Circulating iPads at the Darien Library
The kits include an iPad 2 that has been pre-loaded with apps geared towards ages 2 to 5, a guide to using digital technology with children, an annotated list of the selected apps, general information on early literacy skills, and tips for parents on selecting quality apps for kids. The kits also include a liability form with a breakdown of the cost of the entire kit (the iPad itself, the case, the canvas bag it circulates in.) The liability form basically asks the patron to acknowledge that they are taking responsibility for the kit and should it be lost, broken, or simply not returned, their library card will be charged the full amount (roughly $650.)
Some libraries require their patrons to leave credit card information. Since our library policy stipulates that only equipment costing $1000 or more requires a credit card, we do not take this information when circulating the Early Literacy iPad kits. In the event that a kit is lost or broken, we would charge their library account. It would, essentially, be like having a very large library fine. Every library is different, so in your case you may want to ask your director or board what policies govern the circulation of high ticket items. You may or may not have to take credit info.
Fortunately for us (knock wood!) we have not yet lost a kit. We did recently have one of our iPads malfunction. It was still covered under the warranty and Apple replaced it at no cost to us.
Head of Children’s Services