By Angelina Jahn
Grand Rapids Community College is helping to make technology more accessible to its student body.
This Fall semester, the GRCC Library will have laptops, hotspots, webcams and headsets available to students. These items are unable to be reserved and there’s limited quantities of each, so it’ll be first come first serve. Once the semester is completed, laptops will automatically shut down and must be returned to the library by Dec. 17.
“The pandemic and the transition to online classes cast a light on the size of the digital divide in our campus community,” GRCC Communications Director Dave Murray said. “We quickly realized we needed to provide students with the tools they need to be successful. GRCC has provided hundreds of laptops and other tech equipment and worked with community partners on expanding Wi-Fi access to ensure everyone continues to have access to a quality GRCC education.”
GRCC also offers laptops via vending machines, where they are available to rent, free of charge, for four hours at a time. Students must enter their last name on the machine’s touchscreen and swipe their student ID, which will then prompt the machine to pop out a laptop. After four hours, the laptops must be returned to the vending machine, where they will automatically be wiped and recharged.
There are three vending machines with 12 laptops available in each, one located on the first floor in the North Hallway of Calkins Science Center, another on the third floor of the Student Center, and one on the first floor of the South Hallway of the Lakeshore Campus.
The GRCC Library is located at 140 Bostwick Avenue, 49503, and is open Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.. Students with questions or concerns may call the library at (616) -234-3872.