Sign in Sign up. Accepting donations also gives more people in the community a sense of ownership and accomplishment, because they’ve helped make the library of success. A library is one of the most important community buildings. She's the author of Coworking Out Loud, a guide to content marketing for coworking space operators. As you prepare to open, team members with management (retail, volunteer management if you’re a nonprofit, etc.) Cat helps coworking spaces and collaborative organizations tell their stories, amplify their message and grow their communities. 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. As Homicki says, myTurn allows new lending libraries to use the “best practices baked right into the platform” and focus on the things that are unique to their community. It represented the second order of order. myTurn is used by numerous library of things, providing the software for tracking loans and more. For small nonprofits and community groups, we recommend trying to find partner organizations that already have potentially underutilized space. Kinder to the planet. 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. 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. I’d even recommend doing some fun events. 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. You’d have access to a much wider variety of goods than you could ever own, and you could easily share things with neighbors. If the library you are intending of starting will be in your workplace, then you should first see if there are funds available to buy books or trade journals that would fit in the library. Thus, libraries share their books and other materials with each other through use of mobile vans. The Library of Things get a pop-up space for a pilot, and the landlord ends up with a more valuable space. Start a Small Library. 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). If you’re already familiar with a platform, handling those unexpected spikes in activity are much easier. wikiHow is a “wiki,” similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles are co-written by multiple authors. To an extent, this depends on the type of organization, budget and where you are. What are some of the best ways you've seen people building community around a Library of Things? Many designers think of the Design System Kit for Sketch as of the UI Controls Library. Any tips for getting the word out? Are there best practices in dealing with landlords or owners? Convenient. Posted by cambridgechildrenslit. Useful skills to have include project management, bookkeeping and finance, fundraising, legal, marketing, design and technology. Photo: The Sharing Depot in Toronto. What's the future for Libraries of Things? 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. The Things Events. Affordable. If you have the resources to go this route though, rental businesses have been successful and profitable for many decades, and this is an extension of that model into other types of items and services. 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. Insider spoke to former library employees who shared some of the worst things people do in libraries. If you’re operating your Library of Things as formal business, you’ll likely be going with a traditional lease. Cooperative? 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. 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. They create a sense of place and connect people while supporting literacy. LibraryThing helps you create and track a library-quality catalog of your media—books (along with movies and music) you own, have read, want to read, etc. For a public library, on average, 80% of the funding is local, with another 8-9% coming from various fees, gifts, etc. Affordable. location of relevance: The Netherlands. As Margret Aldrich, author of the Little Free Library Book told Shareable, neighbors started coming over to visit as soon as she put a Little Free Library in her yard. A Library of Things enables communities to share items they only need occasionally, such as party supplies and games. Imagine going into a neighborhood shop to borrow tools, kitchen appliances, camping gear, party supplies, sports equipment, musical instruments, and more. It’s not as difficult or as scary as you might think. Thus, it is necessary to understand how tax dollars are collected, then allocated in your state (and each one is different! Whether you use our platform or another, we recommend bringing in a technology platform to manage the library right away. ). Publications include Yes! Now, Libraries of Things are rolling together all the things people only infrequently need and bringing them together in one place, so they have something for everyone. Here are six tips to help you start your own Little Free Library: 1. If you're in SharePoint Server, you can create a team or a number of other types of sites. Photo: The Sharing Depot. Photo: Jim Wilson/The New York Times. Follow @CatJohnson on Twitter. Also, learn more about what’s already been done and the types of resources that are available to help you get started. I read a few books to them while they’re there. Co-authors: 17. You can unsubscribe at any time. 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. Putting books back on the shelves is only helpful if you actually know where they came from. Any gotchas people should watch out for when opening 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. 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. Also work with local government or building owners of vacant space. For nonprofits and co-ops, we recommend accepting donations of items from the community. At myTurn we help on the electronic side, but there are often data security and other procedures for how you handle user data locally that can still apply. Sign up for Shareable’s weekly news about the latest people-powered solutions from around the world. At this point, the for-profit model offers the biggest risk—and reward. 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. What types of items work best in a Library of Things? Things to avoid are items that are not durable or made to hold up to high usage. 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. Check with developers and landlords that are looking to support a more resilient community and might be willing to provide discounted or even free space. 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. Emphasis is on school libraries, but there's plenty in here for public libraries too. 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. This card catalog contained information about the book, it’s title, author, and perhaps most importantly, the place you could find it. Some funds or other way of supplying materials needed; ingenuity can go a long way in creating a library. 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. 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. Membership or subscription-based: where you pay a yearly or monthly fee and then check items out for free, Charging a per-item rental/loan fee, similar to a traditional rental shop, More expensive or in-demand items may require an additional fee, Different membership levels may offer different percentage discounts on per-item fees—or number of items you can have out at once, Completely free: typically used by public libraries, but also some community Library of Things. According to my informal survey, the one thing that Cambridge has the vastest number of is, not pesky punt tour promoters, but libraries. This board focuses on all things library, including activities, programs, lessons, organization + other ideas. Sign up Sign in. Again, it is really important that as you are planning your Library of Things that you survey your members and potential members to see what they would want and need—and create and post a wish list. This is another area where I especially recommend talking with potential members to see what they can, and are willing to, afford, and try to be as inclusive as possible, ensuring there is a way everyone can use your Library of Things. To start our church library, I used address labels, envelopes, index cards, rubber cement, and contact paper. About . What kind of space works the best for a library of things, and what requirements are there of the space, in regards to infrastructure? Many public libraries are looking for ways to stay relevant and increase the services they offer to their communities, therefore many of these institutions are receptive to the idea of expanding to lend out more types of items. Updated: August 16, 2018. How to Start a Library of Things. We’re still in the early stages of Libraries of Things, and there will continue to be experimentation going on. 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. Diverse backgrounds and skillsets are ideal, but not completely necessary. Don’t reinvent the wheel when you don’t have to. For more than a decade now, it continues to function, though her son is now 21 years old. We recommend starting by getting the word out via local blogs, visiting meetings of other community and business groups, and then moving on to more traditional media. Cat Johnson is a writer and content strategist focused on coworking, collaboration and community. A budget? The best pricing model is going to depend on your local community, needs and your goals for your Library of Things. Simply fill a covered box or cabinet with an array of books and leave it somewhere near your home. Once you have people coming in the door—which is usually not difficult—building and connecting that community is important. The first thing to do when planning your own Little Library is to decide where to place it. Also encourage your members and class participants to tell their friends about the Library of Things. An offshoot of an existing organization or library? This gives the team experience with the platform from the start, so that when they open they are ready to hit the ground running. resource format: Article. The team is also creating a toolkit and bootcamp to help others set up a Library of Things in the UK and beyond. 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. Would you like to start a lending library in your neighborhood, but aren’t sure what it would take? Parth and one of the first library members. Bringing others in early and learning what resources are available helps ensure you don’t feel too overwhelmed and, besides, it’s more fun to plan and work with others. A Library of Things should be stocked with items that need little maintenance and hold up to heavy use. How To Make A Library Outing Fun. The first three to six months of being open tend to be hectic and a learning experience, and often growth will happen faster than expected. The best Libraries of Things start out building a place to borrow and share things, and end up building a community. Cat Johnson is a writer and content strategist focused on coworking, collaboration and community. 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. If you live in a food desert, or where there is food insecurity, gardening tools are a great option to help people grow their own food. 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. Little Free Libraries are simply brilliant. 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. 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. Don’t let one or a few missing skillsets stop you from getting going. Credit: Sanne van Vliet. 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. “When we placed the Little Free Library in front of our house, it was instant,” she says. In addition to insurance, also be careful of other legal requirements. There are some items that you just can’t get via donation. It’s easiest to locate your exchange box on a post on your own property. date published: August 15, 2016. The Sacramento Public Library’s Library of Things is housed in the Arcade branch of the public library system. What are the challenges of doing so? Please check your email for further instructions. But home libraries can be a dynamic expression of the owner's personality. 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, […] We asked Homicki for his top tips for starting a Library of Things. Ok, my area already has libraries, but they're horrible. SHARE Library of Things in Frome, England is the first of its kind in the U.K. Photo: James Bartholomew. Offering membership as a perk can both help you meet your funding goal and start building your membership before you open. At what point does a tech solution become necessary? I recommend mapping out the skills your team does have and find advisors to help you fill out the skills your team might be missing. utility companies use it to share energy efficiency tools with builders. Pay one membership or subscription fee, and you can borrow everything from camping gear, to a popcorn maker—how awesome is that? If you’re starting as a nonprofit, you can often find discounted or pro-bono legal and other professional services. 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. It’s really exciting when you first come up with, or learn about, a library that lends tools, camping gear, games and other things, rather than just books. Is it possible to create a library without software? Rather than a 20-page formal business plan that almost no one will look at, we recommend using the Social Lean Canvas or one of the other business canvas templates that have come out of the lean business movement. 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. See more ideas about library activities, school library, library. Access to a space for locating a collection and creating a research and reading space. About This Article. 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. 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. Shareable: The Library of Things movement has grown from a whisper into a buzz. 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. Things that are in high demand, or where the low-cost versions break down often, for example, pressure washers. During difficult times, our nation’s 120,000+ public, academic, school, and special libraries are invaluable allies inspiring understanding and community healing. The platform is used by over 130 tool, kitchen and other community lending libraries, as well as hundreds of nonprofits, universities, municipalities and enterprises. In the United States and some other countries, too, libraries (including those of many community colleges) are tied together in these cooperative networks. By Cat Johnson. This is the idea behind a Library of Things. What are some valuable or necessary skills? I suppose one might find it strange that an academic librarian would have his own library. The best items for a Library of Things are those that people want and need, but might not have the space to store, the money to purchase, or the need to use all the time. Advertisement. So she decided to take the ultimate next step in the next few years – start a library! Follow Cat on Twitter: @CatJohnson. Jefferson's library might fit your conception of an old-fashioned home library with leather-bound books, wood paneling and uncomfortable furniture. Contributing your own tags, reviews, etc. I also recommend getting more space than you think you’ll need, though not more than you think you can afford, if possible. Once someone decides to create a Library of Things, what are the first steps to get started? Visit Insider's homepage for more stories. We’re looking at these types of options and potentially offering insurance via our platform to remove one more pain point from getting started. 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. What options are there for organizational structure of a Library of Things? Borrow useful Things for your home, projects and adventures. Camping gear can be a great way to help introduce more people to the outdoors and nature. Think of an old-fashioned card catalog–the kind you used to see at libraries. Summary. The exact amounts we’d recommend will vary based on the area and types of items in the Library of Things, though we do recommend some sort of sliding scale to ensure everyone in the community can afford to access the things they need. What kind of insurance options are there for a Library of Things? He also provides a couple of tips, with a special reference to children’s books.The collection of a library … ThinkBox, a children’s library for books and toys started in 2008 in Bengaluru’s Malleshpalya main road. The more you can have streamlined and working smoothly from the start, the easier the learning curve will be after launch. Set up a book exchange hub if you lack the means to start a larger library. What’s behind the excitement? chainsaws), need a lot of maintenance or calibration between each use, or that need—and can be difficult—to clean between every use. Browse the Things. How are these best handled? Magazine, Utne Reader, GOOD, Shareable, Triple Pundit, Mother Jones, Future Perfect and Lifehacker. We’ve had customers start to enter inventory as it comes in and, more importantly, sign up paying members months before their library opens. Why buy when you can borrow? The first thing you will need to do if you want to start your own library is start gathering books. Convenient. You can now choose to collect or get Things delivered to your door in Crystal Palace and surrounding areas. This article has been viewed 26,883 times. She's the author of Coworking Out Loud, a guide to content marketing for coworking space operators. Creating a home library is a fun way to display your interests while establishing a special space for reading. Other types of items to avoid can be ones that are dangerous (e.g. 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. For-profit? What other questions do you have for Gene about opening or running a Library of Things? DeDeelkelder, in the Netherlands, recently opened a pop-up Library of Things. It doesn’t get much better than that. Disclosure: MyTurn is an in-kind sponsor of Shareable offering website maintenance and other technical support. I’ll start with the second. Do they purchase it or get it donated? This movement, and the buzz behind it, really started with tool libraries and kitchen libraries and other speciality lending libraries, most of which got their start using myTurn. To organize my library I depend on both of these orders of order. Some rights reserved under a modified CC license. What other things are necessary? We’ve seen tool, kitchen and now Library of Things start to rapidly pop-up now that, from the start, you can sign up members and let the community see your inventory (or your wish list) online right from the start. Similar to retail spaces, the best types of spaces for a Library of Things are those that are visible and easily accessible to the community. Publications include Yes! Locations . Start Borrowing. 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. Libraries of Things can get really creative with their spaces though. Sep 16, 2020 - We all know that libraries are awesome. 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. What kind of team do you need to get a Library of Things started? As a first step, share that excitement with others and start to form a team to make the Library of Things a reality. A Library of Things looks a lot like either a library or a rental shop to insurers, so there tend to be different options depending on how you form your Library of Things. To create this article, 17 people, some anonymous, worked to edit and improve it over time. The library is home to tools, suitcases, a barbecue, pasta makers, a wallpaper steamer and more. skills, and also skills to maintain and repair the items in your Library of Things can be exceedingly useful. 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. Location, Location, Location. 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. 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. In seeking to develop a school library, a few aspects need to exist or be planned for: A committed vision. Library of Things is any collection of objects loaned at no charge, and any organization that practices such loaning. Also, when members of the community contribute to starting the Library of Things, they become invested, both literally and figuratively, in its success. What works best is going to depend on the target customer and location. The London Library of Things originally started in a public library in 2014, but, thanks to a successful crowdfunding campaign, it’s moving into its own space later this month. Photo: The Sharing Depot. Our commitment to diversity and inclusion, utility companies use it to share energy efficiency tools with builders.