Banff's 'Library of Things' lends tools and appliances, not books

·1 min read
Banff Public Library director Sarah McCormack stands in front of the library's new initiative, which allows people to borrow objects from tools to kitchen appliances.  (Evelyne Asselin/Radio-Canada - image credit)
Banff Public Library director Sarah McCormack stands in front of the library's new initiative, which allows people to borrow objects from tools to kitchen appliances. (Evelyne Asselin/Radio-Canada - image credit)

Banff's library now has more than books on offer.

The Alberta mountain town's public library is testing out a pilot project, lending out 75 items from screwdrivers to food dehydrators to sewing machines to library customers for free.

The Library of Things has been library director Sarah McCormack's dream since she took the post in 2014.

"The library is the original circular economy. So it's continuing on what we do in our library of learning materials — just in a different format," she said.

McCormack said the initiative, which follows others in Alberta, is particularly suited to a town like Banff that's home to many renters.

Evelyn Asselin/Radio-Canada
Evelyn Asselin/Radio-Canada

"The Town of Banff is a very unique community. We have a lot of people who come here for a season or a short amount of time. We have affordability issues such as food security, accommodation," she said.

"Often when you have housing, it's shared or small. So you may not be able to afford to buy some of these items. You may not have a place to store them. You may want to try them and see if it's something that you like."

The items are available to residents of Improvement Disctrict #9 who have library cards. Items can be borrowed for a maximum of seven days.

McCormack said since the equipment lending pilot project began on Oct. 7, the most popular items have been a pie plate and a drill.

The library is also hoping to receive donated items, like tools, to supplement its offering. The library's current object catalogue and list of needs is available on its website.

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