The easiest way to get started creating beats (in my opinion) is to work with Garageband or Fruity Loops type of programs/apps. They give you a loop browser (loops are pre-made rhythms and short bits of music) and the program allows you to just drag pre-recorded loops into a time line and created your own mix of those loops. This will give you the most interesting and quick way to create beats. The bad news is that your beats will sound like other people's beats because you are using the same library of loops. But.. at least you can get started.
Most public libraries allow you to get on their computers and use Lynda.com (Lynda.com is a resource for you to learn about subjects like music/audio, video, and many other subjects). I know that if you have a library card in San Francisco, you have free access to Lynda.com in the library or at home.
I hope this helps! Ask your friends that are making beats how they do it and there are lots of other resources on line. Personally, I use Apple's Logic, Pro Tools, Ableton, and other programs to do this. The reason that I suggest Garageband or something similar is that it is very accessible and you can get started quickly.