Symbolic image FAQ

Facts and figures about the Laptop Donation Campaign

Answers to important questions about the campaign: Who belongs to the team of the Laptop Donation Campaign? How many devices have been donated so far? Are further donations needed?
Symbolic image FAQ
Image: Mahesh Patel/ Pixabay

How many devices have been donated so far and how many laptops are available for students?

The Laptop Donation Campaign started on 4 May 2020. Since then, employees of the Thuringian State and University Library (ThULB) have received and technically checked about 250 computers (as at 3 March 2021). Most of them were intact and have now been refurbished so that students can work with them and complete the digital semester. In order to increase the number of laptops, an additional fifty laptops refurbished by a non-profit company were purchased. In order to increase the stock and to be able to meet the demand in the long term, additional used laptops refurbished by a non-profit company were purchased: 50 devices in summer 2020 and another 25 devices in early 2021.

Where do the laptop donations come from?

We receive donations from both private individuals and companies, for example ZEISS, HUK-Coburg Dienstleistung GmbH, Xceptance Software Technologies GmbH and Eurofins Umwelt Ost GmbH. Furthermore, working groups of the Friedrich Schiller University have provided us with laptops that are no longer needed in research and teaching.

Are further donations needed?

Yes, absolutely! In order to be able to fulfil all requests from students, we need further donations. We also want to establish the campaign as a long-term offer. Our goal is to help students overcome laptop bottlenecks without problems and to establish a pilot project on sustainability.

Workflow Laptop Donation Campaign Workflow Laptop Donation Campaign Graphic: Claudia Hilbert

What happens to the donated devices?

After we have received a donated device, it is first cleaned and technically checked. Then the staff of the IT department of the Thuringian University and State Library will prepare it so that students can work with it: Any remaining data will be securely and reliably deleted according to the standards of the German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) and the computers will be equipped with the open-source operating system Ubuntu and some basic software (e.g. LibreOffice, Internet browser).

How are the computers handed out to the students?

Students of Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena who need a laptop can contact the team of the Laptop Donation Campaign by email. As soon as a device is available, they will be notified by email. The devices are allocated on a first-in, first-out basis. Since 18 May 2020, we have been giving out newly installed computers. Students can loan the laptops free of charge for the duration of one semester. If necessary, the loan period can be extended. After returning the device, it will be refurbished by us again so that it can be used by other students.

Information for students who need a donated laptop for their studies: Send an email to and please note your library user number in your request (12-digit number on the back of your “thoska card”: 0027XXXXXXXX).

Why is such a campaign needed? Doesn't every student have his or her own laptop?

With the help of the Laptop Donation Campaign, we can help students overcome laptop bottlenecks without any problems and enable everyone to participate in online teaching. The campaign also promotes sustainability: used, but still functional equipment is reused and electronic waste is reduced.

Not all students have the appropriate technical equipment to follow the online lectures from home. Some students report, for example, that they share a laptop with their siblings or flatmates. Many students also use the computer pools and WiFi study spaces of the University and the Thuringian University and State Library, which are currently only available to a limited extent. A loan device relieves the student of this burden, as it allows them to work independently of opening hours and the availability of free places. Other students need a device to prepare for an exam or to write their final thesis, but their own notebook is broken and they cannot afford a new one at short notice. With the Laptop Donation Campaign, we can help these students continue their studies without any delay.

Is technical support available?

Students can contact the team via email ( In addition, the website provides some installation instructions and tips on how to use the laptops.

The IT department of the ThULB also has set up a telephone hotline. Please note: Due to the lockdown, support is currently possible only via email.

Who belongs to the team of the Laptop Donation Campaign?

Several university institutions are jointly involved in the Laptop Donation Campaign. These include the

  • President's Office
  • the Office Digital University
  • the Thuringian State and University Library

In the initial phase of the project, the Section Communications and Marketing, and in particular the university shop, also supported us in distributing the devices.

The team can be reached by email at


A compact summary of the most important information:

Here you can download our presentation [pdf, 558 kb] de (only in German).


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