Building a Library Search Kiosk using a Chromebox

Set Up Non-Managed Chromebox to Auto Boot into Kiosk Mode:

  1. Wipe the data on the Chromebox using the following procedure:
    • Turn off the Chromebox.
    • Put a paperclip (or pushpin) into the recovery button hole.
    • Press down the recovery button with a paperclip (or pushpin) while turning on the device.
    • Press Ctrl + D.
    • Press the recovery button with the paperclip again.
    • The device reboots and displays a red exclamation point.
    • Press Ctrl + D.
    • The Chromebox reboots and starts the transition to developer mode. This clears all local data and takes approximately 10 minutes.
  2. After reboot you will see a welcome screen → DO NOT LOGIN
  3. Press Ctrl + Alt + K and enable the Kiosk mode.
    • This key combination works only if no one has ever logged in to this Chromebox.
    • If it does not work, go throught the proceedure in step 1 again.
  4. Login into the Chromebox.
  5. Open a new tab in the Chrome browser and surf to chrome://extensions .
  6. Make sure there is a check in the checkbox next to the Developer Mode. Developer mode allows the Chromebox to do some extra actions.
  7. Click the “Manage kiosk applications” button and enter the ID of the Kiosk App you’d like to enable.
  8. Press the “Add” button. The app will appear above.
  9. Highlight the Kiosk app and click the “Set to auto-launch” button.
  10. Press the “Done” button.
  11. Reboot the Chromebox and when asked (if you’re not asked, wait few minutes and then reboot it), enable app for Kiosk mode.
  12. Now, the app will auto launch each time you reboot.
  13. To Turn off Kiosk Mode, begin by rebooting the Chromebox. While the device is starting up, press the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + Alt + S to interrupt the process and return to the login screen.


Set Up Kiosk App

  1. The first time you start the app it should open into the app, otherwise press CTRL + A to open the login screen (default is username: Admin and password: <<leave empty>>)
  2. Enter the address of the library search page and hit return.
  3. Check any restrictions you want.
  4. Set the username and password to something of your choosing ← very important
  5. Set to refresh every 15 min of inactivity.
  6. Set to reboot every day at 6 am.
  7. Click save.

You now have a kiosk set up for searching the library catalogue.

Things to Remember:

  • CTRL + ALT + S during a reboot will open the ChromeOS and it will function like a regular chromebox
  • CTRL + A in Kiosk mode will open the setting page for the app

Flipping the Library

sc2016-button-LIIn January, I had the opportunity to present at the Ontario Library Association’s Super Conference with Anita Brooks Kirkland (@AnitaBK). Anita and I co-presented, “Flip Your Library Presentation“. Here is the description:

Now let’s be honest. How effective is the typical school library orientation? We try to pack in as much information as possible, and the chances of our students actually remembering the basic library skills we cover are fairly remote. We know that teaching library skills in isolation is generally inauthentic and therefore ineffective, not being connected to an immediate learning need. Basic library skills are perfect subjects for short, engaging online videos, available at the point of learning, be that in the library, the classroom or at home. Having a bank of these videos has the added benefit of freeing up face-to-face time for deeper collaborative learning experiences. In this session we will explore best approaches to creating and sharing videos using free (and mostly free) online tools, so that you can flip your library orientation!

With 100+ Teacher-Librarians in attendance, we showed the basics for creating a flipped classroom/orientation model that would be ideal in the school library environment. However, the skills we presented were highly transferable and would be beneficial to both public libraries and classroom teachers. If you would like to learn more, take a look at Anita’s website where you will find all the resources from this presentation. You will also find the link to the Lightning Round Panel where we discussed Innovations in the Library Learning Commons.