mixed-device public computer labs?

Tiffany Hayes thayes at CUMBERLAND.LIB.NC.US
Fri May 23 10:38:12 EDT 2014

Does anyone have experience with public computer labs that offer multiple types of devices--not just desktops but also laptops and/or tablets?

We're looking at this as an option for our computer labs.  We currently have 8 branches, each with a lab of up to 30 desktop computers, which we manage with Envisionware.  They get heavy use by patrons!  It seems reasonable that some people could do their computing on tablets or something like Chromebooks, if they're doing Facebook, playing games, etc, thus saving money and space.  But those who are doing school assignments, resumes, job applications, anything with significant typing or using MS Office would need a computer with a keyboard.  Our dilemma is how to manage something like this with a minimum of staff time.  Envisionware does not yet offer management for tablets, and also how would we screen customers so they're using the right device for their needs?  We currently check out a few laptops for use in the branch, they are on Envisionware, but the checkout process is a huge killer of staff time.  Not to mention the dilemma of having to ask customers what they're doing on the computer to determine which device they need!  

Anyone have a lab like this, or know of one?  Thanks!

Tiffany Hayes, Library Training Coordinator
Cumberland County Public Library & Information Center
Winner of the National Medal for Museum and Library Service
910-483-7727 ext. 1306
thayes at cumberland.lib.nc.us


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