Friday, October 12, 2012

New Library Tables Make Digital Research Easier

Specially designed library tables will be installed on most district campuses soon so that students can easily access digital learning devices like netbooks, iPads and MacBooks. The tables will be installed in all campus libraries that have a librarian, with a few exceptions.

Installation of the new library tables makes it possible to move mobile devices out of the locked charging and security carts that were previously used and accessible to students all the time. The challenge for librarians in the past was securing and charging such devices and also making them easily available to students.

“Equipment would be charged and secured overnight and between classes, then checked out to students when they visited libraries. This required librarians to frequently unlock, unplug, and check out the device to users, as well as keep an eye on the checked-out devices, check them back in, reconnect to power sources and re-lock the cabinets. This was repeated many times daily, and quite a lot of management was involved in that process,” said Monty Miller with SBISD’s Technology Services Dept.

Working with the Superintendent of Schools and Chief Information Officer Venu Rao, Miller worked on several designs before the final new library tables were installed. “Simply displaying devices on counters and tables, where those exist at campuses, wasn't an option due to our security concerns and the inability to monitor them. Also, crawling under a standard counter or table to lock/unlock and plug in our unplug devices proved unattractive to librarians – they just don't have the time to manage a daily physical task so involved,” Monty also said.

With a similar appearance to the tables found in Apple stores, these specially designed display tables provide a solution to management and security concerns while making mobile devices available to users at all times.

Each 8-foot table can display up to eight MacBooks, eight netbooks, eight Kindles or eight iPads, or any combination of these devices. Two tables allows up to 20 devices to be displayed for use.

Other features include:
  • Cabled security
  • Locking table bases for nesting devices when needed
  • Featherweight security cables for holding handheld devices like iPads
  • Hidden cables for a clean, attractive table appearance
  • Tables can be unplugged and moved for cleaning or other needs
The new tables can be powered from ceilings, floors or walls, and columns. Each is fitted with a unique, coiled retractile cable. Students can also work at the tables standing rather than sitting. Campus exceptions for installation of new tables include Spring Oaks Middle and Edgewood Elementary schools. Both schools already have other infrastructure that is used to display the mobile learning devices in those libraries.


Post a Comment

Do you have feedback? Tell us.