On June 28, the Ypsilanti District Library (YDL) introduced its new collection of items called the ‘Library of Things.’ All the items in the ever-growing collection are available for free check-out with a YDL library card— the same one used for books.
There are 12 categories of ‘things’ to choose from, such as crafts, games, tools, kitchenware, and more. As of now, there are 90 total products available, and the collection will only grow from there.
There are two types of products, tier 1 and tier 2. Tier 1 items are items anyone with a library card can check out if available. Tier 2 items are items that can only be checked out by people who are the age of 18 or older. This is because tier 2 items may be dangerous for younger visitors. Tier 2 items include power tools such as electric cordless drills or heavy-duty gardening tools such as electric saws.
Just like a book, if an item is in use, it can be put on hold by someone else who would like to check it out, so that when the item is returned it will be made directly available.
The idea of a ‘Library of Things’ started about 13 years ago when the YDL started to lend out kilowatt (kWh) meters apart from the usual books and movies. In 2014, they had a seed library where people could donate or take seeds for their gardens. They also had other items such as reading magnifiers for people with poor vision, wifi hotspots, and puzzles. Over the years, they have grown their collection of ‘things’ until it became an official collection— a "Library of Things.”
YDL wants to benefit the community while bringing it together to have more of an impact and a connection with its visitors.
“It really does kind of reinforce the impact that libraries can have on a community because you really are starting to see that from a lot of different libraries,” said Sam Killian, YDL community relations coordinator. “Libraries, …they’re community connectors, they really are… We’re always excited to help get the word out about stuff that we have that people might not expect.”
The official list of items can be found on the YDL website.