Laptop Checkout for UO Students, Staff, and Faculty

About & Policies | Bookings | Laptop Specs

What is Laptop Checkout?

Laptop Checkout is a Library service available to current UO community members seeking a short-term mobile computing solution. Current students, staff, or faculty presenting UO ID or other suitable photo ID may check out a Dell laptop for a standard loan period of up to four (4) hours, and renewal is not guaranteed. (Note: before checking out a laptop users are required to complete the loan agreement form once per term.) Though this service is made available for drop-in users, it is highly recommended that students book (reserve) a laptop, particularly during the later weeks of the term.

Only four hours?

The Price Science Commons & Research Library has a relatively limited number of machines which are used both for user check-out and classroom instruction. In order to ensure that the largest number of students benefit from this service, a four (4) hour limit on the loan period has been imposed. However, users seeking multiple four (4) hour loans will be granted renewals based on machine availability and service demand. Additionally, a laptop checked out within four hours of closing will usually be due at opening time the next day, thereby granting a longer loan period; the exception to this rule will be if a laptop is needed for classroom instruction before two hours after the opening time, in which case the laptop will be due at closing time.

How do renewals work?

When a user returns a laptop to the Price Science Commons & Research Library checkout desk, s/he may request an additional four (4) hour loan. If no other user has booked the machine in question, the added time will be granted. Renewals must be made in person, and renewal over the phone or by email is NOT available at this time.

Please note: we strongly suggest you back up/save your work (that is, email it to yourself, or upload to googledocs, or save on a thumb drive or any other thing that is not "just save on the laptop") before bringing the computer for a new checkout.  It's possible someone will be waiting for it, and that means you can't check it back out, which means we can't very well release it back to you to retrieve your work then. It's often problematic to even allow you to stand at the desk and do what you need to do.  Really, save first.

Booking via the online catalog

You can book laptops via the online catalog by going to the record for them, here, and clicking on the "find in a library" tab then signing in to make a request.  Requests can be made for any time we are open, but will fail if you try to book them for longer than the typical 4-hour loan.  Generally during most of the term, bookings aren't really necessary, since we have a sufficient number to avoid very many conflicts; on the other hand, if you know you will definitely need a laptop during a particular time, you're welcome to make a booking.  If you try and get stuck, give us a call, or call the Knight Library circulation desk, where staff are also familiar with bookings.

What happens if a laptop is returned late?

Bad things. Late laptops are subject to a steep fine of $20.00 per hour, for any fraction of the hour late. This policy is in place to encourage users to return laptops on time, and to give the library the best chance possible of honoring bookings (reservations) made by other users. Additionally, users who repeatedly return machines late may be blocked from checking out laptops in the future. 

Wait - $20.00 per hour for any fraction of the hour late?

Right. This means that if a laptop is due at 8:00 am and returned to the desk at 9:05 am, a $40.00 fine will be assessed via the university's Accounts Receivable office. Similarly if a machine is due at 4:30 pm and the user fails to return it until 6:32 pm, a $60.00 fine will be assessed because the third hour has started (this is the same as the rule for days for ordinary nonreserve books - it doesn't matter if the book is turned in at 9am or 9pm if it's 5 days overdue) Fines are charged to all user types.

What about fine appeals?

If a borrower wishes to appeal a fine because the laptop was returned late due to unusual circumstances, s/he can begin at the Price Science Commons & Research Library checkout desk. Please note that the following are generally not reasons we will waive a fine:

  • unaware of loan period
  • unaware of fine amount (these are both noted on the machine itself)
  • being a student (true of nearly all borrowers)

What kinds of machines are available?

Laptops are all Dell PCs (no Macs), currently running Windows 10. The machines all have wireless capability and the latest version of the Microsoft Office suite of applications. Users may not alter the machine's software, which includes downloading software or attempting to subvert this limitation.

What if a laptop is damaged?

Any laptop loaned out by the Price Science Commons & Research Library has been inspected for damages. If a machine has cosmetic or other minor damages that should not affect the general operation of the laptop, staff will point out those damage(s) and the machine will be loaned out. (Any machine deemed unworthy for circulation will not be loaned out to begin with.) When borrowed, the laptop is the responsibility of the borrower, and damages discovered at the next check-in will result in damages fees. Like late fines, damages are billed directly to the university account. The amount charged will depend on the nature and extent of the damages. In extreme cases the full replacement cost of the laptop may be assessed to the user's account.