Library loans.

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?


  1. 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!

  2. 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.

  3. Funny you should ask! Our library lends snowshoes in the winter. Libraries sure have expanded their services. Fortunately, books are still at the center.

      • 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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….

  6. 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.

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