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Washoe County Library System to offer chromebooks and outdoor resources

The Washoe County Library System is expanding its services with the $20,000 it received in Cares Act funds.
Published: Sep. 9, 2020 at 10:22 AM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - The Washoe County Library System is expanding its services with the $20,000 it received in Cares Act funds. The library system purchased 50 chromebooks and will also set up an outdoor resource area. The outdoor area will include the chromebooks and adhere to social distancing protocols.

Director Jeff Scott said these services will be available at 8 of their major locations. Scott said there’s been a need for computers, WiFi, and printing resources since the start of the pandemic.

“We have people coming up and say, can I use your computers, can I get on the internet?" He added, "We just can’t do it right now, and it denies them access to resources, students who need internet access, adults filing for unemployment or needing to do research and they can’t do it at home.”

Scott said it’s not easy to offer resources when physical access to the library is limited. “The closure has really been a challenge because it really exposes the internet gap, the digital divide in this community.”

He continued, “It’s hard because it’s not really nearly enough of what the need is, but at least it’s something we can provide in the absence of being able to come into the library and use your public access computers.”

According to Scott the library system is working with the city, Washoe County School District, and University of Nevada, Reno to install public WiFi spots. Scott said it’s still in the planning stages.

Renting a Chromebook is free and will be available in a couple weeks.

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