TechOWL

Introduction

Our Lending Library Today

Our Lending Library Today

The AT Library is a statewide library for Pennsylvanians with disabilities. People can borrow tools and technology in order to find solutions that work for them. Someone picks the items they want to borrow from our catalog. We ship the items directly to the person. Then we pick the items up at the end of the loan period. If necessary, we support the person during the time of the loan.

Background

Over 20 years ago, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania provided money to start the AT Lending Library.

In the last 10 years, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania had to reduce the money for the Lending Library by almost 50%.  At the same time, technology was changing and evolving. Think of the improvements in technology and tools. We saw changes in smartphones, tablets and social networking. We use WiFi and connected devices. We wear computers on our wrists. We shop online.

Last year, the Lending Library discarded 80% of our items. The items were either over 10 years old, not supported or out of date. As a result, Pennsylvanians with disabilities are waiting up to 1 year to borrow current technology.

Today

The AT Lending Library has 685 items for loan. We are working hard to find a way to have more useful, relevant and current items to loan.

The Library’s Future

We are working to…
 update the loan items with current and high demand devices.
 support Pennsylvanians in the selection and use of items borrowed.
 let people know about this program that is a good use of our tax dollars.

We will continue to look for more money for this work. We work with our state legislators and officials. We will continue to use money from other sources. We are partnering with some businesses to get new items. The Institute on Disabilities and PA’s Initiative on Assistive Technology will continue to help the Library. By using some of the money from the federal government, the Institute will help the program stay strong.

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