Take home technology: Princeton Public Library to offer Chromebooks, more hotspots for loan beginning March 19

The Princeton Public Library is increasing the number of mobile hotspots available for patrons to borrow starting Friday, March 19, and will also begin lending Chromebooks out to patrons. Kits containing both devices can also be borrowed.

The offering of additional devices is part of an ongoing effort to expand internet access to library cardholders who do not have connectivity at home. There will be five hotspots, 10 Chromebooks and 10 kits available to borrow.

“Access to the internet is crucial whether you’re looking for a job, seeking health information or doing research for school,” said Princeton Public Library Executive Director Jennifer Podolsky. “Providing internet access to customers at home, including the library’s many digital resources, is one of the ways we are striving to meet the needs of our community.”

The library began circulating six mobile hotspots last summer and also extended the reach of its free high-speed WiFi to cover all of Hinds Plaza. “Those efforts, and the additional hotspots and Chromebooks available this month, help bridge the digital divide that widened with the onset of the pandemic,” Podolsky said.

Library cardholders can borrow a mobile hotspot or Chromebook for two weeks. The hotspots can support up to 15 simultaneous connections with unlimited 4G LTE service. Cardholders will be able to request a mobile hotspot, Chromebook or kit through the online catalog, by phone, or in person.

Cardholders will be required to sign a lending and internet-use policy agreement prior to checking out a device. A parent or guardian must sign the agreements for cardholders under the age of 18.