What does your library lend?

Redd Angelo — Unsplash.com

When you think of visiting your local library I wonder if you are still remember the memories you had from childhood, from adolescent school days, maybe from college/university times?

Childhood library memories for me are filled with my Mom. I vaguely remember us making many trips to the library and have a hard time trying to decide which of the hundreds of books filled with pictures and vivid colours I wanted to take home.

If I think of school day memories of visiting the library, the first thoughts that come to mind are a less jovial. I remember them being places of silence and whispered talking. Endless columns of books that I needed to search through and pile on a table to research through to complete projects and papers for school assignments.

College and University days bring more memories of collaborating with study partners on projects. Still endless stacks of books, papers, and journals. However, as quiet as they were the atmosphere was more open. There was more chatting among the patrons occurring.

Library have changed drastically from my very young days (cough, cough, many moons ago). I do recall when my local library started to lend out BETA and VHS movies, games, books on tape, and even equipment to view these on.

Libraries have always been big parts of our communities and often at the center of learning. They are also moving with the times and may be even pushing the boundaries of where and how learning is occurring. They are focusing on how the remain relevant in a digital world and integral parts of our communities.

A recent article about the Toronto Public Library showcased how the library is lending out WiFi hotspots to users. The library has 6 location where users can borrow hotspots for 6 months. The purpose behind this project is assist low income households with access to the Internet. They want to ‘help close the digital divide’.

After sharing the article on Twitter a follower commented that they just found out that their library lends out sewing machines.

I just had to search my local library to find out what items other than books that they are lending out. I’m stunned and ashamed that I did not realize they have a Seed Library.

Benjamin Combs — Unsplash.com

The Newmarket Public Library offers “Seed libraries provide residents with an opportunity to donate and exchange seeds, and meet for events and interactive workshops throughout the year to learn about different seeds and plants, growth strategies, and more. Anyone can use the seed library for free and all are welcome to participate.”

How cool is that? I had no idea, I live in the community, and I love to garden. Guess where I’m going soon…gardening season has begun.

The Aurora Public Library has a 3D printer. Submit your design and as long at it does not take more than 6 hours to print….print away at $1 + $.03/minute. Pretty cool way to get into trying this technology out.

The Georgina Public Library shares an account to research your genealogy through Ancestry.ca.

The East Gwillimbury Public Library loans our MaKey Makey Invention kits. Not just for kids, these kits can be borrowed to combine art, engineering and invention to make ‘everyday objects into touch pads and then combine them with the internet’.

I’m thankful to know how community driven our libraries or and I’m now extremely curious, and I hope you are as well, to find out what your local library shares besides books. Please reply back with a tweet, comment below, or even an Instagram picture of something you’ve borrowed. Use #MyLibraryLends and let’s see what is out there we can try, explore, and learn.