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Palo Alto Library to loan out Google Chromebooks alongside real books

Amar Toor, @amartoo

Google has teamed up with the Palo Alto Library to offer its Chromebooks on loan, as part of a pilot program slated to kick off in January. As Wired explains, the Silicon Valley library has long offered laptops for visitors to use, though these devices were only available for two-hour windows, and were forbidden from leaving the premises. A few months ago, however, Google approached the library about offering Chromebooks for longer periods, in the hopes of bringing the device's cloud-based "shareability" to a wider audience. Palo Alto's librarians tried out 21 Chromebooks over the course of one month before deciding to loan them out for one-week periods, beginning next year. The notebooks have been available for on-grounds use for the past month, though according to Senior Librarian Jessica Goodman, the institution's Windows-based laptops are still more popular among patrons. "People would try it and say, 'That was pretty cool. I wish I could do word processing with that,'" Goodman told Wired, adding that the forthcoming one-week loans should give users more time to familiarize themselves with the device, and "spark a little bit of interest." East Coasters, meanwhile, can reap similar benefits at the Samsung Experience store in New York, where Chromebooks are now available on loan from the Chrome Zone. Check out the source link for more details.

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