Borrow a device or kit

City Library has lendable tech, like Chromebooks and iPads, that you can try out at your own pace, or birding backpacks to start your weekend adventure! 

How to borrow a device

You will need:

  • To be at least 19 years old (photo ID may be required)
  • To have a valid library card in good standing

You agree to:

  • Borrow for 28 days, with one renewal if there are no holds
  • Return the device charged so we can check if it is working
  • Return the device to the Welcome Desk only
  • Pay replacement costs for loss or damages

Need a laptop? Chromebooks are laptop computers that run on the Google Chrome operating system.

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Chromeboom

Use them to connect, work, learn and play. While they’re a little different from Windows and Mac laptops, you can use them to browse the internet, use email and social media, do word processing, video conferencing and much more.

Request a Chromebook

There is a limit of one Chromebook per customer. You will receive an email when yours is ready to pick up at the Welcome Desk.

To use the Chromebook you will need access to a wireless network.

You must pay replacement costs for lost or damaged Chromebooks of up to $735 plus a $30 processing fee, as per the borrowing agreement.

About Chromebooks

Chromebooks run on the Chrome operating system. They work best when the user is logged in to a Google/Gmail account, although they can also be used anonymously in guest mode.

They are designed for users to do most of their work using Google cloud productivity software like Docs, Sheets and Slides.

Frequently asked questions

How do Chromebooks work?

There are two handouts included with the Chromebooks:

For more help, check out our Chromebook basics course or check out a book from the Library.

Do I have to use a Google account? What if I don’t want to get/login with one?

Chromebooks work best when logged in with a Google/Gmail account, because you will be able to install your own apps and extensions and customize the Chromebook. If you don’t want to use/get a Google account you can log in as a guest.

What is Guest Mode?

If you choose to log into a Chromebook as a guest you will be restricted to the Chrome browser only — you cannot install any apps or customize the Chromebook.

You can still browse the internet and use your webmail in guest mode, as you would on any computer. However, your login information will be deleted when you log off the computer, let it sleep or shut down.

What if I don’t have a Google account? How do I get one?

If you have a Gmail account you already have a Google account! If you don’t and you want to get one you have two options:

  1. Set up a Google account ahead of time from a library or other computer at accounts.google.com.
  2. Log into the Chromebook as a guest; open the Chrome browser and go to accounts.google.com to set up an account; once you’ve done that, exit guest mode and log in to your Google account.

How do I remove my info from the Chromebook when I’m done?

In Guest mode, simply log out, and all your info will be automatically deleted! If you are logged in, then log out, and on the login screen click the arrow next to your account and choose “Remove account” from the drop-down. Then click "Remove account" from the login. Library staff will also wipe all account information from Chromebooks once they are returned.

Can I run Zoom and other video conferencing software?

Yes! The Chromebooks have a webcam, and you can install Zoom from the Chrome Web store, and other video conferencing software from the Google Play store. Info on installing Zoom and other apps is in the kit handout and the Chromebook tutorial.

Are there any apps installed on the Chromebook?

The library’s Chromebooks are lent with the default factory settings. If you log in as a guest, there will be no apps other than the Chrome browser. If you log in with a Google account there will be a number of additional Google apps installed, including Docs, Sheets and Duo (video conferencing).

How do I install apps?

Chromebooks use apps from the Google Play store, and extensions from the Chrome Web store. See the Quick Start Guide for more help installing apps.

Note: you will only be able to install apps if you are logged in with a Google account.

Can I use Microsoft Office on a Chromebook?

Chromebooks are designed to be used with Google’s G Suite productivity software (Documents, Sheets and Slides). However, if you have a Microsoft Office subscription you can install the Microsoft office apps from the Play Store. If you do not have a Microsoft Office subscription you can use the free version online.

Note: you’ll need to make a Microsoft account to use Office Online.

Can I save files locally to a Chromebook?

Chromebooks are designed to primarily be used online, so even if you use Google’s productivity suite your files will be saved to your Google account in the cloud, which you can access from any computer. You can download files to the Chromebook and transfer them to a USB stick if you are logged in with a Google account.

Can I print from a Chromebook?

Yes, you can connect to a wireless printer. See the Chromebook tutorial for instructions.

Can I connect to a TV or projector?

Yes, Chromebooks have a USB-C port which you can use to mirror your screen and audio to a TV or projector. You will need to provide a cable, and potentially an adapter, to connect your cable to the Chromebook's USB-C port.

Why do you lend Chromebooks, but not Windows or Mac laptops?

Chromebooks are easy to use, run fast and are light to carry with you — if you can use an internet browser then you can use a Chromebook. Chromebooks are also inexpensive and easy to manage, so we can get more devices out into our community faster.

Get connected from home! These iPads have apps for video conferencing, social media, productivity, Google Suite and entertainment. You can also install your own apps.

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iPad Connect

Request an iPad

A limit of one iPad per customer. You will receive an email when yours is ready for pickup at the Welcome Desk.

To get the most from the iPad you will need:

  • Access to a wireless network;
  • A valid email address and password, so that you can set up an Apple ID to use on the iPad (recommended).

You must pay replacement costs for lost or damaged iPads of up to $625 plus a $30 processing fee, as per the iPad Connect borrower agreement.

Frequently asked questions

How does the iPad work?

The best way to learn is the Apple iPad information page. You can also explore tutorials at LinkedIn Learning, free with your NVCL card. We also offer an iPad class throughout year. Check the calendar for dates.

Can I install my own apps on these iPads?

Yes! While these iPads come loaded with a selection of apps to help you get connected quickly, you can install any apps you want by logging in with an Apple ID. Recommended apps to get started.

Note: users are solely responsible for any purchases of apps, in-app purchases, or subscription costs incurred on these devices.

Can I transfer downloadable books from the library's online ebook catalogue to my borrowed iPad?

Yes!  By downloading the Libby app, residents of the City of North Vancouver can access our Libby/Library2Go collection.

What happens to personal information I have on the iPad?

Users should delete all content from the iPad before returning it. Please see our resetting an iPad guide for help. Once returned, staff will reset the unit to factory default settings.

Get to know the iPad! iPad Learn devices are iPad minis with only the native iPad apps and City Library apps installed, so you can install your own apps and learn to use the iPad as if it were your own.

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iPad mini

Request an iPad

There is a limit of one iPad mini per customer. You will receive an email when yours is ready for pickup at the Welcome Desk.

You will need:

  • A valid email address and password, so that you can set up an Apple ID to use on the iPad;
  • Access to a wireless network.

You must pay replacement costs up to $625 for a lost or damaged iPad, as per the information in the iPad borrower agreement.

Frequently asked questions

How does the iPad work?

The best way to find out is via the Apple iPad information page. You can also learn to use the iPad through tutorials at LinkedIn Learning, free with your City Library card. We also offer an iPad class throughout year. Check the calendar for dates.

Are there any apps already available on the iPads?

No. The iPads are loaned out blank so you can choose what to install. Included in the iPad package is a guide to apps, which has a curated list of popular apps, including apps for e-reading (books and magazines), social media and families.

Can I transfer downloadable books from the library's online ebook catalogue to my borrowed iPad?

Yes!  By downloading the Libby app, residents of the City of North Vancouver can access our Libby/Library2Go collection.

What happens to any personal information I have on the iPad?

Delete all content from the iPad before returning it. Please see this resetting an iPad guide for help. Once returned, staff will reset the unit to factory default settings.

Take eBooks on your adventures by borrowing one of City Library's Kobo Clara eReaders.

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Kobo eReader

Borrow a Kobo

You will receive an email when your Kobo ready for pickup at the Welcome Desk to be borrowed for 28 days. To use the eReader you will need:

  • Access to a wireless network;
  • To sign up for a free Kobo account.

You must pay replacement costs for lost or damaged eReaders up to $200 plus a $30 processing fee, as per the borrower agreement.

Frequently asked questions

How does the Kobo work?

Please see the Kobo Clara HD help page.

Are there any ebooks already available to read on the Kobos you lend?

There will not be any books on the kobo when it is loaned out. Our purpose in loaning the readers is to allow customers to experiment with ereading, while making use of our ebook services as well.

Can I transfer downloadable books from the library's ebook catalogue to my borrowed ereader?

Absolutely! Kobo remains one of the most compatible devices to use with library ebooks. City Library customers have access to the Libby/Library2Go collection, which also includes titles exclusively for users with a City Library card.

Why don't you have the Sony reader or the Amazon Kindle?

We do not lend the Amazon Kindle, as it is not compatible with library ebook collections. Sony has stopped making and supporting its own ereaders and is no longer in the ebook business.

Are you keen to try birdwatching without having to find the equipment and guides? City Library lends an all-in-one birding backpack to get you started.

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Birding backpack

Included in the backpack:

Backpacks can be found on the third floor, bring them to the welcome desk to check out and pick up your binolculars

The loan period is four weeks, with no renewals. Return backpacks to the Welcome Desk only. Do not return backpacks through the book return slot. A $10 fee will apply to backpacks returned through the return slot.

A $300 replacement fee plus a $30 processing will apply if the entire backpack kit is lost, and also to lost binoculars. Damaged binoculars may also incur a fee.

If no backpacks are available, please place a hold on one in the catalogue.

Check out one of our Happy Lights to help offset symptoms of seasonal affective disorder.

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HappyLight

In partnership with the Kelty Dennehy Mental Health Resource Centre (KDMHRC), City Library has HappyLights for people suffering from seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

The HappyLights can be placed on hold and renewed if required. They are shelved in the Health and Medicine collection (row 25) on the 3rd floor at call number 616.8527 VER.

Request a HappyLight

For more information about seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and the benefits of light therapy, please refer to any of the following links:

Disclaimer

Instructions on how to use a light box correctly are provided in this kit — please refer to them. This information is not a substitute for medical consultation; light therapy should only be used in conjunction with supervision by a qualified health professional. We recommend checking with your family physician or mood disorders specialist before using this product. Note that we are unable to answer clinical questions, and we recommend that you contact your family physician or mood disorders specialist.

Side effects

There are no reported harmful effects on the eyes with light therapy as described, but the long-term effects have not yet been studied. If you have eye problems (e.g., retinal disease, macular degeneration, or diabetes), or worries about eye damage, please see your doctor. Do not use light therapy if you're taking medications that cause photosensitivity.

The library has CD/DVD drives you can borrow to use while in the library. These devices allow you to play CDs and DVDs on your laptop or on the public computers. Check them out at the 2nd or 3rd floor desk.

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CD and DVD drives

To borrow a CD/DVD drive:

  • You will need a library card in good standing.
  • The drives may only be used in the library.
  • Drives are due back before closing on the day they are checked out.
  • Drives must be returned to the desk from which they were borrowed.
  • Replacement costs for lost or damaged CD/DVD drives are $40 plus a $10 processing fee.

Borrow a USB-C, Apple (Lightning to USB) or Android (Micro USB) charger for use in the library.

To borrow a charger:

  • You will need a library card in good standing.
  • Chargers may only be used in the library.
  • Chargers are due back before closing on the day they are checked out.
  • Chargers must be returned to the desk from which they were borrowed.
  • Replacement costs for lost/damaged chargers are $25 plus a $10 processing fee.

Measure your home electricity use with a simple PowerCost monitor.

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Powercost monitor

The PowerCost monitor is a wireless device with two main parts: a sensor placed near your BC Hydro meter, and a handheld unit. In conjunction, these two devices measure energy consumption inside your home. 

With a range of up to 100 feet from the sensor, you can place the handheld unit just about anywhere: in the kitchen, on your nightstand or conveniently placed on the wall in your hallway. This device requires 4 AA batteries (not included).
 
Check this item’s availability in our catalogue

Get detailed readings of how much power an appliance is drawing in your home with this simple device.

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Kill a watt kit

The Kill a Watt meter shows you how much power an appliance is consuming, allowing you to see how much the appliance or device costs to operate. It works on everything from hairdryers, to refrigerators to your aunt's beloved vintage lava lamp.

 
Check this item’s availability in our catalogue

Detect the presence of radon in your home or workplace with one of these easy-to-use kits.

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Radon detector

Borrowing information

  • 1 radon detection kit per customer
  • Loan period is 4 weeks; no renewals
  • $5 per day fine for overdue units
  • Units are only checked in and out from the Welcome Desk. A $10 fine will be applied if kits are returned through the return slot.
  • Replacement costs for lost or damaged radon kits is $300

Each kit contains

Before your return your kit

  1. We encourage you to enter your data into the BC Lung Association’s anonymous survey (the link is also included in your radon kit).
  2. To remove your data and protect your privacy, reset the device by pressing the "Reset" indent on the back with the tip of a pen.

Frequently asked questions

What is radon?

Radon is a radioactive gas; it is an air hazard in homes and workplaces, as long-term exposure is clearly linked to lung cancer. Radon comes from naturally occurring uranium in the ground and some regions in Canada have more uranium than others. Radon levels in homes can be elevated but it is impossible to tell unless you test as the gas is odourless, tasteless and colourless.

What radon detector model does the library lend?

City Library lends Corentium Home model radon detectors made by Airthings, a Norwegian tech company. They are about the size of a cellphone, and have a digital display which allows you to start seeing readings in about 24 hours, although the device needs at least seven days to provide an accurate reading.

What kinds of homes can be tested? What if I live in an apartment building or a basement suite?

Radon detectors are usually recommended for people who live in ground-level contact homes, including single-family dwellings, duplexes, townhouses and basement suites. However, you can use a radon detector in any home as radon can sometimes be found in non-ground level homes due to poor ventilation.

Where do I put my radon kit?

Radon detectors should be placed in rooms at the lowest level of the home where you and your family spend lots of time. Don't put it near a window, door, or air vent, and keep it out of direct sunlight and water vapour, as these can all impact the readings.

How long do I need to measure my radon levels for?

Testing for at least seven days is recommended, but it's best to monitor for one month to gather the most accurate data from this device.

What is the Health Canada guideline for radon levels?

The Government of Canada recommends changes to your home if your average radon level result is above 200 Bq/m3.

How do I interpret the results from my device?

The reading on your device is a "snapshot" of the radon levels in your home. The numbers on the display are readings of radioactivity in the air, measured in Bequerels per cubic meter (Bq/m3). The long term average displayed is calculated over the full time the device has been in use since it was last reset. The short term average is the average per day, up to a week. The average is used because the levels can vary substantially over the day.

If your daily average exceeds 100Bq/m3, you may wish to consider purchasing your own radon detector and conducting long-term testing.

If your daily average result exceeds 200Bq/m3, it is recommended that you reduce your exposure. There are steps you can take right away to lower radon levels and there are certified professionals you can contact that will help; contact hc.radon.bc.yt.sc@canada.ca if your radon levels are above 200Bq/m3.

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