Suburban Library Cooperative

Suburban Library Cooperative

Suburban Library Cooperative Increases Community Engagement With Digital Touchpoints.

With the launch of just 20 Armodilo Sphere countertop iPad kiosks, member branches of Michigan’s Suburban Library Cooperative  found a new tool to connect with kids and adults alike.

Overseeing library operations and service to 21 communities in Southeastern lower Michigan’s Macomb, Oakland, and Wayne Counties through 25 library branches, the Suburban Library Cooperative has helped its member libraries serve the public better  since 1978 with centralized tools including automated circulation, internet access, and public computers. 

With all the recent changes in computing technology and platform interactivity, it’s no surprise that some of the Suburban Library Cooperative’s (SLC) member library patrons began to request access to tablets and tablet powered applications, which is when SLC member libraries started thinking about the possibilities of tablet computers like the iPad.

Security, ease of use, maximum visibility?

With over a third of the SLC’s member libraries requesting tablet implementation at the same time, Head of Systems and Systems Administrator Chris Frezza had some concerns, including which tablets the SLC would deploy, how they could be installed for public consumption and maximum visibility, their ease of use, and their security. Additionally, Frezza was looking for a solution that, aesthetically, would fit seamlessly in to a library environment.

After researching various kiosks and security solutions, Frezza decided to use the Armodilo Sphere, with customized options to block the home and power buttons which met his security and aesthetic needs perfectly.

Piloting 20 Sphere Tablet Enclosures

For Frezza, and for the Suburban Library Cooperative, the choice to use Armodilo was about more than appearance, it was also about flexibility. For the pilot project, Frezza ordered 20 Sphere enclosures to be installed in 8 libraries, and they were an immediate success. “Kids flock to it immediately,” said Frezza, “they're saying, ‘Add more and more apps, add more apps,’  and it's going over pretty well.”

Multi-tablet capability provides a choice of tablets without using different looking display solutions

One of the key reasons the pilot program has been so successful is the Multi-Tablet Capability of Armodilo’s Original line. Although member libraries initially used both the 12.9-inch iPad Pro and the 9.7-inch iPad Air to engage patrons, both can be switched out for tablets of similar size down the road as required. Now, all member libraries can order a tablet, an Armodilo case, and the library’s remote administration software simply, and Frezza expects to see more in use in the future.

It’s patrons of all ages who are using Armodilo-powered kiosks throughout the SLC system. “There's a few libraries who've got them set up in their children's room, teen room, and adult room,” said Frezza, “this is a brand new project. Right now, when you go into a library, they usually have public computers. We’re supplementing them. And, maybe, if it’s an older computer, maybe we’ll replace it with an iPad and an Armodilo Enclosure and see how it goes.”

Successful deployments increase engagements

Thanks to Armodilo tablet enclosures, Chris Frezza and the Suburban Library Cooperative found success with their tablet computer deployment, and librarians have noticed increased engagement across age demographics. Better yet, Frezza is excited about deploying Armodilo solutions in the future as demand for this program expands: “This is a pretty easy turnkey package.  You buy your iPad, you buy the Armodilo unit and you put them together. I think it's a nice addition to the library, and it's a nice looking piece too.” 

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