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 (4-hour) 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. While it is possible to reserve a laptop, the service is primarily intended for drop-in/first-come service.

Only four hours?

The Price Science Commons & Research Library and the Knight Library Checkout and Reserves Desk each have a limited number of machines to check out. 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.

How do renewals work?

When a user returns a laptop to the Price Science Commons & Research Library checkout desk or the Knight Library Checkout & Reserves desk, s/he may request an additional four (4) hour loan. If no one is waiting on a computer, 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 OneDrive, or save on a thumb drive) as you work.  The laptops delete files every time they shut down, and when you return the laptop it will be shut down.

Booking via the online catalog

You can book laptops via the online catalog by going to the records for them, here: Science and Knight. Click on the "find in a library" tab then sign 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?

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.

"Fraction of an hour" 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. 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, they can begin at the desk they checked the laptop out from, or file an appeal here. 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 or the limitation that precludes storing files.  Damage caused by such efforts will be billed at a rate of $50/hour for labor.

What if a laptop is damaged?

Any laptop loaned out by the Libraries 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 unusable 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.