The Brook Iroquois Washington Public Library is unveiling an all-new collection: The Library of Things.
This new collection holds a wide array of non-traditional library items available for loan to the community. “The goal of the Library of Things is to promote learning, meet community needs, ignite curiosity, and connect our community,” stated Director Krissy Wright. “Want to try an Instant Pot before you invest in one? Borrow it from the library! Need to clean your carpets, but don’t want to invest in a pricey machine? We have one of those too! Lawn maintenance equipment, sporting equipment, a sewing machine, cake decorating equipment, corn hole boards – even a karaoke machine – and so much more. It’s all at the Brook Library waiting to be loaned out.”
The concept of a “Library of Things” isn’t a new one. Things libraries can be found across the country. Some specialize in certain areas, while others – like the Brook Library’s – have a large and random selection of items for loan. “You usually find a Library of Things in large city public libraries, so it’s very exciting that we are able to bring this concept to Newton County,” said Wright. The Library of Things will kick off with nearly 50 items its collection, each of which was hand selected with the community in mind. “One unique facet of this collection is the Dementia Kits, curated with professional insight, to help patients and their caregivers connect and stimulate conversation over common topics,” says Wright. Each of the six kits contains a DVD, CD, books, puzzles, activities, and a Hands-On- Experience Kit focused around a central topic such as nature or animals. “We hope to add Autism Kits to the collection in the very near future,” said Wright.
What does it take to borrow from the Library of Things? Just a library card and a signed waiver. No fees or annual subscriptions. Wright hopes that these new offerings will lead to an increase in their already climbing patron numbers. “We hope that this collection will attract a brand new demographic; groups that we currently aren’t serving.”
The Library of Things will kick off with a Showcase on April 1 from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm. This open house will allow the public to stop in and explore the collection in its entirety, eat snacks, and mingle with other community members. New patrons can also register for a library card with proof of address and a photo ID. Patrons can also reserve an item to avoid a potential wait-list. Items will officially be available for loan at 9:00 am on April 3rd. “We want to say a huge ‘thank you’ to the Jasper Newton Foundation. None of this would be possible without their continued support and dedication to our community,” said Wright. The Jasper Newton Foundation awarded the Brook Public Library with a $1,500.00 grant to help kick start the Library of Things. “This amazing organization has a vision for - and invests in - our community’s future. They are doing wonderful things!” stated Wright. For more information about the Library of Things, contact the Brook Library at 219-275-2471.