Saturday, May 9, 2015

Library Discoveries #5 Library of Things

Did you know the public library has more to offer than just books?  This is installment #5 in a series about the many things that can be checked out from my local public library.  The library has so many things to offer, but I'm going to focus on things that are kid-centric. 

The Library of Things

This is a really new, cool program.  The "Library of Things" is a collection of many different "things" that can all be checked out.  Some "things" that are available include video games (for last and next gen systems), musical instruments, board and card games, and a sewing machine.  All of these items are housed at one particular library.  If you want to check something out, you have to go to that location; they do not transfer them to your preferred branch like they do with books.  Some "things" are on display at the branch, or you can go online to browse and have them reserved for you.

Given the expensive nature of these "things," the library naturally has put several conditions in place for checking them out:

You have to be 18 or older.
Only one "thing" may be checked out at a time.
You must sign an agreement at the circulation desk.

It's interesting to note, though, that video games don't require a signed agreement, don't have an age restriction, and don't count against your "one thing" limit.  Hubby and I beg the question, then why are video games considered part of the Library of Things collection instead of being treated as everyday library materials?

When I went to pick up my reservations the other day, I had a good chat with the librarian.  He thinks that change will be happening soon!  He hopes that by the end of the summer they will have more of an abundance of things (especially board and card games) and that the demand will die down a little with the program being less new.  That will mean that they can lift the one-thing-at-a-time restriction.  He thinks it will be great for library patrons to be able to check out a whole bunch of games at a time and hold game nights, for example.  They'll also be rearranging some of the shelving so that the entire Library of Things can be on display instead of hidden away in the back room.

(Edited to add: When I went today they had Things displayed along one wall as pictured above instead of just one portion of shelving.  Not sure if this is what the librarian meant or if it's going to be given an even larger home in the future.)

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