Likewise, you may want to start a lending library associated with your church, school or retirement community and carry titles that will cater to the interests of your constituency. I also recommend getting more space than you think you’ll need, though not more than you think you can afford, if possible. Also, when members of the community contribute to starting the Library of Things, they become invested, both literally and figuratively, in its success. Sign up Sign in. To get started, we recommend putting together—or borrowing from an existing Library—an initial wish list, then get feedback from potential members of the Library of Things to see what they want. I’ll start with the second. If you’re already familiar with a platform, handling those unexpected spikes in activity are much easier. For more than a decade now, it continues to function, though her son is now 21 years old. It’s easier to rent a vibrant space with foot traffic than an empty one, so this often works out as a win-win situation. Good examples for a starter list include tools, like a tile saw or floor sander that you might only need for one project or that not everyone can afford. If you're in SharePoint Server, you can create a team or a number of other types of sites. And more than just access to stuff, Libraries of Things typically build community by offering classes and a place where people can share not just things, but also ideas and skills. Jefferson's library might fit your conception of an old-fashioned home library with leather-bound books, wood paneling and uncomfortable furniture. Beyond your personal catalog, LibraryThing's social aspects show and aggregate tags, ratings, reviews, and Common Knowledge (facts about a book or author, like series and awards). Toys, board games, and especially pricey video games are also great items to have, as some parents can’t afford them and kids can get tired of them quickly. In addition to insurance, also be careful of other legal requirements. It’s not as difficult or as scary as you might think. Gene Homicki: More and more people are realizing the joy of being able to access the things they need, without the burden of owning and storing them. Photo: James Bartholomew. I read a few books to them while they’re there. I'd like to start a library that is better marketed so more people know about it, is more technically sound, and is a flat out better place to get books. You could start asking for donations from people in your local community or your workplace. However, there is still some time left in the semester and finals and a lot of time spent in the library is in your near future. Any tips for getting the word out? You wouldn’t have to buy, repair or store infrequently used items. Simply enter your library number and password, and start your search. Here are things to pack BEFORE you leave for the lib because we all know once you go in, it’s hard to get out. Libraries of Things can get really creative with their spaces though. We’ve had customers start to enter inventory as it comes in and, more importantly, sign up paying members months before their library opens. Reading posts about Libraries of Things on Shareable is a great start and there are other resources online including the ShareStarter.org site, as well as existing Libraries of Things to learn from. How does a Library of Things obtain their inventory? Libraries are also popping up inside apartment buildings, in coffee shops and in cities. Some funds or other way of supplying materials needed; ingenuity can go a long way in creating a library. A Library of Things inventory should reflect the needs and desires of the community. I suppose one might find it strange that an academic librarian would have his own library. This article focuses on the importance of a library in a community and a few significant things essential to start a library. Overview: How to Start of Library of Things (also applies to Tool Libraries) from Shareable.net Latest Items: Library of Things eBook from Shareable.net How Libraries of Things build resilience, fight climate change, […] But home libraries can be a dynamic expression of the owner's personality. Thus, it is necessary to understand how tax dollars are collected, then allocated in your state (and each one is different! The best Libraries of Things start out building a place to borrow and share things, and end up building a community. Shareable connected with Gene Homicki, co-founder and CEO of myTurn, an online platform that makes it easy for anyone to start and manage a Library of Things. The membership fees give you a steady stream of income, while the additional fees help ensure you can maintain—or purchase more of—popular and more expensive items. ThinkBox, a children’s library for books and toys started in 2008 in Bengaluru’s Malleshpalya main road. What’s behind the excitement? Publications include Yes! Kinder to the planet. Almost every library we’ve helped get started has run out of space—especially the ones that accept donations of items from the community. The model that seems to be the most sustainable and popular is the one with monthly or yearly subscription fee, and then having additional fees for more expensive or popular items. We strongly recommend doing market research in your community before you open to ensure the items you’re going to carry are the ones that are most appropriate for your area. There are hundreds of them. In the US, we know a number of Library of Things that have had luck with Philadelphia Insurance as they often write policies for nonprofits and more unique businesses. She's the author of Coworking Out Loud, a guide to content marketing for coworking space operators. If you’re in a low or mixed-income area and plan to ensure everyone can afford to use the Library of Things, see if there are programs that can help fund your space or receive other discounts. Ours has a little puppet theater and computer stations, so it really never gets old. ). Running a crowdfunding campaign can also be a great way to help start or expand a tool or kitchen library into a Library of Things. Once you have people coming in the door—which is usually not difficult—building and connecting that community is important. If your phone is on vibrate, it should not be resting on a hard surface. Let us know in comments. Imagine a traditional mom and pop rental shop with a gaggle of items everywhere, to spaces that look more like an Apple store or Tesla dealership that are ultra modern. Things that are in high demand, or where the low-cost versions break down often, for example, pressure washers. The team is also creating a toolkit and bootcamp to help others set up a Library of Things in the UK and beyond. As the Library of Things movement gains steam, we’re going to see new spaces popping up that range from the rugged to the high-end retail. I’d even recommend doing some fun events. You’d have access to a much wider variety of goods than you could ever own, and you could easily share things with neighbors. For example, if your organization accepts donated items, you’ll find that your community is likely full of items people would love to find a new home for. Since Libraries of Things can help reduce consumption and waste, while providing access to items many people can’t afford to buy, going the nonprofit route can open up funding from local government, community foundations and people who are willing to donate toward helping address these important social and environmental issues. At myTurn, we can provide advice on the most popular types of items in areas similar to your new Library of Things, and even ones that have proven to be more repairable and durable. According to my informal survey, the one thing that Cambridge has the vastest number of is, not pesky punt tour promoters, but libraries. What kind of team do you need to get a Library of Things started? What kind of insurance options are there for a Library of Things? Establish a funding plan and determine the sustainability of that plan. Follow @CatJohnson on Twitter. Objects often include kitchen appliances, tools, gardening equipment and seeds, electronics, toys and games, art, science kits, craft supplies, musical instruments, and recreational equipment. Once someone decides to create a Library of Things, what are the first steps to get started? How to start a library. In addition to finding local volunteers, nonprofits may also be able to tap into AmeriCorps volunteers. No matter the type of space or organization, we recommend having someone familiar with leases and contracts—preferably legal counsel—check over the lease before you sign it. The Library of Things get a pop-up space for a pilot, and the landlord ends up with a more valuable space. The Things Events. The University of Cambridge alone has 115, not to mention the ones in the communityand schools, and the other university of which Cambridge is home. You wouldn’t have to buy, repair or store infrequently used items. Things to avoid are items that are not durable or made to hold up to high usage. Simply fill a covered box or cabinet with an array of books and leave it somewhere near your home. For nonprofits and co-ops, we recommend accepting donations of items from the community. Cat Johnson is a writer and content strategist focused on coworking, collaboration and community. This gives the team experience with the platform from the start, so that when they open they are ready to hit the ground running. In Microsoft 365, you can create a site from the SharePoint start page. Pay one membership or subscription fee, and you can borrow everything from camping gear, to a popcorn maker—how awesome is that? What kind of space works the best for a library of things, and what requirements are there of the space, in regards to infrastructure? Sign up for Shareable’s weekly news about the latest people-powered solutions from around the world. Don’t let one or a few missing skillsets stop you from getting going. This article has been viewed 26,883 times. The library is home to tools, suitcases, a barbecue, pasta makers, a wallpaper steamer and more. While you can start without technology, once you get beyond a couple dozen items or members it becomes very burdensome to manage a Library of Things without a software platform. Most people love the idea of a Library of Things once they hear about it, so pitching online and traditional media is usually pretty easy. For small nonprofits and community groups, we recommend trying to find partner organizations that already have potentially underutilized space. Whether you’re a nonprofit, for profit, co-op or other type of organization looking to start a public Library of Things, we do recommend at least putting together basic business plan. Credit: Sanne van Vliet. See more ideas about library activities, school library, library. By Cat Johnson. Visit Insider's homepage for more stories. Is it possible to create a library without software? Many designers think of the Design System Kit for Sketch as of the UI Controls Library. With the large number of organizations using our platform, at myTurn we can even make recommendations on the some of the best items to purchase for a lending library based on usage and durability statistics. All sorts of kitchen tools like bread makers, ice cream and pasta makers or other items that most people find to be fun but don’t use every day are useful. Some rights reserved under a modified CC license. Parth and one of the first library members. location of relevance: The Netherlands. ALA has developed this document as a starting point to help you address current events and support all the members of your community, especially those in the most need. In turn, this sense of ownership helps reduce the number of items that are not returned or are returned late because not returning an item would be like stealing from your neighbor or even yourself. We typically recommend a core team of three to seven people so you’re not doing everything yourself, and you have a variety of skills on the team. A budget? Locations . Bringing people together and helping ensure they have the skills to use the different types of things in the library is a great way to connect the community. What types of items work best in a Library of Things? Start Borrowing. What other things are necessary? Putting books back on the shelves is only helpful if you actually know where they came from. For example, the Missoula Urban Development project runs a Tool and Kitchen Library out of multiple shipping containers, the London Library of Things also just opened in a reclaimed shipping container. utility companies use it to share energy efficiency tools with builders. Disclosure: MyTurn is an in-kind sponsor of Shareable offering website maintenance and other technical support. The Things Events. The Sharing Depot in Toronto recently moved from a basement space to ground-floor retail that allows people just walking down the block to see, and covet, the things they can borrow. Whether you’re writing grants, starting a crowdfunding campaign, or talking with potential investors, you’ll also want to have a budget and basic financial projections. With a non-profit or co-op model, people are often very open to donating their own underutilized items to help support what is clearly a community resource. Many public libraries are self-insured through their municipality, or can get an additional rider on their existing policy for their Library of Things, if needed. We promise not to spam you. These types of events build community and bring people into the space so they can see what it is all about. Locations . We currently have over 130 libraries lending to the public on the myTurn platform, and all of those structures—co-op, nonprofit, for profit, public library and offshoot of an existing organization—are represented by our customers. The Library of Things in a Nutshell. You also want to stock items that are both durable and repairable, since they’ll see a lot more use than the typical power drill that is only used for 10 to 20 minutes over its life before being disposed of. Co-authors: 17. An offshoot of an existing organization or library? The more you can have streamlined and working smoothly from the start, the easier the learning curve will be after launch. About This Article. If you’re getting started in the US, Canada or an area with a good mix of incomes and socioeconomic status, there are almost always some people who have too much stuff in their garages, closets, attics and storage spaces that are happy to get items back into use. For libraries that rely on volunteers, make sure managing the library is as easy as possible to help reduce volunteer burnout. How do you suggest people find a space? wikiHow is a “wiki,” similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles are co-written by multiple authors. At myTurn, we even field calls from local TV and radio stations wanting to know if there is a Library of Things in their area because they have heard about them and would love to do a story about them. Creating a home library is a fun way to display your interests while establishing a special space for reading. To start our church library, I used address labels, envelopes, index cards, rubber cement, and contact paper. I began building my own personal library when I was in 7th grade and that obsession continued to the present day, although now I build it digitally. We’re still in the early stages of Libraries of Things, and there will continue to be experimentation going on. Other types of items to avoid can be ones that are dangerous (e.g. If you love the library, you might even consider working at the library and becoming a … A library is one of the most important community buildings. Photo: Liselotte van Wickeren. Our commitment to diversity and inclusion, utility companies use it to share energy efficiency tools with builders. Before there were great technology solutions like myTurn to manage tool libraries and Libraries of Things, there were about a dozen tool libraries, and they were difficult to get started. You might be surprised how much is free or extremely low cost at your local public library. Contributing your own tags, reviews, etc. date published: August 15, 2016. Do they purchase it or get it donated? Shareable connected with Gene Homicki, co-founder and CEO of myTurn, an online platform that makes it easy for anyone to start and manage a Library of Things. resource format: Article. Communities use myTurn to share tools and home goods, universities use it for bike and equipment lending, and utility companies use it to share energy efficiency tools with builders. A Library of Things should be stocked with items that need little maintenance and hold up to heavy use. You typically don’t have the built-in customer base you get with a co-op (the co-op members) and accepting donations of items is not always an option. You’ll be spending your time dealing with writing things down on paper, manually emailing people when things are due or overdue, and reporting will be a hassle at best—and impossible at worst. This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged. Set up a book exchange hub if you lack the means to start a larger library. skills, and also skills to maintain and repair the items in your Library of Things can be exceedingly useful. Ok, my area already has libraries, but they're horrible. So she decided to take the ultimate next step in the next few years – start a library! Nonprofit? Offering membership as a perk can both help you meet your funding goal and start building your membership before you open. People-powered solutions for the common good, DeDeelkelder Library of Things in Utrect, Netherlands. Again, cover the basics so you have a general idea of what you’ll need to start and manage the library, but you don’t need to have every piece in place before moving forward. What are some valuable or necessary skills? Thanks for subscribing! This is the idea behind a Library of Things. If you’re passionate about the idea and can communicate it well to others, you’ll almost certainly be able to inspire others to help you fill in the gaps. Passersby won't quite believe you're giving away something for free and may think there's some sort of catch – so explain things clearly with a small sign above your library. Are there best practices in dealing with landlords or owners? Co-locating in community centers, public libraries, or even in schools or universities can provide a way to tap into existing foot traffic as well. Affordable. In fact, we hope to see more “sharing centers” and fewer shopping centers in the future. Start a Small Library. To help small nonprofit and community based Libraries of Things get going, myTurn often offers longer term “trials” and discounts to help ensure our costs do not prevent a Libraries of Things from helping build a more resilient local community. There are some items that you just can’t get via donation. One Library of Things switched to our platform due to the difficulties and extra work volunteers had to do due to their home-grown solution. How to Start a Library of Things. *Required field. Get the most out of your local library with help from wikiHow's Libraries category! The Internet has changed dramatically over the past two years. Library of Things is any collection of objects loaned at no charge, and any organization that practices such loaning. Don’t reinvent the wheel when you don’t have to. Personally, I like the co-op model, where community members have a direct stake in the success of the library. Laws and regulations vary from municipality to municipality, state to state and country to country and we typically recommend at least talking with a commercial real estate expert. During difficult times, our nation’s 120,000+ public, academic, school, and special libraries are invaluable allies inspiring understanding and community healing. These might be more appropriate if, and when, a Library of Things helps facilitate rentals or sharing directly between their members in a peer-to-peer fashion.