50 Things You Can Borrow from Libraries Besides Books
When most people think of libraries, books come to mind — rows and rows of books as in the picture below. Some might add that you can also find newspapers and magazines — or even movies, audiobooks and music — at your library.
But there’s more — a lot more — inside your library than you might think.
One of the things that impressed me about the library in the town where I grew up was that it was more than a place to check out a good book. One image in particular that stands out in my mind was my mother picking through grocery store coupons that the library maintained in a neat little row of boxes. Anyone was welcome to take whatever coupons they needed from the bins or leave any extra coupons they might have for sharing with others. I remember how appreciative my mom was and how that helped us stretch our food budget.
Thinking back on that image made me wonder what else – besides books and coupons – libraries offer to their patrons.
Are there any unusual items you can check out?
Curious, I decided to google libraries and strange and/or unusual things you can borrow. I came up with a list of more than 60 items, which made me think — as I’ve often thought of in the past — that libraries are really like the Doctor Who and his Tardis. As with the Tardis — that flying contraption used by the Doctor to travel across space and time in the BBC TV show, Doctor Who — libraries are bigger on the inside and full of all kinds of nifty things.
In my search, I found things, such as Santa Suits (Bolivar County Library System in Mississippi) and snowshoes (Baldwin Memorial Library in Wells River, Vermont). (As I write this, I am in Florida in summer. It is hot. Very hot.)
After I showed my list to a colleague of mine, Jaclyn Rosansky, she offered to pair it down to a more manageable 50 and created the infographic below.
So, for all you librarians and library lovers out there, enjoy! And the next time you drive past a library, stop, go inside, and explore because it — like the Tardis — offers much more on the inside than you might expect.
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