The thing about desktop computers is that they take up a desk whether or not they are in use. To make the most of limited space, the Millis Public Library recently purchased 10 laptops for patrons to use anywhere in the building. In addition to making patron computing more flexible, the fleet of laptops also made possible new services: computer classes, hands-on demonstrations of library e-resources, an after school Code Camp, and Minecraft parties. In order to protect patron privacy and to make the most of a limited budget, the library used a host of open source technologies. The open source operating system Ubuntu was configured to wipe the laptops' hard drives after every use. Browsers were loaded with HTTPs Everywhere and Privacy Badger, add-ons from the Electronic Frontier Foundation that make browsing the web more secure. LibreOffice, an open source office suite, was specially configured to use Microsoft Office standards, saving the library hundreds of dollars while still meeting patron needs. This talk provides an overview of the process and benefits of Millis' laptop program and a guide for bringing aspects of the program to your own library.
Interests: Electronic Resources, Emerging Technologies, Games and Gaming, Intellectual Freedom, Privacy, Project Management, Research and Statistics, Rural and Small Libraries, Strategic Planning, Technology, Transforming Libraries, Trends and Forecasting
Library Type: Public, Rural