Are you looking for a free laptop from library? We all know that computers are expensive devices that most people cannot afford. However, there are various ways to get a free computer, and libraries are some of the most reliable sources of free computers. Apart from books of various volumes, modern libraries have computers and internet connections to use the machines for research or entertainment.
You also require a computer to use at home for various activities. Also, one can utilize a computer to work online for various companies. You can make money using your home computer if you understand programming, software development, data analysis, content creation, and video editing. Nowadays, you do not have to go to an office and sit there all day long to do office work since you can do so with excellent internet.
Additionally, a laptop computer can help your kids in their education. If you have a webcam, your kids can interact with their teachers online when necessary. College students can also attend online classes instead of walking to their college. That way, they can save money that could have been used for transport. Therefore, computers are integral when it comes to eliminating poverty in society. I am writing this article to help you understand how to get a free computer if you cannot afford one.
Genuine ways to get a free laptop from library
If you meet their requirements, you can get a free laptop from various libraries. After vigorous research, I found a library offering free laptops to needy people in 2024. I came across Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, one of America’s leading urban public libraries, serving more than one million people in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. It has 20 locations to deliver its services and programs to those who need them. The library’s mission is to improve lives and build a stronger community.
The library system is issuing about 20,000 refurbished laptops to adults eligible for the Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF) program in Mecklenburg County. Each free laptop comes with preloaded productivity and education applications. The MeckTech Computer Kits program receives funding from the Emergency Connectivity Fund. It is offered through the partnership of Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, The Center for Digital Equity, and Mecklenburg County.
How to qualify for the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library free laptop
You must be 18 or older and live in Mecklenburg County to qualify. Additionally, you must have access to an active email address, proof of residency, and a photo identification card. You must also sign a statement declaring that you don’t have the technology necessary to meet educational needs.
Reliable sources from the library indicate that they install Linux and open-source software compatible with most Windows programs like Microsoft Office on the computers. Additionally, the devices will have an on-device internet filtration program installed to comply with the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) as per the ECF requirements. Again, the devices do not include internet services. However, all laptops will be able to connect to WiFi. Again, you should not expect any replacements if you damage your device. Generally, you must meet the following requirements to get a free laptop through the program.
- Must be 18 years or older
- Be a Mecklenburg County resident.
- Have an active email address for communications
- Understand that MeckTech devices are offered with open-source software only with no dedicated technical support.
- Must have a valid photo ID with an identification number. Such identification documents include a driver’s license or state ID, student ID, employee ID, passport, tribal enrollment card, etc.
- Provide proof of Mecklenburg County address.
- Sign a statement declaring you lack the technology to meet your educational/informational needs.
How to apply for a free laptop
Once you determine that you are eligible for a free laptop, you can apply. The library opened its online applications on Thursday, 19th January, and is ongoing. You can start by visiting the library’s website and submitting the necessary details. You can use a smartphone to complete your application or visit the library in person.
After successfully submitting your application, you will get a confirmation within 7-10 business days. Afterward, you will sign up for a distribution date and time through the confirmation email. Duplicate, ineligible, or unapproved applications will not receive replies. Computer distributions are scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis within the options available.
Other options to get a free laptop
Suppose you are ineligible for the MeckTech program for free laptops. In that case, you can still explore other ways to get free computers. As a resident of Mecklenburg County, you can call 311 and tap any key to ask to speak to a Digital Navigator and get help identifying other options for getting affordable technology.
Other ways you can get a free laptop computer include the following.
1. Through the Affordable Connectivity Program
The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) is a federal government initiative that assists low-income households with free broadband they need to access online services. Additionally, ACP offers discounts for eligible people to purchase computers besides the free internet service. You can get up to $100 to purchase a desktop computer, laptop, or tablet through your ACP service provider. The program requires you to contribute at least $10 and, at most, $50 towards the purchase price.
You can apply for ACP to get a free laptop by visiting AffordableConnectivity.gov and submitting details such as your Social Security Number, email address, phone number, identification number, and physical address. Also, you can apply for the program through your service provider’s website and submit all the necessary details.
ACP also allows you to apply for the program through a mail-in application. You can download the application form, fill it out correctly, attach the necessary documents, and then send them to ACP Support Center PO Box 7081. London, KY 40742.
2. Through non-governmental organizations
You can also get a free laptop through various non-governmental organizations, such as;
- Salvation Army
- Computer technology assistance corps
- Computers for Learning
- On It Foundation
Laptops are crucial devices that allow you to perform various activities, such as typing documents, entertainment, software development, and other complex operations. However, due to low income, some people need help to afford the devices. You can get a free laptop from Charlotte Mecklenburg Library. The library system offers about 20,000 refurbished laptops to adults who qualify for the Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF) program in Mecklenburg County.