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The Main Library has 15 iPads available for checkout from the circulation desk on a first come, first served basis. The iPads have wireless access to the campus network, but are not 3G models.   While the iPads have many educational, informational, and entertainment uses, the library's purpose in making them available is to provide a handheld option for the use of our extensive collection of e-books



Library iPads have a number of apps loaded on them and are regularly updated.  Safari is loaded, but many features you're used to using in a browser on a computer are not effective in Safari on an iPad.  When you have the option of using an app to accomplish the same task (e.g. Hulu, Blackboard, Google, etc.) use it.

Apps of interest:

  • Blackboard Mobile Learn -- effective for reading pdfs in your Blackboard courses (instructions)
  • Lynda.com -- an online training tool
  • eBook apps like Free Books, iBooks, Stanza, Kobo, and Wattpad
  • eBook and audiobook loaner app Overdrive (instructions)
  • News sources such as NPR, New York Times Editor's Choice, Huff Post, AP, Wall Street Journal, Time Magazine, WKSU, USA Today, BBC News, Bloomberg
  • Reference materials such as the Periodic Table, Wikipanion, Dictionary.com, MyCongress, FaveQuotes.com

Suggestions for apps to add to the library portfolio may be directed to Allison Gallaher or Jessica Grim.



  • iPads are intended primarily for use by Oberlin College students, faculty, and staff. Faculty and staff also have access to iPads from OCTET.  A valid ID card is required for check-out.

Time Limits & Availability

  • iPads may be checked out from the circulation desk from opening until ½ hour before the library closes.
  • The loan period is 3 days.  The iPad is due before midnight or closing (whichever is earlier) on the day it is due. It may not be returned to the bookdrop.
  • iPads are available on a first come, first served basis. They may not be reserved ahead of time.
  • During busy periods, we ask users to wait 30 minutes before renewing or borrowing another iPad.

Fines & Liability

Borrowers are expected to return iPads in good working order and on time. Please report any problems you have immediately to the circulation staff. We urge you to check before you leave the desk area to confirm that the iPad is working. We will bill you for repair charges if the item is returned damaged.

  • Overdue fines are $10/day for the iPad and $10/day for the charger/USB cable.
  • Borrowers will be billed $750 immediately for the replacement cost of a lost or stolen iPad.


1.  How do I get help using the iPad?

View the Safari guided tour, which has a lot of pointers about using the iPad in general.  Also, in Safari, the iPad User Guide is bookmarked.

2. What happens if I buy apps?

They will be charged to your iTunes account and left on the iPad you were using. They will later be deleted from that iPad by subsequent users or library staff during maintenance. If you think there are apps we should have on the iPad, let us know!

3.  How do I sign out of my iTunes account?

Settings/Store/Select your username/Sign Out

4.  How do I read documents in Blackboard?

  • Open Blackboard Mobile Learn, sign in, and navigate to a course. 
  • Select the document you want to read. 
  • You'll have the choice to View in Browser or open the Attachment.  Select the attachment.

  • This will open the document.  Don't be surprised if it takes longer than you'd expect to open.
  • When the document is open, you can enlarge the view by selecting the square icon at the top of the window (to the right of the X). 


Last updated:
July 11, 2013