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Tech for all at your local library!

By Jaye Sudar

    I spent last Thursday with Rose Keating, director of Tech For All, the organization from Denver which has provided 23 computers for the Spanish Peaks Library.  Tech For All is a non-profit that collects computers, upgrades them and then donates them to individuals or groups in the community.  Their goal is to give computers to those who need them so that they can learn the skills vital in our tech oriented world.  As of last Thursday, over 2,034 computers had been given away.

    Entering the conference room was a shock.  Computers were on every table, cords crisscrossed the floor and Rose Keating was moving from computer to computer working to set them all up.  On the wall was a sign that read:

    “We are proud to announce …  We have a one year agreement to loan 20 computers to the Spanish Peaks Public Library in Walsenburg, CO a project close to the hearts of our benefactors, Steve & Reba Savageau.  The Library did not have the funds to acquire these computers this year.  At the end of the year, the computers will go to qualifying recipients in Walsenburg.”

    Rose had arrived with the computers on Wednesday, navigating the horrendous hail storms that pelted I-25.  She and a handful of volunteers brought them in and did an initial set up that evening.  A few had gotten wet, and were left to dry.

    Thursday, Dan Harper of LoboSavvy Technologies was on hand to help with system updates, software loading and general inspection of the computers.  My original mission was to get the story on the computers. However, Rose′s infectious enthusiasm for technology and helping people soon had me cleaning computers and working to set up the network needed to begin the hours of updates necessary for the computers.

    The challenge of connecting 25 computers to the library′s network was accomplished by scrounged routers and a spiderweb of black, blue, gray and pink cable.  After plugging all the computers in, and making sure they worked, the task of updates and software installation began.

    By 10 pm, we were nearly done.  Rose and Monica stayed to finish up the last few computers.  Twelve hours of effort provided 23 computers fit for service at the library.  The benefit for the community will be a computer lab capable of teaching computer classes.  LoboSavvy is partnering with the Spanish Peaks Library to provide a series of basic computer classes starting in mid August.  However, none of this would have been possible without the computers from Tech For All.

    This computer lab was the culmination of 24 volunteers, over 170 hours, $,2694.48, and 328 miles on O′Blue, Rose′s truck.  For more information on Tech For All, check out their website.