The Rams’ laptop lenders

Sep 212010
Authors: Andrew Carrera

Students who don’t want to lug their computers to campus every day can take advantage of 40 new laptops.

Available free of charge with a valid student ID, students can now use 20 Macintosh and 20 Windows-based Dell laptops.

The new laptops will serve students studying in the Behavioral Science Building, which is a designated annex for the Morgan
Library for the duration of building renovations. The University Technology Fee Advisory Board, UTFAB, purchased the computers.

Between Morgan Library and the Behavioral Science Building annex there are 219 laptops –– 52 Macs and 167 Dells.

Staffed by a panel of 11 students, UTFAB entertained suggestions by Morgan Library administration to allow laptops to be rented out of the new location.

“UTFAB said sure, and so we funded them,” said Tom Moothart, assistant dean of the library’s Resource Delivery Services.
Laptop renting services began at the university 10 years ago with 20 computers.

“We try to buy in volume for lower prices, so if we buy some laptops for staff, we always try to include students in that,” Moothart said, adding that actual numbers weren’t immediately available.

Comprised of student technology fees, UTFAB’s funding for fiscal year 2011 is nearly $1.2 million. The amount of money allocated to library technology is $175,065.

Every three years, laptop technology is revaluated to determine if the software is updated and if the machines are still usable. At present, the opinion of UTFAB is that Macs and Dells are both robust and inexpensive enough for purchasing.

“What we do is create an image,” Moothart said, explaining why the library sticks to the two computer models. “When you sit down at a computer, all of them look exactly the same. We get bids, and we try to keep one model so it’s easy for us to repair
and maintain.”

Miguel Gutierrez, a freshman biomedical science major and
international student from Mexico, said the money the board invested in the new fleet of laptops was well spent.

“They’re great. Very easy to use, and way faster than other computers,” he said, adding that he has yet to see any signs of wear and tear with the technology.

Carly Sheldon, a junior psychology and sociology double major, said she has run into difficulty using the loaner laptops but still thinks the program is a good option for students on campus.

“Even though my Mac’s super light, I don’t like carrying it around all day to my five classes. I’d rather rent one here. It’s easier.”

Staff writer Andrew Carrera can be reached at

More about the computers

  • The Morgan Library added 20 new Macintosh notebooks and 20 new Dell laptops to its loaner collection. The 40 new laptops can be checked out in the Behavioral Science Building and the rest in the library. Students can check them out with a RamCard at any time during operating hours.
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