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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Need a laptop? Borrow one from Shadle Park Library

A Wi-Fi signal doesn’t mean much for those without a device to access it.

The Spokane Public Library has a new kiosk at the Shadle Park branch that aims to help address that disconnect.

The kiosk features 12 laptops, each of which can be borrowed for 90 minutes by anyone with a Spokane Public Library card – and no assistance from a staff member is required.

After 90 minutes, the laptop must be returned to the kiosk, where it will be recharged. Once it’s returned, the computer’s history and data are wiped clean, allowing each new user to start with a clean slate.

The laptop can only be used at the library, so don’t try taking it home.

The kiosk is just one of myriad features introduced at the renovated Shadle Park Library, which reopened earlier this month after a more than yearlong closure.

Thus far, the kiosk has been used 21 times, according to library spokesperson Amanda Donovan, but that number is expected to increase.

“We’ve gotten nationwide attention for the addition of this service. Internet and computer access is not something that everyone has readily available. In-branch laptop checkout is just one more way we can put technology in the hands of our community,” Donovan wrote in an email to The Spokesman-Review.

The Shadle Park Library is the only one in the city with such a kiosk, but it could be a service expanded to other locations if it gains popularity.

The service fits in neatly with the library’s broader effort to modernize its amenities, placing a greater emphasis on meeting space. It’s also keeping its branches open with “self-service” hours, in which patrons can access automatic services with limited staff.

The Shadle Park Library building’s upgrade was one of many supported by the $77 million bond approved by Spokane voters in support of the city’s library system in 2018.

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