Three years ago the OSU Institute of Technology Library launched the Tech To-Go program making it easier for students to “check out” some of the latest technology available.
Tech To-Go offers students, faculty and staff the opportunity to check out items such as laptops, tablets, smartwatches, cameras and headphones.
“The program is one of our big draws. The more tech we get, the more students use the library. They become frequent flyers,” said Kristin Pickett, emerging technologies and instruction librarian.
Pickett said the laptops and cameras are the most popular items checked out from Tech To-Go.
“Some students can’t afford a laptop or other things so they use ours,” Pickett said. “We had people who came and checked out a laptop every week so they could do homework at home over the weekends.”
The library now has about 50 laptops students can check out. Some of the newest pieces of technology added to the program are 15 Wi-Fi hotspots that students can use for unlimited data.
“We have a lot of students who don’t have internet at home. It gives students access to online classes or more entertaining things like streaming movies or games,” she said.
Other popular items include headphones, smartwatches and the two 3D printers set up in the library.
“The 3D printers, we have those going most days nonstop,” she said. “Some of the 3D Modeling students have come in and printed their class projects.”
In the three years of Tech To-Go, more program-specific items have been added as well.
“We have blood pressure monitors for Nursing students, induction cooking tops for Culinary students, lighting kits for Visual Communications students,” Pickett said. “I’ve worked with Culinary instructors and engineering instructors and instructors from Nursing and Automotive to know what to order and what items are the industry standard.”