Wakulla County Public Library – Library of Things with Guest Blogger Robyn Drummond

By Robyn Drummond, Wakulla County Public Library

Photo of library of thingsI am so proud to say that the Wakulla County Public Library is not just books. Our library strives to provide services and programs that offer help, learning, and entertainment. Now the Library can help in a bold new way.

Enter the Library of Things. Need to trim a tree limb? Come check out a pole saw. Have family visiting with a small child? Come check out our portable toddler bed, our play pen, or our booster seat for your dining room table. Having a party? We have a pre-loaded karaoke machine and yard games like horseshoes, bean bag toss, and ladder toss. Want to try out camping but not sure that you are quite ready to commit? Check out our four-person tent and camping lanterns. Other items include yard tools, a pressure washer, a ukulele, badminton, stud finder, laser level, caulking gun, extension pole for painting, adult and child life vests, telescoping extension ladder (it will fit in the trunk of your car!), tools for digitizing VHS and cassette tapes, and so much more.

This exciting collection was purchased by funds through a Panhandle Library Access Network Innovation Project, and some items have even been donated by patrons. We hope to continue to add useful items to the collection as more funds become available.

Any adult (user agreement required) with a library card clear of overdue items and fines can check out items from the Library of Things. We ask that they only check out one item at a time, but we will consider multiple checkouts on a case-by-case basis. Checkout is for one week with no renewals. Wakulla County Public Library and the Library of Things: Why buy when you can borrow?

The Library of Things was so easy to start using our PLAN Innovation Project funding. We were only awarded about half of what we requested, but in a way, I am glad that is all we received. If we had been granted the full amount, we would have been overwhelmed.

Starting a Library of Things is simply as easy as polling your patrons to see what they need/want, purchasing the items, cataloging them, and putting them out for circulation. The challenges are finding somewhere to store them and figuring out the best way to tag them as library property in a tasteful way. We were able to premiere the Library of Things during our annual Take Your Child to the Library Day on Saturday, February 2nd. Things started checking out the very next week, and the people borrowing them expressed a great amount of gratitude about us being able to make these items available for them to use. We are always excited to be able to provide more services for our patrons, but this project has already been so very rewarding.

Our full list of currently available items includes

  • A Horseshoe Set
  • Karaoke Machine
  • Giant Connect Four
  • A Film and Slide Scanner
  • An LED Work Light
  • Child and Adult Life Vests
  • A Ukulele
  • A portable Badminton Set
  • VHS to DVD converter and VCR
  • Ladder Toss Game
  • A portable Playpen
  • Record Player
  • AM/FM Radio
  • Stud Finder
  • Laser Level
  • Extendable Paint Roller Handle
  • Shovel
  • Garden Hoe
  • Garden Rake
  • Post Hole Diggers
  • Four person Camping Tent
  • Vacuum Food Sealer
  • Bean Bas Toss games for adults and children
  • Booster Seat for dining table
  • Tile Cutter, Hedge Trimmers
  • Portable Toddler Bed
  • Pressure Cooker/Canner
  • Jumbo Checkers
  • Pole Saw
  • Metal Detector
  • Pressure Washer
  • Telescoping 12.5 foot Extension Ladder (that will fit in the trunk of a car!)
  • Giant Uno
  • Cassette to MP3 Converter
  • Caulking Gun
  • LED Camping Lanterns
  • A Portable Document and Image Scanner
  • Wrench Set
  • Dremel Engraver
  • A set of Two-Way Radios

We also have one really cool story about the Library of Things already. The first family that checked out the Metal Detector did so to find a time capsule that their son, who is about to graduate from high school, buried in their yard upon starting Kindergarten. They buried a metal bat over the top of it, but have no clue where they buried it. Library of Things to the rescue!

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