Lunch and Learn: iPad Lending in the Library with Trevor Dawes
Wednesday, April 4, 12:00 noon
Frist Multipurpose Room B
iPad Lending in the Library
Trevor Dawes


In his talk on the iPad lending program at Princeton University Libraries, Trevor Dawes talked about the origins and recent launch of the program. The program was sparked by a collaborative ebook project with Princeton’s OIT, as well as patron needs, such as requests for items that were only available electronically. Studies shared in the seminar showed a dramatic rise in ebook sales comparative to book sales, and the Library considered this trend as another sign that it was time for a project like this to take place.

Program planners developed a technology sandbox to get staff familiar with technology related to ebooks, such as Archos tablets, iPads, Kindles, and others. Concerns were raised about accessibility for vision impaired patrons, so the Library worked with OIT and accessibility groups at Princeton to determine the best device for accessibility, which turned out to be the iPad. Trevor noted that newer devices like the Kindle Fire may also meet accessibility needs, and will be considered for future revisions of the program.

The program was launched to patrons on Monday, April 2nd, 2012. All of the devices were checked out at the time of this presentation, but more devices are getting purchased. Searching the Princeton University Library catalog shows books which are available via iPad 2 alongside print copies, or if no print copies exist, as iPad only items. Patrons can borrow iPads for a two week loan period. Patrons wishing to borrow iPads must agree to an iPad lending agreement, as damage to the device, for example, is the responsibility of the borrower. Trevor also reminded the audience that the Library strongly suggests that patrons sign out of any apps that they signed into or otherwise personalized, but that the Library also has a process for cleaning patron actions off of the device to prepare it for the next patron.

 Library iPads are distributed with popular  and useful apps preinstalled.  Apps are distributed in key categories, including Books/Reader apps (examples include Kindle, iBooks, Google Books), Education/Library apps (e.g., iPrinceton app, TED), News apps (e.g. news stand app, USA today, CNN, NPR), Productivity (e.g. Dropbox, WebEx, Photoshop Express, Skype), QR Codes apps (e.g. QR scanner, QR creators), Reference apps (e.g. Dictionary, Google Translate), and Social apps (e.g. Facebook, Yelp). This is only a portion of the available apps on the devices. A complete list can be found at the following link. People interested in the program can visit or they can email for answers to their questions related to the program.


In 2009 the Library collaborated with OIT on a Kindle program to see the feasibility of using these e-readers for course material.  Since then, the Library has been getting requests for more portable electronic content – especially as the devices on which content can be accessed becomes near ubiquitous.  In response to this demand, a pilot iPad lending program was developed.  This session will detail the program’s development and provide an update on its status.

About the speaker:

Trevor A. Dawes is the Circulation Services Director at the Princeton University Library, where he is responsible for several public services operations.  He previously held positions at the Columbia University Libraries in NYC.  Since 2006, Trevor has been an instructor in the Library and Information Science program at the iSchool at Drexel University.  Trevor earned his MLS from Rutgers University, and has additional Master’s Degrees from Teachers College, Columbia University.

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