Technology on demand

Jim Hahn (University of Illinois at Urbana‐Champaign, Urbana, Illinois, USA)
Lori Mestre (University of Illinois at Urbana‐Champaign, Urbana, Illinois, USA)
David Ward (University of Illinois at Urbana‐Champaign, Urbana, Illinois, USA)
Susan Avery (University of Illinois at Urbana‐Champaign, Urbana, Illinois, USA)

Library Hi Tech

ISSN: 0737-8831

Publication date: 8 March 2011



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.


This is a case study utilizing focus groups and management data to detail best practices for implementing and maintaining a loanable technology program.


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.


Although many institutions provide some loanable technology, there is little written that documents decisions made that lead to a successful, robust, and sustainable program.



Hahn, J., Mestre, L., Ward, D. and Avery, S. (2011), "Technology on demand", Library Hi Tech, Vol. 29 No. 1, pp. 34-50.

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Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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