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iPads for Alaskan Libraries: Loaning your iPads

A resource and training guide for Alaskan libraries with iPads.

Loaning Considerations

To circulate, or not to circulate--that is the question.

Allowing your patrons to check out iPads from the library provides them with an opportunity to explore, practice and become proficient using this new technology.  Prior to circulating the iPads consider adding a collection of commonly used apps to each device.  Make it easier for your patrons to explore and use the apps by grouping them into folders on the iPad.

Prior to circulating your iPads, be sure to publicize your iPad loan policies. Add a webpage to your website with the following information:

  • iPad eligibility requirements,
  • borrower responsibilities,
  • loan period,
  • overdue fines 
  • iPad replacement costs.

Ask borrowers to remove any personal information and data that they have added to the iPad before returning it. Many of your borrowers may not know how to accomplish this, so be sure and inform them that any personal information or data loaded on a borrowed iPad will be promptly removed by library staff.  You may also want to provide a link to an iPad troubleshooting guide.

Apple ID Device Limit

An Apple ID is the email address you use as a login for just about everything you do with Apple, including using iCloud to store your content, buying songs from the iTunes Store, and downloading apps from the App Store.  What you should know about your Apple ID:

  • Your Apple ID can have up to 10 devices associated with it
  • Devices become associated with your Apple ID when you access your iTunes account  or download apps
  • Once a device or computer is associated with your Apple ID you cannot associate that device with another Apple ID for 90 days

So Your Library Wants To Lend iPads

Published on Oct 20, 2013

So Your Library Wants To Lend iPads #lib2013
presentation from Heather Westhaver, Librarian Trainer

"Hear about the Do's and Don'ts of launching a circulating iPad collection from the first public library in Canada to lend the iPad mini. Introduced by Burlington Public Library in February 2013, this session covers the collection's start-up process, the costs, working with Apple, the technology side of things, staff roles, and how much the customers love it!"

When Your iPad Gets Returned to the Library

Protect your patron's privacy by wiping their data off a library iPad before passing it along to the next patron. You can do this by restoring a library iPad from a back up.  Restoring the iPad erases any photos or other personal information left on the device.

Here's how!


Prior to circulating your iPads create a back up of your configured settings in iTunes. Be sure and give this back up a unique name, such as "iPad Circ1" See Apple's guide to backing up your device on how to back up your iPad. For towns with poor bandwidth, we recommend backing up via iTunes and not to iCloud.


If you make changes to your iPad, you'll need to make a new back up before you lend it out again. 


Use your back up in iTunes to quickly restore the settings of an iPad when it has been returned to the library. Restoring the iPad erases any apps that a patron may have installed or downloaded.

  • Connect your iPad to your computer via the USB cable.
  • Click iPad on the navigation bar.  The iPad management scree should appear.
  • Click Summary tab.
  • Select This computer radio button
  • Click Restore Backup
  • In the Restore from Backup dialogue box , use the arrows to select the appropriate backup to use.  Click Restore
  • iTunes restores the data from the backup. A box with the time remaining to complete the process will appear.  Do Not Disconnect the iPAD during this restore process.
  • Cick OK
  • You may disconnect your iPad once the sync process is completed.


Finally, if your iPad becomes messed up beyond all recognition, you can reset it to its factory settings by using Apple's page on How to restore your iPad to factory settings.


Sample iPad User Agreement Forms

Guide Author

Daniel Cornwall's picture
Daniel Cornwall

Contact me!

Julie Marie Niederhauser's picture
Julie Marie Niederhauser
Telephone: 907-465-2916