Variety is the spice of (library) life

I have seen so many different types of libraries, lending out so many weird and wonderful things, that I have decided to collate some of them in a post here 🙂

We have all heard of makerspaces, but these libraries take it well beyond these humble beginnings.

There’s the Edmondton Tool Library, a community tool shed for those who lack the money or space to own all the tools they need for their projects.

Then there’s tiny mobile libraries in Seoul, beautiful pop-up libraries that double as art pieces.

Two people in India have created a mini-van library and are road-tripping around the country to promote reading.

There are loads of libraries lending out bicycles, a brilliant idea!

Maybe you don’t want to waste money on endless toys for your tots – try a Toy Library, there’s a whole lot of them.

You can check out some seeds at the Saskatoon Seed Library, and then you can return the seeds from the plants you grow for others to use. Seed Banks and vaults are also used to preserve seeds and help researchers in disease, pest and climate change problems.

This library protects the world’s rarest colours, though you won’t be able to borrow any of the pigments out!

Why not check out a ukulele in Pennsylvania, or a sewing machine, video games, art prints and tools or a telescope? This trend is called the ‘Library of Things‘ and is a brilliant innovation. Here’s one great Library of Things in the UK, an amazing community space. And here’s a video from a US Library of Things:

It doesn’t stop there. Surely you’ve all heard of the ‘Little Free Library‘ phenomenon, where people build a miniature library on a post outside their house or in a park (or anywhere public really) and provide free books. I love how cute they are!

Then there’s purely online libraries sharing old school video games and software. Go on, play for free!

There are even ‘human libraries‘! This idea is truly special. Here you can loan out a person and have a conversation. This sharing of stories can be intense, liberating and challenging, but ultimately brings people together and opens their mind to new perspectives.

This list is not even close to exhaustive, I saw an image of a library on a camel somewhere, and I’m sure there’s even more amazing libraries then that to check out!


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