Laptop-loan solution by D-Tech International

SPONSORED: D-Tech International installs laptop-loan solution at University of Sheffield

D-Tech International designs, manufactures and installs library security systems across the globe, and includes many of the UK’s leading universities in its client list. Every institution is unique, and we work with the library management team to meet their needs and work within their budget to provide a fit-for-purpose solution that enables libraries to operate more efficiently.

We installed ComputeIT at the University of Sheffield, in 2014, which proved so popular that we were asked to install an additional unit in the Diamond building which opened in 2015.

The Library

As a world class research-led institution, it is no surprise that the University of Sheffield is home to an award-winning library service, at the centre of the student learning experience and committed to supporting research with a global reputation.’

The Challenge

The Library and Corporate Information and Computing Services (CiCS) jointly support two world class learning spaces: the award-winning Information Commons and the £81M Diamond building, opened in 2015, delivering high quality IT-enabled study spaces and 24-hour access to student resources. In these environments, the manual loaning of laptops was limited to staffed hours, the Library and CiCS sought further automation of this function to enhance the service.

The Solution

The first D-Tech installation was in 2014 when a ComputeIT unit was installed in the Information Commons (IC). Later, the opening of the new £81M Diamond building, which provides nearly 1,000 state-of-the-art study places, led to the decision to install an additional ComputeIT unit, each site having 4×12 bays, up to 48 loanable laptops charged and ready for student use.

The Results

  • Expanded Services – faster access to laptops which can be used anywhere within the building
  • Improved Services – improved use of staff resources
  • Improved Customer Experience – easy to use, rapid laptop deployment

Customer Comments

Sue Dennison, Library Services Manager, says: “The students have found the cabinets easy to use. The portability of the laptops enables student to use them anywhere within the building, which is great for independent and group study. Although the majority of students have their own laptops, they do not always want to carry expensive and heavy devices around with them, so it is ideal that they can access their University files from the loanable laptops service.

“We have been very happy with the service we have received from D-Tech; they are very helpful and quick to respond. The cabinets have been a success, for students and staff alike, enabling us to use our resources better out in the library, rather than behind a desk issuing laptops.”

Chris Jones, Library Systems Manager, says: “From the experience of trialling the service in the IC, and based on student feedback, we removed the ‘second scan’ requirement and adjusted the laptop availability charge-level to allow us to make more laptops available, more often, without waiting for them to be fully recharged. The Diamond installation saw a significant increase in usage, and both cabinets have been very well used over the past academic year. D-Tech supplied us with high-quality equipment, providing ongoing support, and have carried out additional development work based on our requirements.”

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