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David Lee King

iPads at the Airport



Like iPads, and think they could work in a public space? Check this video out! I recently saw a bunch of iPads at the Delta terminal at LaGuardia airport in New York, and took a short video of them. Here’s a link to some photos, too.

Basically, here’s what I saw – hundreds of iPads in the airport terminal gates, secured to tables with a cable. Each iPad had airport info, news, games, a restaurant menu, and web access apps installed. You could order items from the restaurant via a credit card swiper beside the iPad. No signup, no waiting list – just find an empty iPad and start using it. Here’s a couple of news articles written about this experiment.

The only real problem I saw was one of sorta gross smudges on the iPads. Thankfully, I also saw someone walking around, cleaning the screens.

iPads in the airportI think this type of setup could easily work in a library setting! Here are some starter thoughts on potential uses:

  • catalog-only computers
  • computer “overflow” – get out the iPads!
  • Simple browsing stations. Who needs PCs?
  • Complete mobile technology in the library – no PCs needed (with those handy self-service tablet checkout machines that were being shown in the exhibit hall at ALA Annual). Just check out an iPad, then take it wherever you want to in the library.
  • Out-of-the-building events
  • For staff, they could work nicely as roving reference tools.

Question – how does your library use iPads or mobile tablet technology? I’ll start: so far, we have some iPads that staff can check out for a learning opportunity, we have experimented with them for roving reference, and we teach a class on using an iPad. How about you?

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  • http://www.facebook.com/gracelillevig Grace Lillevig Heffernan

    We’re (Harris County Public Library in Houston, TX) doing a lot with iPads. We purchased an iPad (plus a Kindle and Nook) for every branch (26) last year to experiment.  We also did pilot projects with in-house check out at two branches, which has gone well.  We are currently rolling out iPads to all branch librarians and administrative department heads as well as additional staff iPads for branches depending on their size.  At the same time, we are installing catalog only iPads at most locations (depending on whether they have a place for them).  We will also be rolling out additional public iPads at about 10 more locations.

    We are still in the early stages of exploration, but are using them in storytimes, for training, exploring paperless forms, etc.  We have a group  board we sponsor on Pinterest for sharing ideas on iPads in the Library.  I encourage you to check it out – https://pinterest.com/hcpl/ipads-in-the-library/

  • http://www.davidleeking.com davidleeking

    Awesome! Thanks for sharing this!

  • http://www.facebook.com/eclasper Emily Clasper

    Last time I was there, the people working at the restaurant there used the iPads as “line busters” – I was waiting to pay for my sandwich, and they pulled me over to one of the public ipads, put in what I was buying, and swiped my card. Done. Often, I’ve seen kids loving them as a way to kill time before the flight.

  • Barry

    At Williamsburg (VA) Regional we are using iPads for a variety of things:
    1. They are part of our sets of ereaders that all our public service division have
    to use for staff and user training on how to access library digital content.
    2. We are using them as part of our Speakers Bureau to take programming out into the community, using the Keynote app to run presentations and the Music app to add audio. With a small portable projector and the VGA connector you have a very compact presentation setup.
    3. Roving reference
    4. iPad classes
    5. In our Book a Librarian service

    Barry Trott
    Digital Services Director

  • Kathy

    Here in Sno-Isle (WA) we’re doing a pilot in a few branches where we’ve pre-loaded them with a variety of educational children’s games. They are for in branch use only, and are also loaded w/ a GPS so if they leave the building they’ll get an audible alert.

    At our branch we tried using them for reference, but my opinion is that you somehow need a carrying case for them to put over your shoulder. I kept leaving it behind. (Oops!)

  • Michael Dempsey

    The Airport Library in Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport have had iPads for a while. They are loaded with special software that reflects the library’s mission, which is to educate about The Netherlands and Dutch Culture.

    iPads are great, but I think other tablets should also be considered as the competitors’ products are becoming higher quality. iPads are very expensive. If my local library was throwing away taxpayer money on overpriced Apple hardware, I would be upset.

  • http://www.davidleeking.com davidleeking

    Thanks for sharing the Schiphol airport project. Sounds cool!

    And I definitely agree about the tablets – choose the best one for the task at hand, and don’t just automatically choose an iPad.

    At the same time, I’d disagree that iPads are “very expensive,” at least in relation to the other tablets on the market. Here’s an article with a handy chart on the new tablets (http://www.pcworld.com/article/251481/apple_ipad_how_it_stacks_up_against_the_android_tablets.html). Apple’s iPad is at the same price-point as the others.

  • http://twitter.com/ryuden Ryann Murphy Uden

    Thanks for sharing–it is great to hear what everyone is doing with iPads. Here at the Barrington Area Library, we have tethered iPads loaded with literacy apps and interactive e-books for preschoolers, as well as some for adults. We are about to roll out some for older kids. Our circulation department uses an iPad hooked onto a cart to do their pull lists. We just purchased a set of iPads for programs and storytimes. Our management team all have work iPads and we will soon be able to hook our interlibrary chat and phone system into them. Woot.

  • Deccansoft

    Hi,David lee king it’s good to see your Video. it is so nice and the i pads are vary eassy to handle as we wish we can do it it’s too cool to use it..
    Leadership is a potent combination of strategy and character. But if you must be without one, be without the strategy.

  • M Thigpen

    I saw these the last time I was in LaGuardia and thought it was cool. I would have enjoyed using them had I not been exhausted, frazzled and missing my connecting flight. I hope I never have to fly through LaGuardia again–i-pads or no. OTOH, we are using i-pads at Richland Library for in-house loan primarily, but not exclusively, to give our customers a good option for using our new downloadable magazines in the library. we also have several for staff to use for demonstration purposes when we are teaching about our online resources, especially during off-site events.