Although the concept has been around for decades, a “Library of Things” has only recently become more popular in communities around the state. Defined as a collection of items for loan that go beyond traditional books and reference materials, a “library of things” is a sustainable way to share resources while providing equitable access to everyone in the community. These non-traditional collections often contain items only needed a handful of times that can be challenging to store, and allow patrons the opportunity to try before they buy.
The Mad River Valley libraries’ directors want to highlight some of their “library of things” collection, with many of the items available due to donations from businesses, individuals, our Friends groups and grant-funded support. All three libraries have HappyLights® donated by Verilux and many puzzles for the upcoming colder darker months. In the spring, visit their Little Seed Libraries from a community partnership with shareMRV and Sculpture School, or check out an Amphibian Road Crossing kit to help animal friends during their annual migration. On the tech front, there are Chromebooks and laptops available with a variety of loan periods at all three libraries.
New to Moretown Library is a collection of sports equipment, lawn games and nature exploration kits thanks to the Vermont Children’s Trust Foundation. Try out sports like tennis and pickleball, or check out bocce, washer toss, giant Jenga and more for a party. Binoculars and other resources help borrowers explore birds, insects, and trees. Due to a partnership between Big Heavy World and the Department of Libraries, there is also a new RØDE USB microphone available that is perfect for recording music and podcasts for a variety of online platforms.
Joslin Library recently added a GoPro to the collection for outdoor filming enthusiasts, and a Bluetooth music system as well. There is an Orion Telescope available to better enjoy the night sky, and maple sugaring and blanket fort kits to enhance children’s play.
Warren Library’s newest addition is a 10-foot x 10-foot pop-up tent. To improve household energy efficiency, they offer a wood moisture meter through a partnership with the Vermont Department of Libraries and the Department of Environmental Conservation, as well as Kill-A-Watt meters. For those without an internal CD drive on their devices, there is an external CD/DVD drive available to access photos and other files. Patrons also have many different education kits to choose from ranging from different fiber arts to nature exploration and early literacy activities. Finally, there are a variety of cake pans to borrow including a soccer ball, candy cane, giant cupcake, and a fleur-de-lis Bundt pan with more added soon.