Drexel University library installs new iPad rental vending machine

In a partnership with the Free Library of Philadelphia, Drexel University is launching an iPad vending machine for students and local residents. The last time most of us went to the library was in our student days in college. Even then, the quiet atmosphere was more attractive than the stacks of books. Librarians are acquainting themselves with the fact that students are still reading, but much of it is coming from digital sources and sitting in an uncomfortable chair at a library desktop computer isn't going to cut it, when it comes to digital literacy.

It turns out that renting an iPad isn't much different from renting a DVD from a RedBox stand. The iPad vending machine is available to residents with library cards and university students. With a swipe of their student id or library card, the iPads are available for up to four hours. I supposed they aren't allowed to be taken out of the library, so less opportunity for damage.

The iPads come with a range of apps which have been pre-selected by the library to serve the literacy needs of the community. Browzine, Hoopla digital, and Mango Languages are among some of the reading and intellectual apps pre-installed.

Drexel's program is part of a larger trend in universities aroudn the country that are expanding their technology offerings. universities know that today's generation of college students are more plugged-in than ever before. For example, in February, Amazon revealed that it partnered with three U.S. colleges to offer brick-and-mortar Amazon stores where students can rent and return their textbooks.

VIA: 9to5 Mac