Laptop rental eases limited accessibility

Program offers students computers for group study sessions in Library

By Reggie Santini, Advocate Staff

The laptop rental program allows students to study in the Library Learning and Resource Center when the computer labs are full.

Contra Costa College Library’s laptop rental program has reinvigorated the way students can access the campus databases to do research and homework on campus.

Since the program’s launch last January, 256 students have signed up to use the laptops.

“It is way more popular than I originally expected. With the amount of users that we have I am worried that the laptops won’t be able to charge properly between each student’s use,” Electronic Services Librarian Megan Kinney said.

The program currently has 30 laptops and 210 active students, Kinney said.

The laptops are kept inside a charging cart for safety and convenience. The laptops are brought out to the students by the librarian in charge at the circulation desk, and must be returned after the three hours of permitted user time are up.

“Wiring desktop computers is expensive, complicated and time consuming. The desktops keep students stuck to one area,” Librarian Judith Flum said.

The laptop program tries to cater to students by providing them with more areas to study.

“Students can use the laptops to do group work inside the study rooms, or the silent study area,” Flum said.

The drop-in desktop computers are located in the Library, near the circulation desk and front doors. Kinney said this area is usually the loudest in the library.

She said because so many people come in and out it makes it hard for students to focus, but the laptop program allows them to move to quieter areas.

Students were still trickling in on Sept. 13 to ask Flum for applications to able to check out laptops.

To apply for the computer rental program students must fill out forms at the Library and give it to the librarian who will then scan the student’s record for debt.

For students to be accepted into the program they must not owe the college any money or have any fines issued by Police Services.

“It is quick and easy to sign up,” psychology major Dema Aldabbas. “It took me less than 10 minutes.”

With a lack of places for students to charge their laptops the program has given students the opportunity to not carrying around a laptop.

“It makes it much more convenient for me. I no longer have to drag my heavy laptop around,” Aldabbas said.

In the spring semester, district Chancellor Helen Benjamin asked CCC President Mojdeh Mehdizadeh to apply for local college level innovation grants.

The Library applied and received the grant for 30 brand new laptops and a charging cart.

Flum said, “This is our effort to help students be more successful in school.”

Technology Systems Manager James Eyestone worked with the Library faculty to purchase and set up all the security software on the laptops.

“The laptops have security tracking software on them to make sure they are not stolen,” Flum said. “So remember, Big Brother’s watching.”

The Information Technology Department makes sure all the programs and anti-virus software stay up to date.

Students can apply inside the Library at the reference desk.