The device library has been created so Lewisham residents can borrow technology without having to pay for it. It is currently made up entirely of donations from the public. Quite often the items we receive are fairly old. We refurbish the computers, doing repairs when necessary. We normally put a version of Linux operating system on them, as this runs faster than Windows, and so is good for old machines. The machines are designed primarily to provide internet access to recipients, although they can have other software, such as LibreOffice, installed on request.
How to borrow
Currently you cannot borrow from the library unless you are referred to us by a partner organisation. The partner organisations are local community organisations such as:
Any local schools we are working with
If you are referred by one of these organisations, you will become a member of the library, and will be able to borrow items free of charge. However, currently, due to the numbers of devices we have, you can only borrow one item at a time per household.
Terms of borrowing
You can borrow an item for 30 days. At the end of this period, a volunteer from the library will contact you, to check if you are still using the device, and if it is working ok. If you are still using it and want to carry on, then we will check it out for you for another 30 days.
If there is a problem with the device, then you can contact us and we will investigate it for you. You can also get support for using it from our Virtual Aid service. If you no longer want the item, then we will request to obtain it from you so we can lend it to someone else who could benefit.
Our plan is to open the library up to non-referred members in the future. This membership would enable items to be borrowed for a fee. We are going to obtain a wider range of items that will be attractive to these members. The library would then operate like a "Library of Things", an example of which runs currently in Crystal Palace, alongside its current managed service.