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.

Loan Periods

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

Place a hold using our catalog, contact us by phone or email, or visit your local library to request one in person. You will receive an email notification when the item is available to pick up. 

Please note: Devices must be picked up at a library branch. They cannot be delivered to Library Express lockers. 

  1. Using a Chromebook
  2. Using a Hotspot
  3. Get Help


Using a Chromebook

  1. Turn on the hotspot included in the kit.
  2. 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. 
  3. If the hotspot is not automatically connected, tap or click on the Wi-FiWifiicon 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.
  4. 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.

Saving Information

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 AccountSave Files to the CloudUse 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.

Learn more about using Google Drive.

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.

  • Apple iCloud
  • Microsoft OneDrive
  • Dropbox, iDrive, Box, and many more! Try a search for "best cloud storage" to find articles comparing services. Be sure to skip the results labeled "Ad"!

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):

  • Plug the flash drive into the Chromebook.
  • Locate the file in your Chromebook's downloads folder.
  • Move the file by dragging it or copying it into the flash drive folder.


Google Apps

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.

Task

Google App

Similar Apps

Email

Gmail icon

Gmail

Outlook, Mail

Create a document

Docs icon

Docs

Word, Pages

Create a spreadsheet

Sheets icon

Sheets

Excel, Numbers

Create a presentation

Slides icon

Slides

PowerPoint, Keynote

Make calls and video chat

Google Duo icon

Duo

Skype, Zoom

Organize your calendar

Calendar icon

Calendar

Outlook, iCal

Find and save files

Drive icon

Drive

OneDrive, iCloud

Find and save photos

Photos Icon

Photos

Microsoft Photos, iPhoto



Hotspots anlogo for the Institute of Museum and Library Servicesd 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).