Laptops available for use in Library

Grant allows for free access, aims to increase student success

By Denis Perez, Staff Photographer

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Although there are 34 desktop computers available in the Contra Costa College  Library and Learning Resource Center, often times they are all being used by students.

Depending on the time of day there are about five people who notify Librarian Megan Kinney that they are waiting to use a computer.

Kinney said that there are times when students who walk into the Library see the computers full and walk out without notifying someone they need a computer. 

To help alleviate this problem, starting in the spring 2016 semester there will be 30 laptops available for students to use in the Library.

Technology Systems Manager James Eyestone said the first of these laptops will be available Thursday.

The laptops are already purchased and on campus and are in the process of having software installed.

Kinney said checking out a laptop will be as easy as checking out a textbook or headphones from the front desk. 

The laptops are expected to benefit students. Not a lot of other libraries can offer this deal,  library department Chairperson Judy Flum said.

“This will help (students) have more tools to become successful in their school work and it will break the barrier of not owning a computer,” she said.  

The laptops will offer students mobility, which the desktops don’t offer.

Students will be able to take these laptops anywhere within the confines of the Library.  They are able to go into the silent rooms and work in groups, she said.

Art major Daniel Block said the Library offering the use of laptops will be helpful because he would not be forced to have to sit by the other desktops, where other students are having  conversations.

Nursing major Jennifer Mohica said even though she owns a laptop, checking out a laptop straight from the Library would be better. She would not have to carry her own laptop from her home and worry about it getting stolen.  

With students already using the desktops often, the laptops will have to endure a lot of usage when they are available.

Eyestone said the laptops will be ready for that. The laptops will be in pristine condition every time they are turned on because of the software they will have.

The laptops will have classroom management software which will be able to filter out certain websites and block any unnecessary downloaded software, he said.

Flum will said she also be walking around and monitoring the content usage of the laptops, just as she does for the desktops.

She said the CCC Library is the first in the Contra Costa Community College District that will have this program available to students.

By offering laptop use at CCC, Flum hopes that other libraries including those at sister colleges Diablo Valley and Los Medanos,  will be influenced to do the same. 

By following the same path of providing laptops, other colleges would  have to apply for a grant like CCC did.

Flum said that they applied at the end of the spring 2015 semester and were not notified until  late September that they had received Instructional Equipment Fund from the California Community College Chancellor’s Office.

 Eyestone said the budget for the laptops was $14,000 and $3,000 for equipment and software.