Digital Provide Project: Laptop, Chromebook, and WiFi Hotspot Lending
Borrow a Laptop/WiFi Hotspot Kit or WiFi Hotspot Kit for free from the Fletcher Free Library Tech Center, and work on the internet at home, at the cafe, or wherever else you need internet or computer access. Or borrow a Chromebook Kit and use it at the Library or anywhere with WiFi. Apply for jobs and services, increase technology skills, and build your confidence with computers. Or write the great American novel...it's up to you!
The Digital Provide Project, supported by the generous sponsorship of Northfield Savings Bank, Spruce Mortgage, and a Vermont Community Foundation Spark! grant, aims to build our community's strengths by offering free and accessible laptop and WiFi access to all.
Each Laptop/WiFi Hotspot Kit has basic software, connects easily to its included WiFi hotspot for internet access anywhere, and can be checked out of the Library for free like other Library materials. Each WiFi Hotspot Kit contains a hotspot that connects easily to any WiFi-enabled device, such as a laptop or a smartphone. Chromebooks do not contain a hotspot so will need to be used in places where WiFi is accessible.
Check out the Frequently Asked Questions below for more information.
- Who can check out a Laptop/Hotspot or Hotspot kit?
Adults with active regular (not short term), resident library memberships in good standing may check out a kit. You will be required to sign a borrowing agreement each time you check out a kit.
- How do I check out a Laptop/Hotspot or Hotspot kit?
Requests for kits can be made over the phone at #802-863-3403, in person at the Library, or through our catalog, like any of our other materials.
- When, where, and how often can I check out a Laptop/Hotspot or Hotspot kit?
Laptop and Hotspot kits may each be checked out once per month as available at the Tech Center Help Desk at the Fletcher Free Library at 235 College Street in Burlington, Vermont. Chromebooks may be checked out more than once per month as available.
- How long can I keep a Laptop/Hotspot or Hotspot kit? May they be renewed?
Kits go out for a week and must be returned on their due date before closing. They may be renewed once if no one has put them on hold. The laptop or hotspot may be disabled if kept beyond its due date.
- Do Laptop/Hotspot or Hotspot kits have late fines?
Yes, kits have late fines of $5.00 per day. Please bring them back on time so that the next patron will be able to use them. Unpaid fines may result in limited library borrowing privileges, and repeat violations of the DPP borrowing agreement may result in loss of access to the program.
- Where and when can I return a Laptop/Hotspot or Hotspot kit?
You may return kits to the Tech Center Help Desk during Library open hours. Do not return kits to the outside drop box as this may result in damage.
- Will I be charged if any items in the kits are damaged while in my possession?
Yes, you are responsible for laptops, hotspots and any other parts of the kits, including the carrying case, while you have them checked out, and will be charged a replacement cost if they are damaged. Please see the borrower agreement for more details.
- Will documents that I have created or downloaded stay on the laptop once I have returned it?
All documents saved to the laptop are deleted every time the laptop is shut down to safeguard the laptop. We advise that you back up your work on a flash drive or on a cloud storage account such as Google Drive if you are working on something you would like to keep.
- What software programs are on the laptop?
The laptop has basic Office software programs installed on it: Microsoft Word, Excel, Powerpoint and OneNote.
- Does the laptop have the internet on it?
You can access the internet using the laptop and the hotspot that is included in the kit.
- Will library staff provide an orientation on the technology when I check it out?
A basic instruction sheet is included explaining how to turn on and connect the equipment. If you have further questions, please call the Tech Center at 802-865-7217.
- I am not good with computers. Will Library staff help me use the laptop or answer technical questions?
Library staff is able to provide basic help with your computer—like how to turn it on, connect the wireless hotspot, or how to locate programs. For help, please call the Tech Center at 802-865-7217.
Thank you to our sponsors!