Middleboro Public Library has embraced Library of Things with an entire theme! Below is a summary written by Lori Salotto, Head of Technical Services/Children’s Assistant. You can also view Middleboro Funbrary brochure for examples of their items and policies!
Middleboro Public Library – Funbrary
We started our collection of non-traditional items with STEAM backpacks and teacher kits as part of a LSTA grant that our Library received from a grant written by our Children’s Librarian, Amanda Meyer. She created all of the backpacks herself.
- Backpacks: Animals, Birds, Night Sky, Plants and Ponds (with more to come) – these contain books, equipment (binoculars, magnifying glass, nets, jars, etc), finger puppets, pocket guides, informational sheets
- Teacher Kits: bought through Lakeshore Learning
- Fairy Tale Problem Solving – 3 Billy Goats Gruff, 3 Little Pigs and Goldilocks (will soon be adding: Rapunzel, Little Red Riding Hood and The Gingerbread Man)
- Challenge Kits : Keep the Rain Out, Parachute Safety, Stay Afloat
We then added outdoor games as part of Summer Reading 2016 – this included croquet, bocce, jarts (plastic and non-pointed), horseshoes, a disc golf starter set and a parachute. These were enthusiastically received so this past winter and spring we decided to add items that would pertain to all the seasons – snowman making kit, snowball and brick maker, 2 sets of snowshoes, ukulele, lincoln logs, travel games, egg and spoon game, puppet theater, sandcastle kit, ball toss, gardening kit and fishing pole and tackle box.
We clearly mark on the bag a label of responsibility and also a label that has our return and damage/lost policy on it. We make sure to indicate if pieces can be replaced or whether patron would need to pay the entire cost of the item. If there are any choking hazard warning on the original packaging, we make sure to add that to our packaging.
If the item you circulate is something that is put in patron’s mouth (like snorkels) you need to make sure to wash them every time they are returned. The ukulele will need to be tuned every time it is returned in the beginning.
You need to decide on whether the items will be holdable, how they should be returned, and fines associated with overdue items.
- Our circ map has the backpacks going out for 28 days 10 cent fine, $5 max, no renewals
- Our circ map has the games going out for 14 days 50 cents fine per day $10 max, no renewals
When thinking about what to purchase we think about things patrons may only want to use a few times a year and don’t want to purchase it or they want to maybe try it out before purchasing. The outdoor games are great if they are having a family party. We also take into consideration patron requests for items to be purchased.