The UW InfoLabs have implemented a limit on the number of laptops that can be checked out per semester. This was implemented to increase the availability of laptops. It will not affect most patrons, since only a very few actually use a laptop more than 20 times. If you checked a laptop out last semester, you will receive an email notification of the change. The quota system is also referenced in your confirmation emails when you check a laptop out.
If you feel that you'll need a laptop for more than the 20
allowed checkouts, please take a look at the rentals available from
DoIT. These laptops are available for weekly, monthly, and
semester-long rentals for a reasonable fee. That information is at the DoIT Computer & Accessory Rental page at http://support.doit.wisc.edu/showroom/page.php?id=3086.
Below is a copy of the email sent to previous users of the Laptop checkout system:
You are receiving this email because you have checked out a laptop from the UW Infolab Equipment Checkout System (ECS) within the last year. We wish to notify you of a policy change regarding equipment checkouts from the UW Infolab ECS that will be taking effect starting this semester (Spring 2010).
In an effort to increase the availability of laptops when you need them most, we are implementing a quota of twenty laptop checkouts per student, per semester. The default loan period for laptops will remain at three days. This policy will only apply to laptops (not digital cameras, camcorders, or any other equipment offered by the UW Infolab ECS). As always, there is no time limit in-between checkouts - you are free to check out an identical item immediately after returning one (assuming we have one available at that time).
By our estimates, this policy will affect less than 5% of our active users, but will effectively provide more than a 25% increase in the number of laptops available at any given time. The goal of the UW Infolab ECS is to provide a free computing resource to any UW student or faculty who might require it for a limited timeframe. If you have need of a personal computer for a more extended timeframe, there are better resources available for you here at the UW. DoIT offers semester long rentals of laptops to students and faculty at a very reasonable rate ( http://www.doit.wisc.edu/rental/ ). Also, remember that the Infolabs themselves are available at nearly any time and give you access to software that isn't included on ECS laptops. ( http://www.doit.wisc.edu/computerlabs/labs.asp )
Please see the ECS website ( https://ecs.library.wisc.edu/ ) for a detailed description of our policies, and the answers to many frequently asked questions. You may also check which item you currently have checked out, your remaining quota, and any fines you may have on your account by clicking the 'My Account' tab on the ECS webpage. If you have concerns that aren't addressed on the ECS website, please call any ECS lending location to speak with an Infolab representative.