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More than books

CADL's Library of Things offers lawn games and more


A book is great for taking to the beach, but Capital Area District Libraries is lending cardholders more than just books for summer fun this year. Outdoor summer games like bocce ball, cornhole, ladderball and spikeball are all available to be borrowed from CADL’s new Library of Things.

“Many librarians noticed the trend of libraries starting a Library of Things,” said Jessica Goodrich, CADL outreach librarian.

So in September, CADL created its own Library of Things. In addition to summer lawn games, the Library of Things offers a collection of diverse items, ranging from the utilitarian, like energy meters and air quality monitors, to the explorative, like a Theremin and a Raspberry Pi computing kit. All of these items and many more can be borrowed from any one of CADL’s branches for up to two weeks and renewed for an additional week.

The service also lends useful but expensive household items like sewing machines and graphing calculators to patrons who may want to try a new hobby or learn something new without investing a bunch of money.

“One of the criteria we use for picking a thing to add is the cost,” Goodrich said. “It gives everyone access to these things, not just those who can afford it.”

Goodrich said CADL is always looking for ways to improve and enhance their offerings to patrons and encourages library-goers to suggest new items for the Library of Things through the CADL website. New items are added to the Library of Things every month.

In August, “patrons can look forward to an at-home die cutter with die cuts,” Goodrich said. “It will be great for crafting, scrapbooking, card making and lots more.”

The Library of Things aims to provide the public with things that make patrons say, “I’ve always wanted to try that, but I can’t afford it,” Goodrich said.

“These things might be a new experience, something helpful, educational or encourage exploring new areas of interest,” she said, adding that she hopes the items available will add value to a patron’s life.


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