I suppose the best idea would be to get the librarians involved.
Much like the tool libraries that have been popping up, we could have public computer equipment libraries. Not a hackerspace (although they could certainly host one) but a place you could go sign out an oscilloscope for the week you need one, or some odd peripheral, or some educational system, or so.
@djsundog I've wanted the distributed version of this for ages. Imagine if you could search for a tool or part across the stashes of your friends and neighbors, and publish your spare bits for others to use as well.
Sure would beat waiting weeks for parts from overseas.
This is a private instance that @email@example.com is using for development and testing.