14  ·  Survey Results:  Executive Summary
barcoded and checked out to the user’s institutional
identification/library card.
Decision Drivers
Libraries decide to make learning and teaching tools
available to users based on a number of drivers.
Respondents to the survey indicated that user request
is the most compelling reason to purchase collabora-
tive tools (54 institutions or 87%), while recommenda-
tions from a library committee or staff member is the
second highest driver (52 or 84%). The third highest
driving factor comes from university department col-
laborations, where libraries focus equipment purchase
on tools integrated into the classroom and curriculum
(36 or 58%). Adding the tool to designated technology-
rich spaces in the libraries (e.g., the information com-
mons) was the fourth highest reported driver (34 or
Other decision drivers for the purchase and sup-
port of collaborative teaching and learning tools range
from a consideration of trends and best practices to
input from faculty or students. Opportunities such
as new construction projects, donations from private
donors, improved wireless coverage, and allocation
of student technology fees influenced the decision for
other institutions. One respondent noted that a plan
for continuous assessment of user needs should be in
place before including technology. As this plan devel-
ops, user demands and expectations may also evolve.
Use Policy
When asked about restrictions on the use of teaching
and learning tools, many of the respondents (26 or
43%) indicated that some tools are available to some
users while others are restricted. Eighteen (30%) in-
dicated that use is restricted based on user category,
while a comparable number (17 or 28%) revealed that
all tools are available to all users.
Forty-five respondents provided additional infor-
mation about restrictions on tool use. In the majority
of cases (29 or 64%), currently affiliated students, fac-
ulty, and staff can use any of the offered collaborative
tools. In some cases (11 or 24%), only students can
use the equipment, as purchase and use agreements
are governed by the student technology fee paid or
other grants specifically targeted to students. At two
institutions, students can only reserve an interactive
whiteboard if faculty have “signed-off (via email)” on
their use. In other cases (nine or 20%), teaching staff
(both faculty and graduate students) are eligible to
use tools such as cameras, audio recording devices,
and laptops. In one case, the library restricts use to a
specific population: “Video cameras and digital audio
recorders are available to faculty/students teaching/
enrolled in a class using oral history or other guided
interview methods in coursework.”
Twenty-six of the responding libraries (43%) re-
quire a registration process for use of many of the
collaborative tools, while the same number of respon-
dents indicated that neither training nor registration
is required. The registration process typically requires
users to sign an agreement, when they checkout such
items as laptops, iPads, MacBooks, cameras, and au-
dio recording devices, that specifies, “They agree to
certain responsibilities including how the equipment
can be used and their financial obligation in the event
of theft, loss, and/or late return” (15 responses or 54%).
Registration is usually a paper agreement form, but
one respondent indicated that users must complete an
online agreement form to book a Kindle in the catalog.
In four instances (14%), users contact staff directly
to register to use videoconferencing tools, iPads, and
Blackberries. At six institutions (21%) students are
automatically registered when they check out laptops
and iPads in the library system or during advanced
booking by web form.
Training and Technical Support
A quarter of the responding libraries require users to
complete training before using these tools. In some
cases, library staff simply provide brief presentations
that cover use policies, basic equipment operation,
and “general how-tos.” One institution requires train-
ing for iPads that are used in instructional seminars
they offer on the use of medical apps. More complex
or very specialized equipment, such as recording
studios, multimedia workrooms, videoconferencing
equipment, and video cameras, require more extensive
training. One institution uses online videos—student
technology workers in the media center developed on-
line training modules that users must complete before
receiving any equipment. Another institution offers
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