The Baltimore County Public Library announced today it’s gotten a digital boost for its collection.
The library system’s 19 branches are now loaning out e-readers and Google Chromebooks to patrons in an effort to bridge the “digital divide” in the county. There are 210 Playaway Lock e-readers, which come pre-loaded with e-books, and 380 touch-screen Chromebooks to go around. Checkout times are three weeks for e-readers and one week for the laptops.
The library system will also have two rotating “mobile training labs,” each of which has 20 laptops for students and one for an instructor.
Additionally, county libraries will soon have GoChips available for loan. The devices are portable drives that come pre-loaded with TV shows and movies, so as not to incur any subscription charges like streaming services, such as Netflix or Hulu.
All of this is possible thanks to a $500,000 fiscal 2017 budget line for the library system’s information technology office. County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, who was present at the Wednesday morning announcement of the capital project at the Towson Branch, said in a release that they will help residents “access the latest technology, be more computer-literate, and learn the technical skills that are so vital now in our workplaces and global economy.”
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