So we all know libraries are coming to terms with the digital age. But a few libraries have taken the borrowing system a step further; some US libraries now offer an extra service. You can stroll up and borrow tools, musical instruments and even fishing rods.
I know lots of people who would be keen to borrow some hedge trimmers, chainsaws and even painting equipment such as drop cloths, rather than having to buy these things, which are often used only infrequently.
And while they’re there, the library can offer books on the subjects of fishing or power tools or music, and the staff could even just nab the person and encourage them to look around their library to see what else is on offer. Or bring their kids to borrow something while they pick up their gurney!
The Houston Chronicle reported that libraries in the Houston area are sharing resources and that tools are being sent between libraries for borrowing. Heat guns, putty knives and telescopes are among the items.
I think this is a stupendous idea. It helps those who can’t afford some of the big-ticket items, encourages us all to visit our local library for all sorts of useful things and it’s great for the environment too. Especially good for inner city folk who don’t have the room to keep ‘stuff’. Plus it might encourage more people to look at or read books!
Surely it’s a win/win?