Set across the road from a beautiful park, Southampton Solent University is located in East Park Terrace, Southampton. The modern and dynamic university is particularly well known for the distinctiveness and excellence of its provision in maritime courses, the creative industries and sport. Since becoming a university in July 2005, it has continued to develop into a smart and welcoming space for 16,000 students from around the world.
Library and Learning Services have four Learning Resource Centres on the campus. As part of its policy for continual development and commitment to enhance the student’s experience, the service decided to start a laptop loan scheme for the students to use in the recently refurbished ground floor of the Mountbatten Library. Before this, students would present their campus card and staff would manually loan out the laptops and sign them in and out. However, this became extremely time consuming for staff, and due to the library staffing hours the students were restricted to what time of the day they could borrow or return a device.
Lauren Shipley, Information Systems Librarian at the university said: “At really busy periods the queues for the copy desk and the laptop loan service snaked around the second floor.” The university recognised that this was becoming a problem and decided to look into the possibility of a self-service loaning system. After several enquiries with different companies the university chose to go ahead with the LapSafe® Diplomat™ LMS.
Lauren Shipley continued: “The Diplomat™ LMS has changed the way our laptop loan service works. In the busy periods we can be loaning out up to 160 laptops per day, especially when the library is open 24/5, coming up to exams. The delivery and installation was smooth on the LapSafe side of things, and the students absolutely love the system. The staff also like the Diplomat™ LMS as the unit tracks who has loaned the laptop, what time they took it out and when it has been returned.”
The intelligent electronic functionality of the Diplomat™ LMS can be fully integrated with most Library Management Systems. Users identify themselves and must agree to terms and conditions using the 19” integral touch screen before they are presented with the best charged device and an optional printed receipt. The customer can set timeframes for device loan, control access to – and use of – devices, as well as monitor overdue returns.
Lauren concluded by expressing her enthusiasm for working alongside the LapSafe® staff from the purchase of the Diplomat™ to the installation and delivery and the continued support she has received. “Nothing is ever perfect straight away,” she said, “but it makes such a difference working with a supplier that works with you, rather than a supplier that does not.”
In 2016 the LRC team at Exeter College decided to introduce a self-issue laptop service.
TAFE SA is South Australia’s largest vocational education and training (VET) provider.