Cornelius Public Library is one of the first libraries in Oregon to make available computer laptops for people to check out and take home.
According to a news release, 10 Hewlett-Packard laptops were donated last year through a multi-donor grant project. The Friends of the Cornelius Library recently received a donation of 10 Lenovo Thinkpads laptops this year. Five laptops are used for an instructional bilingual computer lab. The remaining 15 are available for people to check out and take home.
The initial five laptops have been checked out 118 times since August 2014. No files can be save directly to the laptops. Files must be saved to an external device, such as a flash drive or to the Internet. Patrons can keep the laptop for up to three weeks, then they must be returned.
According to Library Director Karen Hill, no laptops have come up missing. But if one should, the library works with a collection agency that will attempt the retrieve the equipment.
In addition to the laptops, the Cornelius Library has 11 wired computers, six Kindles, and five tablets for users to borrow.
“We are starting to plan new and innovative services that will be offered in the new library,” Library Director Karen Hill said. “We want to be prepared to scale up services like this immediately when the new library opens sometime in 2017.”
Washington County Cooperative Library Services recently conducted a survey to better understand how the community uses and benefits from free access to computers and the Internet at the library. According to the survey, 23 percent of public technology use is for educational activities; 21 percent use it for employment needs.
“Having computer access to work on college course work at the Cornelius library has made a huge difference in my life,” wrote one survey respondent. “I wouldn’t be able to keep up in my classes otherwise.”
For more information, visit the Cornelius Public Library website.