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SIU’s Morris Library receives ‘significant’ donation of laptops for student use

A student using one of the newly donated laptops
Russell Bailey
SIU News
Elisa Lopez, a junior in marketing who is also a student worker in Morris Library, shows off one of the laptops the library has available for students to utilize during the semester. Schneider recently donated nearly 50 laptops to the library. With Lopez are Marissa Ellermann, an associate professor of practice and head of circulation services, and John Pollitz, dean of library affairs.

CARBONDALE, Ill. – A recent donation of nearly 50 laptops to Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Morris Library by Schneider in helping augment students’ educational opportunities.

The laptops are strictly for student use for a semester. The program started during the COVID-19 pandemic to assist students with remote learning and has grown from there, said Marissa Ellermann, an associate professor of practice and head of circulation services.

The library now has 117 laptops available for students to check out during the semester. The laptops are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Making a ‘significant difference’

The additional laptops will “make a significant difference to our students’ ability to succeed and remain enrolled” and is in line with the university’s mission of working to ensure student success, Dean of Library Affairs John Pollitz said.

“I’m so impressed with how Marissa saw an opportunity to bring a new group of laptops into our collections and refresh the laptops in our supply,” Pollitz said. “Many of our students need assistance meeting the costs related to completing their education. Computers are very expensive tools that they need to reach graduation. This support from Schneider helps our students succeed by mitigating one of the expenses that come with a university degree.

“We are overwhelmed by Schneider’s generosity. They are helping our students succeed at SIU and achieve their full potential.”

Pollitz noted the library had a policy of allowing students to use laptops within the library prior to the arrival of COVID-19. The library then received a donation of 100 laptops as part of an emergency fund to support students who didn’t have access to computers in their homes, and the library started to allow students to take laptops home for the entire semester.

“Although laptops can be viewed as a convenience, not having one can be an enormous barrier to success,” Ellermann said. “Students have more flexibility to complete coursework both online and in person while balancing their personal lives, which is invaluable. Schneider’s positive impact on our students will continue for years as each laptop circulates to another individual.”

Ellermann explained laptops started being checked out Aug. 21 for the fall semester. Students are required to show their current class schedule and sign a laptop agreement form acknowledging they are taking responsibility for the laptop’s safety, care and security for the semester. Students receive a laptop, charger and a bag, and within a week, students receive a follow-up email, which includes a reminder of when laptops are to be returned.

“It’s a serious privilege, so we make sure they understand that,” Ellermann said.

For more information on the program, contact Ellermann at 618-453-1159 or mellermann@lib.siu.edu.


Pete Rosenbery — arts and design, architecture, automotive and aviation, humanities, journalism and mass communications, law, public policy, social sciences.

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