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Libraries of Things

May 29, 2024 | Conscious Leadership, Daily Trek

Libraries of Things - Radical Trekking - Ayelet Baron

Libraries of things let you borrow stuff instead of buying. Many make a difference in their communities with just a handful of volunteers and a small space like a storage unit or garage.

Do you need toys for your kids for a summer holiday? What if you want to bake a cake but don’t own a stand mixer? Ever thought about gardening but found the cost of tools too high?

Maybe the library of things (LoT) can help you out. You can rent almost anything, from baby clothes to air fryers.

There are over 2,000 LoTs. Some have been around since 1976, but half started in the last five years. And anyone can start one in any community.

LoTs offer another way for anyone frustrated with our throwaway culture.

Each LoT has different regulations, but generally, you set up an account and pay a rental fee. Costs vary based on season and availability.

The range of items available for rent is extensive. Imagine buying something only to use it a few times. No reason to create waste.

“We have items used over 300 times by more than 200 people,” according to Gene Homicki, co-founder of LoT organizer myTurn. A DeWalt table saw has been loaned 321 times to 211 people, and camping gear was in use for over 250 days last year.

Camping equipment, sporting goods, baby supplies, tools, electronics, and more can all be rented. This keeps them out of landfills and reduces waste.

Most LoTs also let renters buy items outright. This is helpful for trying new hobbies or sports without a big investment. If surfing is for you, you might end up buying that board. But if it’s not for you, it may be for someone else. You never know until you dip your toe in the water.

Maybe we are capable of sharing and inventing new ways to connect us; not just around our material things?

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