iPads and Chromebooks at the libraries | PostIndependent.com

iPads and Chromebooks at the libraries

Stephen Tafoya
Garfield County Libraries technology trainer
Amy Shipley reads a Zinio magazine on an iPad at the New Castle Branch Library.
Emily Hisel / Garfield County Libraries |

The iPad has revolutionized the computer world in recent years. In less than five years, tablet computing has grown exponentially. Everywhere you go, you are sure to see someone on a tablet computer. The need for tablet computing is also prevalent here in Garfield County. In response to this, the Garfield County Libraries now offer iPads at each branch for use by the public.

With your Garfield County Libraries membership, you can check out an iPad for in-library use for two hours per day. The iPad comes preloaded with hand-selected apps so you can work and play, no need to log in or create an Apple account. All iPads connect through our free public Wifi, so you can get online right away. Teens ages 11-17 can also have access to iPad 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.

The Garfield County Libraries are also moving in a new direction with laptop technology as well. Instead of purchasing classic Windows laptops, the libraries will be rolling out Chromebook laptops for use in the library. Chromebooks are familiar laptop machines, made by companies like Dell and HP, but the difference lies in the Operating System software (or OS). Running Google’s Chrome OS, users will be connected to the Internet in seconds and getting down to business quicker than traditional laptops. Chromebooks offer today’s web-based tools that many are now accustomed to. But don’t worry if you need a traditional PC — we still have Windows desktop machines for use in the library as well. Even if you don’t need to use a Chromebook, feel free to stop by your local library to get a hands-on learning experience with Chrome OS.

We will be seeking feedback from the community on these technologies — what you liked, what could be improved. That way, we will know what to offer in the future and how to better provide tech services to the community. As we move rapidly with the ever-changing world, we want you to be equipped with the knowledge and tools you need to learn, play and grow.

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