Technology on demand: Implementing loanable technology services at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Jim Hahn, Lori Mestre, David Ward, Susan Avery

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of the implementation process one academic library used to create a loanable technology program to address student needs for multiple technologies that support and facilitate assignments and other projects, including an increasing number that are multimodal. Design/methodology/approach: This is a case study utilizing focus groups and management data to detail best practices for implementing and maintaining a loanable technology program. Findings: Preliminary results indicate that this program provides value to students and coursework, as well as justifying creating a budget line to support further program development. Implementing a loanable technology program requires additional strategies for policies and procedures related to acquisition, budget allocation, processing, cataloging, check-out, replacement, and security of the equipment, as well as marketing the service. Findability and equitable student access to loanable technology are also discussed. Research limitations/implications: An extensive programmatic evaluation method has yet to be put into place to assess the impact of this program. Suggestions for improvements in the program are included. Practical implications: The process and strategies described in this paper can be replicated by other institutions that are interested in creating a loanable technology program. Originality/value: Although many institutions provide some loanable technology, there is little written that documents decisions made that lead to a successful, robust, and sustainable program.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)34-50
Number of pages17
JournalLibrary Hi Tech
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2011


  • Academic libraries
  • Information services
  • Lending services
  • Multimedia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Library and Information Sciences


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