We have a few slightly more “unusual” items available to borrow at the public library here in Calgary, including pedometers, electricity usage monitors, and – at one of our branches – musical instruments of all kinds, which is crazy exciting (and I really ought to take advantage of the opportunity at some point. I can’t currently play any instruments, but what better way to find out which one I would like to take up?). I know some libraries throughout the world will lend out garden seeds, tools, and household appliances, among other useful items. At one library in a neighbouring town in Alberta, you can even borrow snowshoes during the winter months.
Does your local library lend out items other than books (print and electronic), audio/visual materials, and access to streaming services and other online content such as newspapers and educational courses? Have you ever used any of the “additional” items offered?
I don’t know what our local libraries offer, but when I was in Malvern, Arkansas, my computer died and I went to the library to use one of theirs. Imagine my surprise when I found you could check out fishing rods and reels, for a week at a time. If you were late returning them, the fine was a dollar a day!
Now, those are unusual items, to be sure – that’s fascinating!
Our library is keeping up with this world of technology and loans out all sorts of laptops, tablets, etc. along with some of the items you mention. They are also sponsoring speakers on a variety of topics and holding computer classes. What I love about the library is that if I want a book that they don’t have, they will order it and let me know when it arrives. Full service, and I sincerely appreciate it.
The variety of services most public libraries offer now is huge – and hugely appreciated by so many! I love to hear this!
You probably know that I’m an avid supporter of the public library and unofficial ambassador too. But even I am surprised to read this. How interesting!
It’s so interesting to find out the services public libraries provide in the community! Definitely a valuable resource for so many.
Funny you should ask! Our library lends snowshoes in the winter. Libraries sure have expanded their services. Fortunately, books are still at the center.
Your library has snowshoes, as well! I thought it was pretty novel (pun intended!). 😉
Excellent! Our library is pretty boring by comparison but still invaluable for borrowing books and especially audiobooks!
Audiobooks are fantastic, aren’t they? I love print material but audiobooks are so fun to listen to while travelling (or just vegging out on the couch!).
My netflix addiction keeps me from listening to audiobooks at home. But I have listened to a LOT of books in the car. I sometimes feel like I’m cheating, like listening to a book doesn’t count because it takes little effort.
I’m a constant library user for books, DVDs and Blu-rays but they don’t loan other items. Last summer there was a pilot program to loan WiFi-capable iPads but I never heard more about it and so perhaps it didn’t work out well. I will say that the county-wide library networks offers access to the holdings of 65 libraries; books, DVDs etc can be requested online and delivered to whatever library the user requests. So it’s very convenient. The library also offers cardholders free passes to several local museums.
The passes for local museums are an absolutely wonderful idea – I love that!
I just learned that one local library loans out cookware–pots and pans?? I was surprised and need to look into this–what else do they have to lend?!
Pots and pans – that’s fantastic! I once read of a library somewhere in the States that made small kitchen appliances such as blenders, toasters etc. available to their patrons. Interesting….
Here is the link to one of my local libraries https://www.suffolklibraries.co.uk/libraries/halesworth-library/ from which you can see that quite bit is going on for a very small library in a small market town. I’m not sure that they loan anything other than i-pads, CDs, DVDs, computer games etc. and board games. I have never borrowed anything other than books and DVDs.
You’re right – it really is a hub for the community! It hosts a huge amount of programs and services as well. Wonderful to see!
Our libraries are all in danger of losing their funding. Another local library is run by volunteers.
Tofino has a pop of 1700 souls,so we have limited resources.So I’m “assuming” we do have anything like this here? I wonder if that musical library of yours in Calgary has a piano? I’ve always wanted to try one! I understand how many hours it would take to get good enough.
What a great idea!
I used to hike with a group that got their hiking poles from their public library (I think it was Black Diamond or Turner Valley)!