Libraries have been a place to check out books for centuries. However, checking out things like telescopes or board games would have been unthinkable. Now, its something that is expected of libraries, which are evolving into “libraries of things.”
Whether it be tablets, Wi-Fi hotspots, gaming consoles, or telescopes, libraries offer a variety of technologies and tools for their patrons to check out free of charge. This, then, provides individuals who may not have access to these items otherwise what they need while also fostering collaboration and a sense of community.
The items included in an individual library of things depends on the community in which the library is housed, but the goal remains to boost digital literacy and intellectual curiosity.
In addition to technologies and tools for patrons to check out, many libraries are also developing makerspaces within the library as well to also feed into the concept of the “library of things.” In doing this, libraries incorporate 3D printers and robotics into a station where individuals can get hands-on experience with technology in the library.
Through providing these items to the community, libraries are growing increasingly popular and becoming a learning hub within the community.
For more information about libraries of things: Beyond Books: Why Some Libraries Now Lend Tools, Toys and More.