Tips for Circulating iPads

Recommendations for using iPads within the library

These are some strategies that various CPS librarians have employed to manage the use of carts of iPads in their libraries:

  • Number and color-code each iPad as wallpaper on the screen
  • Number and color-code each iPad on the device using various covers
  • Assign color code groups of iPads according to tables; assign specific students to use each number
  • Label slots on the charging cart, so they are returned to the correct slots
  • Keep baskets of micro-fiber fabric swatches on tables, so students can clean the screen after each use or at the beginning of the next class.
  • Use table-top baskets to hold iPads at each table
  • Have students take iPads off the cart and return them to the cart by calling them in groups (e.g. iPads 1-5 blue, iPads 6-10 orange, etc.)
  • Instruct the students how to return the iPads to the cart so that the sync ports are lined up uniformly for ease of attaching the cables
  • Assign a student to supervise as iPads are returned to cart to ensure correct placement of units.
  • DON'T allow students to attached or detach the cables.

Recommendations for circulating iPads outside of the library


It is highly recommended to use your library's automation system to circulate iPads for use outside of the library. Some recommended best-practices for circulating iPads in SOAR include:

  • Number and color-code each iPad via wallpaper on the screen
  • Number and color-code each iPad on the device using various covers
  • Apply matching barcodes and transparent label covers (on the back of the iPad beneath the cover), as well as the iPad cover.
  • Create a record for a single item entitled "iPad" in SOAR. Add the item to the equipment collection, so it can be circulated to teachers for a default 28 days
  • Create additional items under the same record for all iPads
  • In the record, use the prefex "iPad', use the color of the cover as the class, and use the number of the iPad as the cutter.
  • Add the serial number of the iPad in the accession field, so the iPad record can be recovered if the barcodes are removed.
  • By creating a single record in SOAR, you can view a complete listing of the iPad circulation statistics under one record in the "Staff Services" tab under Titles and Items. You can easily click on the records for individual iPads that are out or overdue to identify the current borrower.