Library of Things

A movement that is community-led, Library of Things enables people to borrow instead of buy things, based on a model that supports local roll-out, saving money and reducing waste.

8,000
Est. number of people
who benefit directly

Library of Things' story

A Library of Things is set up in a new neighbourhood by invitation only, when local residents want to start and host a centre in their community, for their community. Based on a franchise model, our social enterprise operates the fully insured Thing borrowing service, taking on the majority of risk and responsibility in the first two years while locals establish a new Library. Members of the community host and run the space. Things are borrowed at affordable (daily) rental rates, and items vary by each Library of Things location - from drills to gazebos to carpet cleaners.


Image: CC Stock Photo

Useful learnings from our research

It's really helpful to run for local educational programming and public events, helping people learn new skills or sharing skills as well as raising awareness.
Library of Things is an enabler, but local communities must take the lead if it's going to happen.
Choice of venue is key to success locally, and there may be opportunities to take up vacant high street space on a short term 'pop up store' basis.
Make sure that a centre has a sufficiently varied collection of Things (DIY, cleaning, gardening, hosting and hobbying) to appeal to a broad set of interests and needs, so that there is sufficient demand.

Our metrics

  • Number of people who use the library.

Read more: https://www.libraryofthings.co.uk/

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