NEW CASTLE – New Castle County Library patrons can now checkout Chromebooks and Wi-Fi hotspots from their local libraries thanks to a partnership between the County and the Delaware Division of Libraries’ Digital Loaning Initiative.
The pandemic made the digital divide in the community more acute. Access to tech and broadband are critical for job searches, schoolwork, unemployment assistance, benefit applications, telehealth consultations, and other online activities. Each County branch will have 9 Chromebooks and 5 Wi-Fi hotspots available for checkout. Contract libraries may also have devices available for checkout.
“Libraries play an important role in providing computer and internet access to the community,” stated County Executive Matthew Meyer. “By offering Chromebooks and Wi-Fi hotspots for checkout, we are helping to meet an essential need and are providing important tools to help our community recover from the pandemic.”
Chromebooks are like other laptops but run apps instead of traditional software. Patrons can sign in as a guest to browse the internet or can create/sign in with a Google account to create and share documents, edit photos, listen to music, etc. using Chrome apps. Once the patron logs out, other users will not be able to access their personal data. Patrons may also check out a Wi-Fi hotspot, which provides internet access anywhere a Verizon cellular signal is present.
- Devices may be checked out by a patron 18 years old or older with a Delaware public library card in good standing (i.e. library card is not blocked due to unpaid fines or lost material).
- Patrons must fill out a pre-device survey and sign a user agreement.
- Chromebooks are available for 1 week (7 days) with up to 3 renewals if no other holds exist.
- Hotspots are available for 1 week (7 days) with up to 3 renewals if no other holds exist.
- Patrons can place Chromebooks on hold online (https://dlc.lib.de.us/ ) or by contacting their local library. Local holds only, items will not be put in transit.
- Devices must be returned in person and handed to a staff member at the library from which it was picked up. Devices may not be returned using the bookdrop.
- Wi-Fi hotspots are limited to one per household.
- Chromebooks are limited to one per person.
- Overdue devices will be deactivated and locked.