The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

Hege Library awarded grant for iPads

What would you do with almost $50,000?

If you ask Hege Library, the answer is to buy a bunch of iPad minis.

Hege Library has been awarded $49,232 to be used towards the Digital Briefcase, a project that seeks to serve students studying abroad, conducting independent research or taking small, upper-level courses.

The money has been used to purchase 100 iPad minis and related accessories.

Guilford College received one of 42 competitive grants awarded to N.C. libraries. This grant was made possible through funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

IMLS is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s many libraries and museums.

In an interview with The Guilfordian, IMLS Director of Communications and Government Affairs Mamie Bittner explained why Guilford was considered a good candidate for the funds.

“These grants are intended to be used to expand access to information and learning, improve inter-library coordination … goals that Guilford certainly seems to meet,” said Bittner.

Unlike the library’s existing reserve of iPads and laptops, this new fleet of iPad minis is not as readily available for checkout.

“There is an application process for these iPads,” said Suzanne Bartels, director of library services and instructional technology. “We are particularly looking to target students who are studying abroad or conducting independent research projects.”

Instructional Technology Librarian Jessica Sender is excited about the many benefits these new iPads will bring students.

“Especially for those studying abroad and conducting research, these iPads are a blessing,” said Sender, who is also the grant’s administrator. “They reduce the need to carry textbooks, allow for rapid research and directly link students to all the library’s databases.”

Junior David Hill expressed similar sentiments when reflecting on his study abroad experience.

“Having access to course material without having to carry a laptop would have been very useful,” Hill said.

This is not the first time Guilford has been awarded this grant. Hege Library received LSTA funding in 2004 and 2011.

The money has helped fund the library’s four study rooms with technology for collaborative learning, the ePortfolio Design Lab and the Friends Historical Collection.

“We have had a track record of receiving LSTA funding,” said Sender. “As in previous iterations, I believe we showed a legitimate need and that previous pilot programs have been successful.”

These iPads will allow students to access more resources and information.

“There is an app for virtually everything,” Sender said. “From our pilot studies, we have seen these tablets being used for everything from bird study and identification to international money exchange.”

This generous gift will benefit the institution for years to come.

“This grant provides us with the opportunity to really leverage and explore tablet learning,” Bartels said. “I am excited to see the results of this initiative.”

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