What hardware will you need?

Please follow along very carefuly and read the instructions before making hasty decisions. Before buying new hardware, make sure to check for stuff laying around (such as cables and HDMI screens). If possible, try 'starting small' just as a way of verryfying if the Raspberry Pi is useful before committing to a new library-wide platform. 

Please note that you will need a seperate computer to configure the Raspberry Pi with.


  • Raspberry Pi 3 Model B: For the PiLib project I chose to use the Raspberry Pi 3B. This is an amazing single-board computer released in February 2016. The relevant features for this project are: The Raspberry Pi 3B (Left: as shipped; right: unpacked)
    • 802.11n Wireless LAN: This allows the Pi to be used without pulling LAN-cables through the entire building.
    • 4-USB ports: This allows for the Pi to be controlled with a keyboard and mouse.
    • Full HDMI port: This allows for the Pi to be connected to a HDMI screen/projector.
    • Micro SD card slot: This is where you’ll write the Raspbian OS to.


  • Micro SD card: Besides this SDcard, you will also need an adapter to connect it to your computer. Some companies ship their Micro SD-cards with such an adapter, be sure to check that before Micro SD card (16GB Class 10)ordering them. There’s a staggering amount of possibilities when it comes to Micro SD-cards. There are two possibilities:
    • The bare minimum: Class 4 card – 8GB(or more) storage capacity.
      • This should work, however keep in mind that Class 4 cards are slower than Class 10 cards.
    • Optimal: Class 10 card – 8GB(or more) storage capacity.
      • Class 10 cards are faster than Class 4 cards, they are also slightly more expensive. I recommend these, despite the higher price.

The Micro USB Power Supply

  • Micro USB Power Supply (5V, 2,5A): This power supply will keep your Pi going for years to come. As soon as the Pi is powered on, it boots up. In other words the Pi doesn’t have an on/off switch. You can anticipate on this by getting a power supply with an power switch or grouping them on a distributing plug (By simply flipping that switch, all Pi’s will boot.)


  • Mouse and keyboard: This can be wired or wireless, special function keys won’t work on Raspberry Pi.


  • HDMI Screen and cable: The Pi only has an HDMI connector, if the existing screens already has an HDMI connection, then all you’ll need is an HDMI cable to connect the Pi to the screen. If the existing screen doesn’t have this possibility you may use an HMDI to whatever relevant connection-. This shouldn’t cause any issues. Alternatively you might want to consider new power-efficient monitors.
    • Some adapters may cause interference, so try one first before buying them in bulk.
    • An HDMI screen can be replaced by a touchscreen. See the next chapter for detailed instructions and tips.


  • A USB memory stick: I will give you a handy tool to help you configure your Raspberry Pi; to use it on your Pi, you will have to download it to the computer you're currently using and move it to the USB memory stick. 

A set of Heat Sinks.

  • (Heatsinks): These are optional. The usefulness of heatsinks on simple setups such as these is often debated. I leave the choice entirely up to you.




Next: What Software?