The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

SE library improvises on space, checks out laptops

By Elaine Bonilla/se news editor

The SE library has a space problem that doesn’t allow it to expand and add more desktop computers to the 38 already available for students, but it has a solution.

The library provides 10 laptops students can check out and use in the facility.

“There just isn’t room or infrastructure to get more [desktops],” said SE library manager Andrew Strohschein.

Strohschein said all the TCC campuses received a state grant about four or five years ago, which was used to purchase 30 laptops for each campus.

To obtain a laptop, students must request one from the circulation desk, complete a laptop checkout agreement form and exchange their state driver’s license or ID for the laptop.

SE student Candy Romero works on her accounting homework with one of the laptops available for checkout in the library. TCC received a state grant to purchase laptops for each campus. Photo by Alice Hale/The Collegian
SE student Candy Romero works on her accounting homework with one of the laptops available for checkout in the library. TCC received a state grant to purchase laptops for each campus. Photo by Alice Hale/The Collegian

The library has a two-hour time limit on the laptops. However, if students need one longer, they can check it out for another two hours if at least one other laptop is still available for another student to use, liberal arts instructional associate Vivian Lu said.

“At first, the computers were used for training,” Strohschein said. “And in between training courses, it was noticed that the laptops just sat unused until another training came along.”

Originally, the library decided to put five laptops aside for students to use when the desktops were being occupied more frequently.

The five laptops were expanded, so now 10  fill the need.

Lu said students aren’t permitted to change the settings or add/delete any software. The laptops can’t be left unattended and can’t leave the library.

If a laptop is damaged while in the use of a student, the student is then financially responsible for fixing the damage or replacing the computer, which is stated in the laptop checkout agreement.

Lu said the laptops have been popular among students, and it’s convenient.

“All you do is give them your ID and you can take a laptop away,” SE sophomore Robert Jimenez said.

SE sophomore Rick Sanchez said the laptops make things easier and more convenient because a lot of people use the [desktop] computers.

“They can sit and work on a task and get up and stretch or take a break without having to worry about someone else needing the computer,” Strohschein said.

Ideally, a library is supposed to be quiet, but sometimes it can still get a little noisy, Strohschein said.

The students can take the computers and find their own place within the library to sit and can even sit in the library’s Silent Study Area, where students wanting a quiet space can work without distractions.

“It’s also a good thing since classes are using Blackboard now and students can access their classes with them,” Strohschein said.

More students are coming in with their own Web-enabled devices such as tablets, phones and laptops, so the library doesn’t expect to add to the collection.

“Everyone is connecting. Even cell phones are on TCC Wi-Fi,” Jimenez said.

Network access through TCC Wi-Fi is available for the students to connect to using their devices, and TCC recently increased the bandwidth to accommodate the growing usage.

Both Sanchez and Jimenez would like a connection students could plug their laptops into for a faster connection.

“I think it’s fantastic. The only thing is it doesn’t go very fast,” Sanchez said.

Sanchez said the library should install RJ45 connections for students to use to help connect to the Internet faster.

“The bandwidth was a lot slower before, but it was increased and has improved greatly,” Strohschein said.

The library’s laptops are more convenient because not everyone owns a laptop or those who do may not want to carry it all over campus. Students can just borrow one from the library. Plus, it decreases how much material students have to carry and keep up with, Jimenez said.

“From a financial point of view, it’s great because not everyone can afford one [a laptop],” Jimenez said.

Donate to The Collegian

Your donation will support the student journalists of Tarrant County College. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Collegian