SFSU Lending Library

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The Plan

San Francisco State University would like to help the OLPC project by starting a lending library at the main campus. The purpose would be to help increase awareness of OLPC’s goals by letting faculty, staff and students borrow the XO computers.

Technological development has been a strong bias at OLPC. Education and social exposure to the project are necessary so that students and researchers can assess and address the issue of education in remote and rural corners of the world. We would also like for some of that collegial discussion to trickle into the US school systems. Universities are aptly geared towards such community outreach.

The library would also allow students the opportunity to use their diverse backgrounds and experience to develop hardware and software for the XO. Students from many of the departments, such as Engineering, Computer Science, History, Art, and Information Systems could be inspired to contribute to OLPC’s goals once they are familiar with the project.

To achieve the stated objectives, the project would be coordinated with faculty from other departments, to inform students of the existence of opportunities. The project mentor is Professor Sameer Verma. At the beginning of each semester, volunteers from the campus would present a short speech/demo to other students about the project to collect contact information from interested students. The interested parties would then be able to borrow the XO laptops to learn more about its capabilities and potential.

The Academic Technology group and the Library Media Services at SF State University will manage the housing and loaning of XOs in the same fashion as other equipment. The XOs will be loaned either in single units, in pairs or the entire batch. Depending on requirements, we may also include a school server component to serve the entire batch. We will also provide documentation electronically and in print (one copy).

First meeting (June 11, 2009)


We met on campus today. We have a tentative plan for handling the logistics of checking out laptops to students, faculty and staff. A key question is "Do we check these out as equipment, or as books?" More on that later...


We also managed to flash all the XOs to release 8.2.1

Attendees: Robert Meyer (Business), Vasudha Chaobal (Early Childhood Education), Bonnie Homan (Information Systems), Lisa Ho (Division of Information Technology), Deborah Ferguson (Division of information Techonlogy), Maggie Beers (Academic Technology), Sameer Verma (Information Systems)

More unpacking

Possible projects:

  • Organize Translation jam
  • Explore Classroom use
  • Reach out to Student groups such as ACM, IEEE, Eco, etc.