It’s 2015, where is all the new-fangled technology? Were we not promised hover boards and self-drying clothing this year by “Back to the Future?” We should be outraged! Fortunately, the Miller Nichols Library is making an attempt to actually make 2015 look how it was meant to be. Enter Operation iPad, the library’s online crowdfunding campaign to provide iPads to the students of UMKC.
The project is a collaborative effort amongst several University Libraries staff members who began working on it last spring and are hoping to launch it by the coming fall semester. The goal is to raise $5,000, which would afford the library eight iPads. With every $600 raised, they purchase another iPad. Students who normally wouldn’t be able to afford one of these high-tech gadgets will be able to make use of them for their educational pursuits.
Other academic libraries in the country have launched similar iPad checkout programs with much success. Given the growing number of electronic resources such as databases, journals and e-books, these iPads could provide a more convenient access to materials. Students who use these devices can download the electronic articles and sources they need to do their coursework regardless of their location or time of day; they will have virtually 24-hour access to scholarly materials.
Library Staff member Nicole Leone explained how the service would work.
“The iPads will be available for checkout at Miller Nichols Library’s circulation desk. The initial duration period will be seven days, with one renewal provided there isn’t a waitlist. You can also place a hold on an iPad which will place you on a waitlist,” she said. “The iPads are being loaded with apps to access library resources. If there are particular apps that students would like to see on these iPads, please let us know and we will accommodate as we can. They will not have a data plan, however you can either ‘download and go’ or use it anywhere with Wi-Fi. They will be wiped clean before reissuing them to the next student.”
The campaign for Operation iPad ends Wednesday, April 15. The library staff stated that if you would like to help, the first and most obvious way is to visit https://launch.umkc.edu/operationipad and donate to the campaign. The second is to help spread the word. Share the link via social media and email, and ask your networks of friends and family to help support this program.
It may not be a gravity-defying skateboard, but it’s certainly a step toward the future.