Library iPad Management 101

Raleigh Campus Librarian Heather Mitchell-Botts
Raleigh Campus Librarian Heather Mitchell-Botts

Raleigh Campus Librarian Heather Mitchell-Botts takes iPad management seriously, but with a smile. Raleigh has the distinction of submitting 100% perfect iPad management inventory reports.

“I’m sorry but my iPad got run over by a car last night, can you help me?”

The ECPI University librarians have always known a lot about the use of the iPad and the best Apps, but there wasn’t a how-to guide for iPad management when the campuses embraced the mobile technology rollout last year.

iPads were delivered to the Libraries in large quantities and large boxes for campus distribution. The sheer numbers of iPads and cases, along with chargers and cables, became the first challenge faced by the small library facilities on campus.

Unlike books which are labeled and stamped the property of ECPI, the library staff had to rely solely on an adhesive barcode inventory label affixed to the slippery vinyl iPad case and to the iPad itself. Apple Serial Numbers were scanned with a handheld barcode scanner right from the box into an accounting spreadsheet, before entering in the Library Sirsi Dynix automation software system.

The barcode data was shared with the University’s Accounting Department to enter into the GP/Compass Learning Resources software. Library staff were trained on GP/Compass checkout functions, and offered solutions such as receipts of returned items and courtesy overdue email notices. iPad loan agreement forms were created and binders were developed and arranged by type of user and loan periods.

Library staff prepared documentation to help students reset iPads upon return, and proposed policies for long term loans and efficient overdue procedures. Reports were created by the Systems librarian each term for Accounting, and iPads were added to Library term reports for the campus administration.

To the student who asked what to do about the broken iPad, the answer is ‘Yes. Librarians can help.’ ECPI University’s library staff has earned an A+ in iPad management 101.

This article was contributed by Library Director Rebecca Tabakin