Library kiosks provide students with fast access to loaner laptops

Undergraduate student Tavia Richardson demonstrates the process for checking out a laptop.

With just a CruzID and Gold password, UC Santa Cruz students can now borrow a laptop at both the McHenry and Science and Engineering libraries. 

The laptop kiosks, a collaboration between Information Technology Services and the University Library, were installed earlier this year. The program was created following conversations last academic year with students who asked for easier ways to borrow a laptop. 

“We strive to be a university that truly serves students and listening is part of that,” Chancellor Cynthia Larive said during an event last week to celebrate the project. “Free and quick access can mean the difference between success and a missed assignment.”

Over the past month, the laptops have been checked out 400 times.

Each kiosk is equipped with 24 Dell laptops running Windows and 12 chargers. Each laptop can be checked out for free on a first-come, first-served basis for up to 4 hours. Student information and work is automatically erased when it’s returned. The laptops include the same applications and software available to students through their CruzID.

Students can also participate in a survey at the kiosks to provide feedback on ways to improve and enhance the program. Since launching, more than 300 surveys have been completed with a satisfaction rate of 90 percent.