Libraries- Then and Now

Denise Crouch

Denise Crouch

Libraries have always been important to children and adults alike. Today, we are in the midst of a tremendous shift in the way we consume literature and find information. However, the one thing that hasn’t changed is that libraries continue to play a central role in providing open and free access to information and resources for everyone.

Whether the library is public or within a university, the importance remains the same. But how has the technology changed over the years?

Visiting the library in the 1970’s meant entering a quiet and sometimes odd and damp smelling environment. There was often a librarian stood behind a desk holding a book stamp, while glaring at you through heavy rimmed glasses daring you to speak or make the slightest noise.

Back then you could only use the library to borrow books, cassette tapes (yes, cassette tapes) and if you needed to do some research; you were required to spend hours sitting behind a specialist machine searching through reams of microfilm.

Nowadays, libraries have been turned into modern learning and information centres. Although their role as a physical location for cataloguing and loaning books is still an important one, you are now able to access information technology, use free Wi-Fi and some libraries are now loaning laptops and/or tablets for public use.

LapSafe® has been working with universities, libraries and businesses around the World, installing our Diplomat range of Smart Lockers. These intelligent lockers securely store and safely charges laptops, Chromebooks or tablets in individual user bays and link to most Library Management Software, or can work independently loaning out a device just like a book!

Holy Cross College Library

With over 70% of UK universities and many global sites now offering students self-service device loans we are proud that 94% use LapSafe®’s self-service lockers.

Self-service loan lockers save librarian’s time as they no long have to ‘check out’ and ‘check in’ loan devices. Manually, loaning the devices often led to students queuing to get a device and by automating librarians have more time to spend face-to-face with students.

Depending upon the establishments opening hours, the self-service lockers can loan devices 24 x 7. Students love the ability to borrow a device when they need it and IT Technicians like the traceability of assets and easy device management.

Libraries have become agile learning spaces, places to collaborate and work together. They have become community hubs as well as research centres. Whether it be for community interests, educational needs or just somewhere to enjoy a good book, libraries have evolved and technology has helped.