Chromebooks in the K-12 Library

Source: http://goo.gl/H1OPn

While reading my unautographed copy (yay!) of Doug Blue Skunk Johnson’s The Indispensable Librarian, I found myself reflecting that any technology planning guide should include libraries. I confess that I’d left libraries out of my technology planning guide, not because I forgot them per se, but because, well, they weren’t my first priority. A mortal sin, I know.

One of Doug’s points in his book is that as we move online more, our “students’ homes become our library.” I suppose my favorite line from the first few pages of the book are:

When information is transmitted to a class instead of the class being transmitted to the library, where should the Virtual Librarian be working with students?

When I think of a library these days, I see a hybrid of virtual and physical resources and books vying for attention. Instead of rows of desktops, why not Chromebooks? These are less expensive, allow for easy replacement of obsolete boat anchors (e.g. OS X-X.6, WinXP computers) that use up tons of space and electricity.

Source: http://goo.gl/OucpQ

Check out the results of this Ohio study (shared February, 2013):

Overall, the Chromebook does appear to meet its promise of easy use. 89% of patrons found the Chromebook reported that they were able to complete their tasks using the Chromebook. 

Similarly, 90% of staff members also reported that they were able to complete their tasks using the Chromebook. Common praise of the device was the quickness of loading and the speed of the browser

…many staff members commented that their dissatisfaction with being unable to get ebooks from the library on the Chromebook. Patrons can in fact get ebooks from the library via the vendor Overdrive on a Chromebook using a free app called the Kindle Cloud Reader. To accomplish this task, the patron would need both their library card and an Amazon.com account. 

Patrons were unequivocally in favor of the service: 97% said that this was a valuable service the library should provide

While you will want to read the study in its entirety, what about using Chromebooks as replacements for aging computers in K-12 school district libraries?

With Chrome apps like Readium (DRM-free ePubs), Kindle Cloud Reader, B&N’s Nook for the Web, reading content isn’t as much an issue. Thoughts?


Check out Miguel’s Workshop Materials online at http://mglearns.wikispaces.com


Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

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2 thoughts on “Chromebooks in the K-12 Library

  1. doug0077 June 16, 2013 at 1:39 pm Reply

    Miguel,Either I sent your copy to somebody else or you haven't looked at the title page. Pretty sure I signed with a note.Chromebooks would be a fine resource for a school library. With 1:1 and BYOD programs, perhaps charging stations for personal devices with a few machines for guest checkout might be all that's needed.I am guessing that there will need to be some sort of production lab for higher end computer use that should be part of the library's "maker space" as well.Glad you are reading the book!Doug

  2. Miguel Guhlin June 16, 2013 at 3:31 pm Reply

    oops. I notice these lapses in observational acuity occurring more and more as my mind leaps to judgement.:-)Thank you so much! In regards to "maker space," great idea. One can certainly imagine a library with Chromebooks with a video capable Mac blended into the space! With appreciation and apology,Miguel

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