10 Nov 2011

Libraries and the iPad

Libraries are increasingly making services available through the iPad. Some examples I have come across in my academic library in Sydney are allowing students to "check out" books and instantly download them, as well as plans being made to introduce the lending of iPads to students for a limited period. This is going to replace the current service of lending out laptops.

As the iPad becomes seemingly ubiquitous and other tablets providers start to challenge Apple's dominance (the cut price Amazon Fire is going on sale next week), libraries will need to be innovative in providing services to their patrons that can make use of these devices.

The following link gives some great ideas on what the future trends of libraries and iPads are likely to be. E-book lending applications, roaming reference tools, iPads as tools for library classes, interactive displays and information stations are some of the ideas discussed.

20 Coolest iPad Ideas for Your Library


  1. Interesting to see this development in your particular library context. Our place used to lend out laptops (use within the library only). However, they suffered a lot (missing keyboard keys, damaged dvd/cd-rom drives etc.) so the service was discontinued. Given that laptops are dropping rapidly in price etc. I doubt that this service will be re-introduced here. Another question is supply/demand & the required capital expenditure etc.

  2. Some interesting ideas there Ronan. However, I would not be too sure about no.. 8: Pre-load iPads with books for patrons to read
    I can definitely see a place for e-readers in the context of ebooks but tablet-lending I am less sure of (in it's current form - maybe in a couple of years when cheaper devices will probably come on stream). They really are not great for reading over long periods relative to e-readers. However, I would see them as being particularly useful for promoting interactivity in teaching and learning activities, given theor form factor.