In an academic library, your vitality hinges on keeping students engaged with your servicesand resources. Without students, your library wouldn’t exist – no books, no stacks, no databases, no computers.
Twenty-first century technology raises the bar on student expectations and involvement when it comes to libraries. Students expect more of everything, but often don’t see those expectations met in the library. Many academic libraries feel like an extension of a college instead the brain of the college – they fail to meet student needs and lack incentives for full utilization of library technology.
With the right approach to academic library technology, you shift students’ perceptions about what libraries are – no longer just stuffy places with only books. Here are four ideas to make the library technology leap with your students:
1. Give Students a Sense of Control
Allow your students to have a voice in the technology offered at your library. When students feel like their voice is heard, they’re more likely to use the academic library technology and services you offer. Create a poll to gauge student opinions on what they expect in the age of the digital library. Would they rather have iPads or more computers? Standard copiers or state-of-the-art book scanners? Simply ask; they’ll feel more involved – and stay more involved.
2. Create a Contest
Why not start a “Save A Tree” campaign? Post information at every copier, printer and book scanner – every 8,333 pieces of paper not used equals one tree saved. Challenge other universities for a friendly “go green” competition and see who saves the most trees with their library technology. Adding a little challenge to your academic library doesn’t just get students more involved – it’s good library management. A book scanner that allows scans to be sent directly to email, mobile devices or Google Drive saves you on serious paper and ink/toner costs. Everybody wins.
3. Change the Scenery
When all the computers and equipment are locked in place, creating long lines at the printer, students feel stifled. Why not shift the surroundings and use library space more efficiently?
With document capture analytics and scanning equipment that isn’t too heavy to move, maximize your space usage throughout the day by positioning book scanners in the places they’re needed most when they’re needed most. Harnessing the power of document analytics makes you more responsive to student needs as they evolve over time.
4. Offer More Options
These days, more students need equipment that’s able to carry out more diverse functions. They need equipment that allows for quick, easy document sharing –straight from book to iPad or mobile device – and they want it to be fast. Scanning equipment that carries out multiple functions (scan to mobile, scan to email or scan to USB drive) is the future they’re demanding.
Fortunately, this shift also helps you. The right piece of versatile equipment saves you on purchasing – why buy three devices when one does the trick? Make the easiest library management decision ever and consider getting an all-in-one device that your budget and your students love.
Implement these ideas today and see students engage with your academic library technology like never before. With the right student-focused mindset and the right equipment in place, you’ll make students wonder how they ever did without.
Is your library keeping up with the next-generation student? Are you prepared with the right academic library technology for the twenty-first century? Click the button below to download our free report.