Long-Term Device Lending Program 

Baltimore County Public Library is pleased to offer a service for qualified customers to borrow either a Wi-Fi enabled Chromebook, a high-speed 5G LTE internet router, or both for up to six months. This program is designed to reach adult customers who have unmet digital connectivity needs to help close the digital divide in Baltimore County.


This program is available to any adult customer who:

  • Does not have a suitable device for internet connectivity at home
  • Has a library card in good standing
  • Is a Baltimore County resident

If you do not have a Baltimore County Public Library card, you can sign up for an e-card number, which can be used to access the library's electronic resources, prior to applying. Due to grant limitations, customers must live within Baltimore County boundaries. Customers outside of the County boundaries can contact the LTL Support number at 410-887-0932 to get information on the ACP and other connectivity programs.

Lending Details

These devices can be borrowed for 90 days with one 90-day renewal period. At that point, they must be returned or they will be disabled.

  • For routers—There is a limit of one per household, regardless of the number of eligible adults living at the same address. Each LTE router has a limit of 30 devices that can connect to it, so a single router per address is sufficient.
  • For Chromebooks—Each adult cardholder in good standing in a household can borrow a device. Do not request Chromebooks for children. Chromebooks are set up so that children who are Baltimore County Public School students can also log on to the devices using their BCPS credentials.

Over the time of the lending period, the Long-Term Lending Team will reach out to customers with routers to assist with Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) signup to establish permanent in-home internet access.

How to Apply

To apply for devices, complete the Long-Term Lending application form. If the application is approved, the Long-Term Lending team will be in contact to confirm the pick-up branch and the expected delivery date.

Picking Up and Returning Devices

Once approved for the program, customers can pick up their devices at the customer service desk of their indicated branch. A valid ID and library card number are required at time of pickup.

Return the devices to any Baltimore County Public Library branch’s service desk. Do not put devices in drop boxes or return slots.


Disclaimer: By using this device, you agree that you will not use it as part of any illegal activities. The library is not responsible for any files, data, or personal information accessed or transmitted using this device.

Getting Started

If your Chromebook does not turn on, try charging it for a couple hours by connecting it to an electrical outlet using the power cord. When possible, it’s best to keep your Chromebook connected to an outlet to keep it fully charged.

Once you have turned on the device, you are presented with three login options—Managed, Guest or Add a Person.

  • If you have a Google account—You can use this function and add your account to the Chromebook. Note: These Chromebooks remain the property of Baltimore County Public Library even if you are using it with your personal Google login).
  • If you do not have a Google account—You can continue with the managed session (with a Baltimore County Public Library look and feel) or a guest account.

If you have also borrowed a router from the program, your Chromebook automatically connects. Otherwise, you need to select a wireless network to join.

Web Filters

Funding rules for this program require that we have web filters in place to comply with the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA). The web filter is managed by a third party that has determined which sites are not suitable for minors. The filters cannot be adjusted.

For Assistance

To get assistance using a Chromebook, visit your local branch, email longtermloans@bcpl.net or check out some of the following resources:

For Lost or Stolen Chromebooks

We cannot replace lost or stolen Chromebooks. Please email longtermloans@bcpl.net to let us know of the situation so that we can disable the device and remove it from your account.

Router Speeds and Data Usage

Our Long-Term Lending team verifies that your location has service coverage, but cannot guarantee speeds or uptime. Devices also have varying speed capabilities and may connect to different networks depending on the technology. Even with coverage areas and with broadband-capable devices, your service area, network availability, coverage, speeds and quality may vary based on a few factors:

  • Interruptions and outages
  • Network capacity and changes
  • Obstructions
  • Public safety needs
  • Signal strength
  • Technical limitations
  • Terrain 
  • Traffic volumes
  • Weather

Common Activities and Approximate Usage

While these routers have unlimited data, the provider will slow speeds toward the end of the data term if more than 50GB of data has been used. Review approximate data usage for the common activities listed below and adjust your activity accordingly to remain below the threshold. Note: There are 1000 megabytes (MB) in one gigabyte (GB).

ActivityData Usage
Browsing social media


90 to 156 MB/hour
Browsing the internet
(Online shopping/reading news)
60 MB/hour
Facetime180 MB/hour
Listening to music10.8 to 144 MB/hour (Depending on quality)
Zoom/Webex meetings1 GB/hour
  • 1 GB/hour (Standard definition)
  • 3 GB/hour (High definition)
  • 1.5 GB/hour (1080p definition)
  • 2.7 GB/hour (4K definition)

Troubleshooting and Technical Assistance

If you still have issues or questions, contact the Long-Term Lending team using one of these methods:

For Routers: Refer to the Guide

As a first step to troubleshooting technical issues with your router, review the Wi-Fi Quick Start Guide, or scan the QR code on the side of the router itself.

Additional Resources

Customers in need of long-term device loans may qualify for the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), a federal program designed for households struggling to afford internet service. If you would like assistance applying for the ACP, complete the online form and a library staff member will contact you to help you with your ACP application. 

The library also offers computer classes and other resources to help customers navigate the internet and use devices safely. View the events calendar to learn more.