Get wired for free: Borrow a laptop from the Brooklyn Public Library

You can borrow a laptop at the Bushwick BPL branch. (via flickr user utopianbranchlibrary)

You can borrow a laptop at the Bushwick BPL branch. So much for the “My laptop died” excuse (via flickr user utopianbranchlibrary)

Did you know you can borrow a free laptop from the Brooklyn Public Library? Yeah, we didn’t either. But it turns out select BPL branches in Bushwick, Bed-Stuy and Brownsville have been blessed with a collection of laptops and charging carts thanks to a government program aiming to bring broadband technology to low-income areas, and now these complimentary computers are coming to the Kings Bay and Kings Highway branches, too.

To get your hands on a free laptop rental, head to a participating branch and check one out for a two-hour session, which is four times longer than you’re allotted to play Oregon Trail or whatever at a desktop computer. You have to keep the laptop on library property, so don’t try to head over to your local coffice bar with it, and for the love of God, please don’t try to swipe it and ruin the fun for everyone else. But it’s a worthy option to have if and when your seven-year-old Macbook taunts you with the Spinny Wheel of Death mere hours before a deadline, not to mention a great tool for anyone who lacks access to internet or a computer.

The program is sponsored by Broadband USA, a government initiative tasked with spreading broadband access all over the country via the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act: in addition to the Kings Bay and Kings Highway branches, laptops are offered at the Bushwick, Brownsville, Dekalb, Macon, Marcy, Saratoga, Stone Avenue and Washington Avenue branches, too.