Local library lending more than books

BUCHANAN, Mich.-- One Michiana Library has created a new initiative to lend out more than just books to their community.

The concept of a library of things has been in the works since before the pandemic began.

“It was donated my Ohana music out in California. They donated 6 ukuleles to us, middle of March, we were really rearing to go and then obviously everything got shut down," said Buchanan District Library Director, Meg Paulette.

Even though they have only been back open for a few weeks.

“Yeah you know we were shut down for a long time and we were only able to do online services and programs," said Paulette. "We tried to do as much as we could you know offering story time online, signing people up for libraries cards from home, showing them how to access the digital collection but it was hard to be gone from our patrons for that long. So we are happy to be back doing what we can now.”

But as businesses look to be opening up more-- the library is looking to open up what resources are available to the public.

“A lot of people are struggling right now so a sharing economy is a great way for us to share resources," said Paulette.

Currently the library is looking for items like tools and musical instruments among other items.

“Some of it could be games, for a family to enjoy together, some of it could be an ice cream maker, or a weed whacker or whatever people want or need," said Paulette.

The library is currently compiling a dream list based off of community input so they can start making a donation and purchasing list.

"To have items maybe you don’t need to own but it would be great to use every once in awhile," said Paulette.

To bring new experiences to their guests as we all go through this unnatural time.

“People are our of their normal routines so this is a great time to maybe check out a ukulele and learn how to play while I’m at home more than I would normally be," said Paulette.

A unique way to learn new traits and life lessons.

“To look on the bright side, the silver lining is maybe going okay what do I really need and what can I maybe borrow for a little while and we can all do our part to have a more sustainable lifestyle," said Paulette.

This new initiative is still in the works and has coincided with their new measures to keep their patrons as healthy as possible.

“We do the first hour of everyday with vulnerable populations. We do have to keep to those capacity limits to so we’re at 25 percent capacity at any given time. Everybody is wearing a mask. We have stations with hand sanitizer right when you come in the door and masks available if you don’t have one. And the staff is doing a lot of extra work cleaning. We’re also we’ve always offered curbside service and were reminding people of you want materials but don’t want to come in we’re still happy to bring them out to you," said Paulette.

If you are interested in suggesting items for the Library of Things, you can go to the Buchanan District Library website here to fill out their suggestion survey.

The items mentioned are not currently available for rent, however they will be in the upcoming weeks.

Follow the Buchanan District Library Facebook page for updates.

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