Chromebooks and Mobile Hotspots
Washington County Library has Chromebooks and hotspot devices to help you access the internet outside of the library! Hotspots can be checked out separately to use with your own devices or borrowed as part of a Chromebook kit.
Hotspots and Chromebook kits can be checked out for one month at a time, and if there are no other holds may be renewed three times. Devices that are 30 days overdue will be automatically disabled and cannot be used until they are returned.
Lost or broken devices may accrue up to $250 in replacement or repair fees.
To check out a hotspot or Chromebook kit
Please note: Devices must be picked up at a library branch. They cannot be delivered to Library Express lockers.
Using a Chromebook
- Turn on the hotspot included in the kit.
- Turn on the Chromebook and accept the terms and conditions. The Chromebook should automatically connect to this hotspot for internet service. It cannot connect to any other Wi-Fi networks.
- If the hotspot is not automatically connected, tap or click on the Wi-Fiicon in the lower right corner of the screen and a menu will popup. Tap on the "Not connected" dropdown menu, then on the hotspot network name to connect.
- After connecting to the hotspot, the Chromebook will allow you to browse and use apps on the internet. You are encouraged to use a Google account if you plan to do work or save projects. If you do not have an account, you can sign up for free.
Like other library computers, your session will be cleared when you log out of the Chromebook. There are a number of options to save your work:
|Use a Google Account||Save Files to the Cloud||Use a Flash Drive|
If you are logged in to a Google account, you'll be able to use all Google apps right in your Chromebook browser. Any work you do while you are logged in and using a Google app is automatically saved to the cloud.
Downloaded files can also be uploaded to your Google Drive account.
If you prefer not to use a Google account, there are other online options to save files. Some services may not be free, depending on your needs.
If you download a file while using the Chromebook, it will be temporarily saved to the Downloads folder. To move your file to a flash drive (also called a USB, jump or thumb drive):
Chromebooks do not have software like Microsoft Office or Adobe Create Suite. However, a Gmail account gives you access to several free Google applications that have similar functions. Your work in these applications will be automatically saved within your account.
Create a document
Create a spreadsheet
Create a presentation
Make calls and video chat
Organize your calendar
Find and save files
Find and save photos
Microsoft Photos, iPhoto
- Hotspot borrowers are subject to Washington County Library's Internet Use Policy.
- You can connect up to 10 devices to the hotspot. The more devices that are connected, the slower the network will be.
- Hotspots are recommended for basic internet browsing, email, and other small tasks. Hotspots are not recommended for streaming HD video, downloading or uploading large files, video gaming, or other tasks that require high bandwidth, as these activities will slow down your internet speed.
Using a Hotspot
NOTE: If you have a Chromebook kit, your Chromebook should automatically connect to the hotspot once both devices are turned on. If the hotspot is not automatically connected, tap or click on the Wi-Fiicon in the lower right corner of the screen and a menu will popup. Tap on the "Not connected" dropdown menu, then on the hotspot network name to connect.
Turn on the hotspot
Troubleshooting: If “Welcome” does not appear, the battery could be dead. Plug in your hotspot to let it charge. If the screen is frozen, hold down the power button for 10 seconds.
Connect your device to the internet
Troubleshooting: Try to use the hotspot in an open space, near a window or external wall. If still unable to connect, try restarting your device.
Turn off the hotspot
Hotspots and Chromebooks were funded by Washington County through the federal CARES Act. A portion of Washington County Library hotspots were funded with a grant from the Minnesota Department of Education using federal funding, CFDA 45.310 – Library Services and Technology Act, Grants to States Program (LS-00-20-0024-20).