More and more libraries on the national and international level are initiating a Library of Things. The Sacramento Library of Things allows patrons to check out tools, pieces of art, devices, instruments and more. This exciting concept helps communities crowdsource materials for sharing. Why buy a bike repair kit when you may only use it once? This type of sharing can even be helpful to the environment by discouraging unnecessary consumerism.
At Albemarle High School, we’ve started to collect materials towards the goal of a Library of Things tailored to a 9th – 12th grade environment. Students suggested items that they would likely check out for one-time use if the school offered them. Some of these items include recording devices, musical instruments, small appliances, and more. Our goal is to make such items available along with related reading materials as a complete kit. A sample kit might include a breadmaker with a book about bread and the cultural traditions surrounding different types. A selfie stick kit might include a book about photography on a smart phone. At this point, we have an old flip camera, a calligraphy set, an automatic breadmaker, and a cake pop maker. These items were brought in from home or purchased from a local Goodwill. We’ve also reached out to our school Parent Teacher Student Organization for gently used goods.
In order to promote this effort, we will have our interns create a promotional Coming Soon poster and broadcast classes may help us with an informercial. My co-librarian, Erica Thorsen, came up with the wonderful idea of demonstrating the use of the products in our library. During long lunch, she suggested we actually bake bread in the machine and discuss how students and teachers can borrow from the AHS Library of Things! We are still in the process of collecting materials but hope that we can come up with at least a dozen items from the wish list to initiate this project on or by April 1st!