The Mississauga Library is launching two, free new pilot platforms to give Library users better access to technology and the internet using Wi-Fi hotspots and Chromebooks.
“Our job as a public library is to understand the unique needs of our users. We exist so that residents can learn, discover and create,” said Lori Kelly, Director, Library. “Programs like these are essential because they focus on digital literacy and inclusion and ensure that people can access the resources and information they need, when they need them.”
The Chromebooks and hotspots were both purchased through a provincial grant.
Chromebooks (Available only at Cooksville, Malton and Sheridan libraries)
A Chromebook is a laptop that runs Chrome OS as its operating system. These laptops are designed to be used primarily while connected to the internet, with most applications and data residing “in the Google cloud.” However, there are a variety of applications that can be run offline. Chromebooks allow more flexible use of technology for users in the library allowing for better collaborative use like group work. The Library’s Chromebooks can be used anywhere inside the Library and cannot be removed from the building. They are available at the Cooksville, Sheridan and Malton locations. Chromebooks can be borrowed until the Library closes; however, cannot be reserved. Users must use a valid youth or adult library card.
Hotspots (Available only at Cooksville library)
The Library has purchased 10 hotspots devices to improve access to Wi-Fi and provide a new way for users to access the internet. As a pilot, hotspots launched in mid-September and are currently available at the Cooksville library for a seven-day loan period. Similar to a Wi-Fi network, hotspots can be used at home, work or on the go to connect any device to the internet.
Kelly added, “Today, people expect to be able to find and access information from wherever they are. By introducing our hotspot pilot platform, Library users can now connect to the internet anywhere they go. The Library is committed to looking for new and innovative ways to introduce technology and improve access to information for all Mississauga residents.”
Last year, the City began updating its long-range plan for the next five years for the Library. The plan looks at the number of residents using City-run programs, services and facilities and seeks to understand what the community sees as priorities so we can ensure we continue to meet their needs now and in the future. One of the six priorities for the Library’s plan is to Invest in Technology to Bridge the Digital Divide with hot spot and Chromebook lending being a deliverable in the plan.
The Mississauga Library is one of the largest public library systems in Canada with more than 500,000 registered users. Over the last few years, the Library has integrated mobile and online access to eBooks, audiobooks, research databases and archives making access easier, more convenient and accessible.
For more information about the Chromebook and hotspot pilot platforms, or to find out more about Mississauga Library, visit mississauga.ca/library.