Drexel University's 'iPad vending machine' lets Philadelphia residents rent the tablets

Drexel University and the Free Library of Philadelphia have teamed up to introduce an 'iPad vending machine' that lets residents to rent the tablets for up to four hours at a time.

From the Drexel News Blog:

Residents of Philadelphia's Mantua and Powelton Village neighborhoods bordering Drexel's campus will be able to use their Free Library of Philadelphia card to sign out an iPad and use it for a maximum of four hours. With a swipe of their Drexel ID, students will also be able to check out an iPad. Users won't have to worry about personal data being stored on the iPad as all information entered will be removed once the iPad is returned to its slot in the kiosk.

The introduction of the iPad kiosk follows up a previous laptop-lending program that proved to be quite successful:

"Based on the success of the laptop lending kiosk in our library, self-service technology has proven to serve as an easy, attractive option for access to items we know our library users want," said Danuta A. Nitecki, PhD, dean of Drexel Libraries. "We are exploring more opportunities to share technology via kiosks as well as new options for enriching the learning spaces where our Drexel community engages with information. It has been exciting to work with colleagues at the Free Library to think how tools might help our neighbors gain access to self-help training and practice discovery of information sources."

The iPads will come pre-loaded with select educational apps, as well as those for photo and video editing. Some of the pre-loaded apps include BrowZine, an app that allows users to browse scholarly articles, and language-learning app Mango Languages.

Source: Drexel News Blog