Volume24, Number 4, 2002

Library Technology Access Initiative Sites Named by ASCLA and HP

HP has announced the first round of libraries to become part of the Library Technology Access (LTA) initiative. The initiative is a strategic relationship that HP formed with the ASCLA to help develop accessible computer workstation solutions in libraries nationwide for people with disabilities.

The four public and two university libraries selected for the first phase of the LTA initiative are the Cleveland Public Library, Milwaukee Public Library, Johnson County Public Library (Kansas), San Diego Public Library, University of South Dakota and Arizona State University.

As a key part of this initiative, HP is donating 12 workstations to the six chosen libraries to demonstrate the solution. Future plans of the initiative call for the development of resources that further expand the pilot program in an effort to connect people with disabilities with the benefits and opportunities of the information revolution.

"The Library Technology Access program demonstrates the power of public-private partnerships that increase the access to technology for persons with disabilities," said Jim Weynand, vice president and general manager, HP Public Sector Organization. "Our technology, our people and our legacy give us a unique vantage point and capabilities to help ensure everyone can use technology as a means to learn, work and thrive."

The LTA initiative's Internet-connected workstations will consist of ergonomic furniture, a Compaq Evo PC, an HP Scanjet scanner and HP LaserJet printer, Microsoft® Office software and a variety of assistive technology products that address the needs of library users with visual, hearing, mobility or learning disabilities.

In addition to the furniture and equipment, training materials are being developed for librarians and patrons. HP also will provide technical support services for the workstations. These barrier-free workstations were developed with input from ALA conference attendees, including hundreds of librarians, as well as community leaders who visited the HP Accessibility Pavilion at a focus group at HP's Palo Alto campus.

"The American Library Association is extremely pleased that HP has become a library champion. The HP and ALA partnership will improve services to patrons with disabilities in six libraries in the short-term and has the potential to affect library users with disabilities in libraries throughout the United States in the long-term," said Keith Michael Fiels, executive director, American Library Association. "Equity of access is a key library function and we are pleased to work with HP to increase opportunities for people with disabilities to access library resources."

The LTA initiative serves as a full-service offering for libraries nationwide. HP, together with ASCLA, will document a comprehensive, repeatable process that defines the building of LTA workstations, making it easy for all libraries to participate. This user-friendly guide allows for the expansion of the initiative by offering ALA members information on how to purchase equipment and software, access training materials and implement the workstations within their respective libraries.

One of HP's corporate objectives is to be an exemplary corporate global citizen by engaging in public-private partnerships and modeling behavior and activities through the company's governance, environmental policy and practices, community engagement models and e-inclusion initiatives to bridge the digital divide.

"We're working to define the role companies can and should play working in collaboration with other sectors to solve some of the fundamental problems in the world," said Debra Dunn, senior vice president, HP Corporate Affairs. "Our aspiration is that HP be viewed as a real leader in this space. A leader in forging new kinds of relationships with non-profit organizations and governments."

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month, and companies across the nation are offering a variety of programs to educate employees and their communities on the importance of accessibility in the workplace. An estimated 54 million Americans live and work with a visual, hearing, mobility, speech or cognitive disability. HP is a national sponsor of National Disability Mentoring Day.

More information about the Library Technology Access initiative is available at www.hp.com/accessibility. More information about HP's global citizenship efforts is available at www.hp.com/go/globalcitizenship. HP is a leading global provider of products, technologies, solutions and services to consumers and businesses. The company's offerings span IT infrastructure, personal computing and access devices, global services and imaging and printing. HP completed its merger transaction involving Compaq Computer Corp. on May 3, 2002. More information about HP is available at www.hp.com.