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The Paly Voice

The Student News Site of Palo Alto High School

The Paly Voice

The Student News Site of Palo Alto High School

The Paly Voice

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Library loaner Chromebooks temporarily unavailable

Sophomores+Lara+Saslow+%28left%29+and+Sophie+Oshige+%28right%29+do+their+homework+using+school-issued+Chromebooks+in+the+Library.+Loaner+Chromebook+check-outs+stopped+from+the+Palo+Alto+High+School+library+starting+March+18.%C2%A0Saslow+said+she+relies+on+Chromebooks+for+schoolwork.+Chromebooks+are+crucial+for+Paly+students%2C+Saslow+said.+I+get+all+my+work+done+on+my+Chromebook+both+in+and+out+of+school.
Ava Knapp
Sophomores Lara Saslow (left) and Sophie Oshige (right) do their homework using school-issued Chromebooks in the Library. Loaner Chromebook check-outs stopped from the Palo Alto High School library starting March 18. Saslow said she relies on Chromebooks for schoolwork. “Chromebooks are crucial for Paly students,” Saslow said. “I get all my work done on my Chromebook both in and out of school.”

The library loaner Chromebooks at Palo Alto High School are unavailable for a second week following what staff members describe as a misuse of the school’s device check-out policy.

According to librarian Sima Thomas, the biggest reason for this decision is a widespread misunderstanding about the difference between borrowing a Chromebook and using one as a replacement. 

“All students are expected to have their charged device at school every day,” Thomas said. “Many students are using the loaners as a replacement for bringing a device to school.”

Thomas said the shut down is temporary until the Library finds a different solution.

“The Library sees the closure as a reset,” Thomas said. “We [Library staff] want to find a check-out method that allows the occasional forgetfulness to borrow a device but discourages the [regular] replacement of a personal device with a loaner.”

According to Thomas, many of the Chromebooks have been overdue over a month. The depletion of computers over a short period has also been an issue.

“At one point in the last few weeks, we [the library] went from 30 to 6 [Chromebooks],” Thomas said.

According to freshman Jesse Spain, even borrowing a computer for one class period was a struggle.

“I needed a Chromebook for a biology test,” Spain said. “There have been times when I couldn’t take the test on the computer because the library was out of Chromebooks.”

Sophomore Denise Dinh said the suspension of Chromebooks in the library will be extremely disruptive.

“I now have to charge my Chromebook the night before, and then either carry around two computers the entire day or carry one I will only use for one period,” Dinh said.

According to Information Technology Support Frank Gonzales, while students are currently unable to loan Chromebooks, IT support in room 410 can issue students Chromebooks to keep if they don’t have one available.

“Sometimes students would just take one [a Chromebook] from the library without signing out,” Gonzales said. “Students have come in [to room 410] to ask to borrow but we don’t do loaners. [Instead] we assign them a Chromebook to take home. If they do have one and just forgot it, unfortunately we can’t give them one. The library is taking a pause to try and get back the ones that were taken.”

According to Dinh, a possible solution is to allocate devices to classrooms.

“The library should distribute the computers to every class,” Dinh said. “Maybe the class has one or two that each teacher just has on hand.”

According to Thomas, the Chromebooks are expected to be back in regulation after spring break.

“We [Library staff] are talking to teachers and administration about new protocols that are not finalized,” Thomas said.

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About the Contributors
Ava Knapp, News Editor
Ava Knapp (Class of 2026) joined The Paly Voice her sophomore year. She does cross country/track and field and plays the piano.
Veronica Qiu, News Editor
Veronica Qiu (Class of 2026) joined The Voice in her sophomore year. Outside of journalism she enjoys crocheting and listening to K-pop.

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