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The Community Weighs In —Library to Launch Checkout Collection of ‘Things’ Needed by Locals

Post Date:03/27/2019 8:33 AM

A strong public response from was received by the Library as 286 voters responded to the survey asking for suggestions on the non-book items that community members would like to be able to check out with their library cards. The survey is part of a Library pilot project that’s on the City of South Pasadena FY 2018/2019 Strategic Plan. During April 2019 the staff will be developing procedures and drafting policy while ordering the most voted for items. The practical, handy items will be first available for checkout from the Library on May 1, 2019.

More than 100 different items received at least 1 vote in the survey and 12 of the most popular items will be made available.  In order of preference, they are a telescope, a National Forest Recreation Pass, a Go/Pro wearable video camera, a VHS to DVD converter kit, a universal travel adaptor kit, an engraving tool, a heavy duty binding stapler, specialty cake pans, a hiking and birdwatching kit, a pasta maker, and a bicycle repair kit (including a pump).

The Library will also be providing a basic household tool kit, as many votes were split among various common tools. Borrowers will need to be responsible for the items they check out to be returned in good working order -- and to return the ‘things’, just as would be the case for a book, a DVD, or a CD.

If the ‘Library of Things’ pilot project is successful, the collection is expected to be expanded and other items that did not make the first cut could be added. These include a soldering iron, a steam cleaner, a power sprayer, a paint roller, and a dolly. It’s anticipated that the community would be surveyed again for the next round of ‘things’ for the Library collection. But despite the vote it received, a chainsaw will probably not be in the Library’s collection anytime soon. Nevertheless, the Library is thankful for all the community’s suggestions.

Borrowing from a ‘Library of Things’ is one way of participating in the Sharing Economy. It’s also a sustainable, money-saving practice. To start the operation, the Library will be drawing on its strengths of acquisition, circulation, and circulation in order to help community members to have free access to useful items that they may only want once a year or during a certain season or project.

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