Chromebooks now available at the libraries |

Chromebooks now available at the libraries

Emily Hisel
Garfield County Libraries

For many years now, the Garfield County Libraries have been a popular destination for those who need to use a computer to get online, fill out job applications, work on documents, and play. Last year alone the computers in the libraries were used for over 5,600 hours, and the wireless Internet was accessed for over 5,700 hours.

In order to more efficiently serve our communities, we have been looking for additional technologies to meet the local computing needs. Last year, we began offering iPads to check out to our members. Adults and teens with parental permission can now use iPads for up to 2 hours a day to get on the Internet or use preloaded apps. This has not only given library members a new avenue for technology, but has also freed up our traditional PCs for more people to use.

While the Garfield County Libraries have also been offering laptops for in-library use, we are moving in a new direction with laptop technology. Instead of purchasing classic Windows laptops, the libraries are rolling out Chromebook computers for use in the library.

Chromebooks look like traditional laptop machines, made by companies like Dell and HP, but the difference lies in the Operating System software (or OS). Chromebooks don’t have a Windows OS, nor do they have a bunch of software like Word, Excel or Photoshop installed. This frees up the machine to boot up the Google’s ChromeOS almost instantly, and connect users to the Internet much more quickly than traditional laptops. Chromebooks offer today’s web-based tools that many are now accustomed to, at a fraction of the cost of traditional computers.

Starting today, you can check out a Chromebook for in-library use for two hours per day with your Garfield County Libraries membership. All Chromebooks connect through our free public Wifi so you can get online right away. You can also print from them using our wireless printing technology.

Teens ages 11-17 can have access to Chromebook checkouts with adult approval (check with your local library for eligibility requirements) so they have access to the tools they need and are familiar with in this day and age.

Even if you don’t need to use one, feel free to stop by your local library to get the hands-on learning experience of a Chromebook. For more information visit

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