The Newark Free Library launched a brand-new borrowing program called “Library of Things” thanks to a grant from 5th District Councilwoman Lisa Diller and the New Castle County Council. The program was funded through a $2,500 grant from Councilwoman Diller to the Friends of Newark Free Library.
In recent years, leading-edge libraries have developed a “Library of Things” to lend items to patrons. Items include home tools, musical instruments, technology, scientific equipment, and puzzles and toys. A Library of Things (LOT) gives library patrons access to items they may not be able to afford, items they would like to try out before purchasing, or items they only need once. It supports the application of knowledge gained through the library and continued learning at home. Experience in other library systems shows that patrons take care of the items and return them in good condition.
The Newark Free Library staff used the grant to purchase items for the LOT that they believe will benefit the community. Items span a variety of interests and include a microscope; a moisture meter for drywall, wood, and masonry; a music keyboard; podcasting and other audiovisual equipment; puzzles; and indoor and outdoor games.
“The LOT is all about opportunity - opportunity to explore, create, and have fun,” said County Executive Meyer. “We’re especially thankful for the financial support of Councilwoman Diller and County Council to make these items available to Newark Library guests.”
By launching this program, The Friends and Newark Free Library staff believe that the LOT will help attract current and new patrons to the library as reopening continues. In addition, The Library of Things is seen as an innovative way to benefit all patrons and should be especially relevant to residents of underserved communities.
Councilwoman Lisa Diller says “The Friends of the Newark Free Library are once again proving that libraries are truly community resources. Libraries are books and so much more as you can see with the innovative Library of Things. Thanks to the Newark Library Friends group and the library staff for being willing to experiment with this great project.”