Free Laptops Distributed To Close Digital Divide In Anne Arundel

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The Anne Arundel County Public Library is distributing 7,000 free Chromebook laptops to residents experiencing deep poverty this winter. An AACPL sign is pictured above. (Jacob Baumgart/Patch)

La información está disponible en español en aacpl.net/equidad-digital y aacpl.net/computadoras-gratuitas.


ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY, MD - Seven thousand free laptops will be distributed through the Anne Arundel County Public Library this winter.

The Chromebooks will be available to residents experiencing deep poverty.

"As part of AACPL's commitment to help close the digital divide, through a grant provided by Anne Arundel County and the State of Maryland, we are proud to participate in a free Chromebook giveaway for eligible Anne Arundel County residents," AACPL said Monday on Facebook.

The distribution started last Wednesday at the Maryland City library branch. County Executive Steuart Pittman and AACPL CEO Skip Auld will hold a kick-off event this Wednesday at the Linthicum branch.

"Through a grant awarded to Anne Arundel County by Maryland's Connected Devices Program under the State Department of Housing and Community Development, the initiative will connect under-resourced households with a free device as part of the state's digital equity and inclusion efforts," Pittman's office said in a Tuesday press release.

Here are the details on the other distribution days:

  • Jan. 24 - Linthicum Library, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Jan. 26 - Severn Library, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Jan. 30 - Deale Library, 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Jan. 31 - Edgewater Library, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Feb. 7 - Annapolis Mall Library, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
  • March 9 - Annapolis Mall Library, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Additional events will be added throughout the spring. The next batch will be announced on Feb. 1.

The events will also have information on the Affordable Connectivity Program.

Anybody interested in getting a free Chromebook must check if they qualify and register at aacpl.net/chromebooks

Here is more information on how to qualify from that webpage.

How To Qualify

One Chromebook may go to each household/address if the resident is 18 years or older, an Anne Arundel County resident, and qualifies as a low-income household. The following criteria can be used to certify eligible low-income households:

  • Documentation from a government source of current household income below 200% of the federal poverty level (relative to household size)
    • $27,180 for a household of 1
    • $36,620 for a household of 2
    • $46,060 for a household of 3
    • $55,500 for a household of 4
    • Or $9,440 more for each additional household member
  • Proof of current enrollment or participation in approved government assistance programs, such as:
    • Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP)
    • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as Food Stamps
    • Medicaid
    • Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
    • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
    • Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA)
    • Veterans Pension and Survivors Benefit
    • Free and Reduced-Price School Lunch Program or School Breakfast Program
    • Received a Federal Pell Grant in the current award year

What To Bring

To verify the identity and residency, AACPL will also collect proof of identity and proof of address.

Accepted proof of Identification:

  • U.S. or foreign state driver’s license
  • Government-issued ID: Military, Passport, Permanent Resident Card, Department of Corrections, or Certificate of Citizenship/Naturalization
  • Student Identification Card
  • Employee Identification Card

Proof of Anne Arundel County residency can include (documents must be current):

  • Rental lease
  • County tax bill
  • Current pay stub
  • Vehicle registration
  • Maryland voter's registration card
  • Postmarked official mail (such as a utility bill)

Documentation from one of the qualifying programs listed in the "How to Qualify" section above.

More information on the library's digital equity plan, including its separate Chromebook rental and Wi-Fi hotspot programs, is posted here.

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