Berks County Public Library System will conclude its year-long, 35th Anniversary celebration by launching the new Library of Things collection, which allows patrons to borrow tools, gadgets, and other non-traditional items from their library.
The celebratory anniversary year began in June 2021, when the Library System first introduced EnChroma color blind glasses into the shared countywide collection, becoming the first institution in Pennsylvania to offer EnChroma specialty eyewear free for public use.
“The concept of a Library of Things collection isn’t new,” said Amy Resh, system administrator for Berks County Public Libraries. “How many times have you purchased something to only use it on one or two occasions? Or was there a new hobby you wanted to explore but the financial commitment was too high? This collection serves to fulfill those short-term wants and needs by providing free access to a variety of items without the financial or environmental waste associated with one-off usage.”
All public libraries in Berks County will offer satellite Library of Things collections, but everyone with an adult Berks County Public Library card can borrow items from within each collection by traveling to the owning library to pick up and drop off their Thing.
“We’re thrilled to offer tools, equipment, and other unique accessories for patrons to utilize as they need,” said Resh. “But as we currently have items such as a Cricut EasyPress and a leaf blower which are too large to travel across libraries, all items from the Library of Things collection must be borrowed from and returned to the library that owns the item.”
The Library of Things collection includes the following items among others: Happy birthday yarn sign, Cricut EasyPress 2, Automobile diagnostic code reader tool, Stud finder wall scanner, Resin jewelry molds, Car dent puller, Digital film scanner, Ice cream maker, Portable cornhole set, Star Wars baking pan: Darth Vader.
Patrons are encouraged to explore the full Library of Things collection online at berkslibraries.org/library-of-things. Additional information about borrowing and returning Library of Things materials is available online or by contacting your local library.
The Library of Things will debut on July 13 and 14 at the Berks County Fair where attendees can stop by the library booth that Wednesday or Thursday to learn more about the collection and enter to win one of three local experience baskets which feature gift cards to several local businesses and organizations.