At most libraries, a person can expect to borrow books, CDs or videos but never a device.
But in a yearlong pilot project, the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh has allowed its members to check out — literally and figuratively — the Speck air-quality monitor developed by the Carnegie Mellon University CREATE Lab that measures indoor air-particulate pollution levels.
In fact, the trial has been so successful that all 19 libraries soon will have Speck monitors available for checkout for three weeks, with a library-system inventory now totaling 120 monitors through support from three local foundations.
Pilot-project success also has inspired Airviz, the CMU spinoff that sells the device, to give free Specks to 100 libraries nationwide along with support material and training, with a 15 percent discount on additional monitors. CMU robotics professor Illah Nourbakhsh led Speck’s development.