Rental laptops relieve stress

You know that feeling; you have a last minute paper to finish and you rush to the library.’ Every computer is full!’ You check every last seat in the lobby, roam up and down the computer lab aisles, willing someone to just log off.’ Especially with final papers due in a few short weeks, computers are in high demand on campus.’ Fortunately, both Steely Library and the Student Union offer a free laptop-rental service for any Northern student.’ I can’t count how many times I’ve sat in the library or computer lab just waiting for a body to move away from one of the computers.’ I don’t have a laptop of my own and the on-campus PCs are pretty much how I get all of my homework done.

This is a potentially great program presented by Northern.’ It’s free as long as you take care of university property and it allows for more students to utilize computers on campus.’ Fees and fines can add up if you’re not careful, and there aren’t a ton of computers, but if more students take advantage of this program, perhaps NKU will see the demand and purchase more laptops.

The process is simple enough.’ All you have to do is sign a ‘Laptop Check-out Policy and Loan Agreement Form’ and present the circulation desk staff, or the Student Union information desk staff, with a valid NKU All-Card.’ Laptops are only available for two hours at a time and cannot leave the library or SU. I know, this isn’t much time, right?’ However, if you think about it, it is just about the perfect amount of time to grab a computer if you have a two or one-hour break between classes.’ Laptops are available to renew for another two hours, if you need, as long as there are no other students waiting for laptops.

There are only about 15 laptops in the library.’ ‘At least ten [laptops] a day get checked out,’ said Jennie Cahill, a sophomore Finance major who works in the Student Union.’ ‘We get consistent daily users,’ Bill Henderson a sophomore EMB major, said of the library’s laptop-renters.’ ‘They like to take them to the ‘quiet floor’ and they’re good to come and grab if you don’t want to fool with the other computers,’ he said.’

According to Anderson Peters a sophomore media informatics major, ‘all of the computers are Dell laptops of various eras. There’s even one with Distance Learning software,’ Henderson said.

If you decide to rent a laptop, you better be careful!’ It’s a six-dollar late fee every hour the computer is late, and if the machine gets lost, stolen, or damaged, it’s $1,500 out-of-pocket.’ Also, the laptops are only available while the library and SU are open.’ They should be returned fifteen minutes before the locations close.

One disadvantage to borrowing a laptop is that they can’t print.’ You’ll have to send it to a PC in order to get your assignment converted to paper; so if you need a computer in a hurry for that, you’re out of luck.

Overall, I think that this is a great program presented by NKU.’ Sure, it has its drawbacks and disadvantages, but at least it shows a concerted effort.’ More students should take advantage of this luxury, and if you’re lucky enough to have your own laptop, don’t take it for granted!’ Some of us are still stalking the library trying to find an open keyboard.