Laptop Lending Program & Laptop Bursary Fund Update
The lending of electronic equipment including laptops will end on August 16 except in cases where our students need the equipment to run unique software, as is the case at the Marvin Duchow Music Library. The service will continue in the Music Library. Frequently asked questions regarding this change are below.
In light of this change, the Library has created the Laptop Bursary Fund to assist students who lack resources to buy or rent a laptop or computer. The bursaries will be awarded for a period of two years to full-time degree students with demonstrated need or exceptional circumstances. Starting August 1, 2013, students can apply for In-Course financial aid through the Financial Aid/Awards menu in Minerva. The Scholarships & Student Aid Office will assess all bursary fund applications and award funds accordingly.
Frequently Asked Questions – Laptop Lending Program (added August 21, 2013)
Why did you eliminate the Laptop Lending program?
The majority of the laptops in our fleet are 5-8 years old, very slow, out of warranty and require expensive outsourcing to repair. With the reduction of staff in both the Library and in the technical support teams, increased parts and laptop replacement costs, and a reduced budget, it is not possible to continue the service. Financial and human resources (from Library and ICS staff) factors were taken into consideration when making the decision to eliminate this service. This service costs over $200,000 per year in staff, maintenance and replacement costs. The new bursary program will run over the course of the next two years. The costs associated with implementing the bursary are significantly less.
How and when was this decision reached?
This spring, due to the University’s financial situation and consequent budget cuts, all McGill departments and units were asked to re-evaluate everything and consider what makes an essential service. The decision to eliminate the program was made at this time of reassessment. The Library could not realistically provide this service with the funds and staffing available. Our energies are focused on supporting and serving the teaching, research and learning needs of the McGill community in ways like collection development, providing access to more e-resources 24/7 and assisting students, faculty and staff in all facets of teaching and learning here at McGill.
What student groups or representatives were involved in this decision?
Library staff members have been in discussion with numerous student represenatives over the past year. The Humanities and Social Sciences Library and Schulich Library staff have also been letting students know throughout the summer in an informal way. The bursary fund was an idea that came out of a discussion that one of our branch heads had with a concerned student.