Twelve iPads and seven Sony Reader devices were purchased for the Library to explore opportunities for lending to students. Initial plans for device lending included supporting students on work placements, lending to remote and distance education students, pre-loading devices with learning resources, eBooks, journal articles etc., and purchasing apps or other mobile friendly resources.
- iPad lending made available to students on work placements
- Service Level Agreement between DLS and DLTS signed
- Lending terms and conditions developed
- Mobile device status created in Aleph (Library Management System)
- Lending and iPad resetting procedures developed
- Training for Access Services staff provided
- Post lending survey produced
- Faculty Liaison Librarians provided mobile device support and training for academics
Mobile interface for Primo Search launched.
My Mobile information page launched
A number of issues were identified during the pilot that have prevented some of the initial objectives of the Project from being implemented. It was not possible to preload devices with content, or make the devices available to remote students. Unanticipated issues with the Sony Readers remain unresolved, and these have not yet been made available for lending.
There are obstacles to using the Sony Readers on the CSU networks. CSUConnect’s encryption method (EAP) is not supported by the Sony Reader, and a personal WiFi point must be used with security of type Open, WEP or WPA. Similarly, transferring resources to the Reader requires custom software (Reader for PC) that is not available on CSU computers.
Sony Readers can be lent to students, but it is not possible to pre-load them or support them while on campus. Alternatively, some Library PCs could be loaded with Reader for PC, for preloading and demonstration purposes. Competing operational priorities have prevented either of these solutions from being explored further.
Postage for distance education students
Lithium batteries used in mobile devices are considered to be dangerous goods, and cannot be transported by air. Sending iPads by road transport would lengthen the postage time to many students, and make processing the postage difficult. It was decided for the pilot, that iPads would only be lent to students able to pick up and return the devices to the Library loans desk. This required giving them an item status similar to Reserve items, and meant they could not be requested or booked by students through Primo Search.
Apple licensing limitations
Some of the licensing terms and conditions for Apple devices and software caused concern for lending iPads to students. The Apple iTunes & App Store terms and conditions state a device can be associated with only one Apple ID account at any given time, and you may switch a device to a different account only once every 90 days.
When contacted regarding this, Apple advised that iPads were designed for personal use, and that CSU had to interpret the terms and conditions. Other university libraries were also contacted; however they had not been aware of the conditions and immediately began their own review of their iPad lending schemes.