout kiosk with hopes of continuing the expansion of our services to meet student educational and technological needs.
The Texas State Library and Archives Commission received the funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to support libraries in responding to the coronavirus pandemic. In March, Congress provided the federal agency a total of $50 million in the CARES Act to distribute to states and territories.