When a recent online article in Newsweek stated that 91% of American adults own cell phones, it came as no surprise to the library staff at Riverside City College. For years, students have been scouring the library – perimeter walls, floors, bathrooms – in search of spare outlets with which they could recharge their phones and other electronic devices. Out of sympathy for the students, some staff would allow charging at public service desks, but the security of the devices was always a concern. Results from the 2013 RCC Library Use Survey revealed that 88.1% of the library users felt that having electrical outlets near seating areas was an important or very important library service. When asked to “briefly list what we can do to improve library resources and services,” 27 of 188 responses indicated that library users wanted greater access to electrical outlets.
These results were discussed at a library department meeting, and the library faculty subsequently discussed finding a more secure alternative to providing charging that did not require staff assistance. The librarians agreed that purchasing a self-service goCharge station may lead to improvement in this area – a prime example of service area assessment and data-driven decision making in action!
While many configurations are available, RCC selected a unit that includes lockers for 8 phones (both iPhone and Android) and 2 tablets. Use of the station is free and is completely self-service. A bypass key comes with system in the event that a student forgets his locker code. Customized wraps are available for an additional fee. The system is a bit pricey, but it does draw quite a bit of attention. For more information go to http://gochargenow.com/