Borrow Equipment

The User Research Center (URC) offers a variety of equipment for Harvard affiliates to use for user testing and digital accessibility projects within the Harvard community. Note that equipment is for usability and digital accessibility testing only and is not for personal use.

Some examples of when you might borrow equipment:

  • Perform on-the-spot user testing or user interviews in a location other than the User Research Center (URC) in Lamont Library.
  • Analyze tasks from a usability test, create recording clips, or review findings in your office or a local conference room.
  • Use assistive technology to review your digital product with a screen reader or screen magnification software.
  • Set up a test about/in a certain space, such as conducting a micro-feedback survey in a space with an iPad stand, running a wayfinding study with the wearable Tobii Pro Glasses 2 eye-tracking device, or conducting an observational study in your location.

Please note that equipment at the User Research Center is only to be used for long-term usability or accessibility-related projects and not for personal use or unrelated student work. If you need to borrow equipment for personal/short-term usage or for media-related projects, please visit Harvard Library's Tech Loans page.


We do not accept walk-in requests for equipment rentals. Please submit your equipment request with a minimum of 72 hours advance notice. This ensures the equipment is available, ready for pick up, and that URC staff is present when you arrive. The default loan period for equipment is 14 days. If you are interested in a loan beyond 14 days, please indicate this in the Additional Notes section at the bottom of the equipment request form. We can accommodate extended loans depending on equipment availability.

Once you have submitted your equipment request, it will be reviewed by the URC team. You will receive an email from the URC typically within one business day regarding your request. Equipment must be picked up and returned during the URC's hours. We are open 9:00AM–5:00PM, Monday through Friday.

Terms and Conditions of the Loan

  1. Borrowers are responsible for the replacement cost of lost items or equipment damaged while in their care. In the event of lost or damaged equipment, you will be contacted by the User Research Center regarding replacement and/or repair costs. Costs will be collected via check, made out to the Harvard Library. If you incur equipment related repair/replacement charges, you will not be allowed to check out equipment until you remit the cost of the equipment to the User Research Center. 
  2. Only you, the Borrower, may use the equipment loaned. Do not loan your borrowed electronic device to anyone else. 
  3. The Borrower is responsible for the physical security of the borrowed equipment at all times. Do not leave the equipment unattended. When not in your direct care, the equipment must be locked and secured out of sight. Leaving your borrowed equipment unattended may result in revocation of borrowing privileges. 
  4. Borrowers are responsible for the proper use and care of equipment loaned to them. This includes, but is not limited to, the following guidelines: 
  • Correct cabling or power cords are not to be interchanged or substituted and may not be stretched, bent, or broken upon return. 
  • All equipment items are only to be used for the application for which they are designed. 
  • Food and beverages should be kept away from equipment at all times. 
  • Only software installed by the User Research Center is to be used. Installing software of any type is not permitted. This includes any web browser ‘extras’ or extensions or apps on mobile/tablet devices. 
  • Do not change device settings such as wallpaper, color scheme, or any other “Display” settings. 
  • Do not modify any apps or shortcuts on User Research Center devices. 

Any data or files saved to a User Research Center device will be deleted after return of the equipment. Borrowers should save any files to an external storage device before returning the device to the User Research Center. 

Data Storage

If you borrow URC equipment such as laptops, mobile, or tablet devices, please be sure to save your files to an external storage device (external hard drive, USB thumb drive) and transfer the files to your own storage before returning the equipment. We have external hard drives available that can be booked through the equipment request page. All data on the equipment will be wiped upon return.

View and Request the URC's Equipment

View and request the User Research Center's equipment. Once you add equipment to your cart, you will complete the equipment request form at checkout. Please note that reservations must be made with a minimum 72 hours advance notice. If you have any questions about reserving the URC's equipment, please email us at