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New Uses for Old Electronics (AkLA 2022): Reuse

Companion page for a presentation given at the 2022 Annual Conference of the Alaska Library Association.


This is a companion guide to a presentation given at the 2022 Alaska Library Association Annual Conference. If you have old computers, laptops, tablets or phones lying around, we hope this guide will give you some ideas to repurpose, recycle or safely dispose of your electronic waste. 

Repurposing Computers

Repurposing Tablets/Phones

Suggestions for phones/tablets that came out of the Whova discussion of this session included:

  • Use old smartphones (most have gyroscopes) with Merge VR or Google Cardboard goggles as dedicated VR devices. Using your local wifi can reduce data costs and eliminate distractions that would come from a fully functional phone. (Pamela Verfaillie, Valdez High School)


Whether you're recycling, trading in, or dropping off your device at your local hazardous waste event, you need to make sure your device is wiped clean of all data, photos, software licenses, etc. Here are a few articles to help give your device a full memory wipe to protect your privacy.

Not for you?

If none of the ideas seem useful or easy enough for you, move on to the next section for ideas about recycling or safely disposing of your devices. If you do make something from the list above, I'd love to hear your experience about how it went.