Essex Library of Things launches today

News / Wed 8th Sep 2021 at 09:48am

LIBRARY users in Essex can now check out more than just books as a new borrowing pilot launches today, Wednesday 8 September.

Residents can borrow from a list of items ranging from a drum kit to a pressure washer thanks to the ‘Essex Library of Things’.

All items in the ‘Library of Things’ are free of charge during the pilot and include:

  • DIY and gardening tools (such as a drill, pressure washer, leaf blower)
  • Household appliances (such as bread making machine, sewing machine and stand mixer)
  • Musical instruments (including drumkit, guitar and keyboards)
  • Camping and sports equipment (such as tent, gazebo and outdoor games)

At present the scheme is being trialled at five libraries and also via some mobile libraries and it its hoped as more items are added to the catalogue more libraries will offer the service. Items will also be reviewed regularly and, where appropriate, stock will be increased to deal with high demand.

The items are as easy to check out as if they were books. Those using the service must be over 18 and can reserve items online here and collect from Chelmsford, Witham, Great Parndon, Laindon and Clacton libraries or the mobile library service.

This innovative scheme is a collaboration between the Essex Library Service and the BLUEPRINT to a Circular Economy Project- an initiative inspired by the natural world, that aims to help local authorities in England and France to implement a circular economy whereby every product and material has value and nothing is wasted. 

BLUEPRINT is led by Essex County Council and has a total budget of 5.6m euros, of which 3.8m euros were provided by the European Regional Development Fund via the Interreg France (Channel) England programme. 

Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Communities, Cllr Louise McKinlay said: “Libraries play such a vital role in our communities and we are committed expanding the range of facilities they offer.

“I am so thrilled to launch The Essex Library of Things, not only will it really help residents who might not have the means to rent or purchase these items themselves, it also brings people into our libraries and of course it reduces waste- which is win win.”

Cabinet Member for Waste Reduction and Recycling, Cllr Malcolm Buckley said: “The Essex Library of Things will provide a fantastic opportunity to members of our community. Not only will it help to reduce waste and drive down consumerism, but it will enable all our residents to access both essential and ‘nice-to-have’ items.”

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1 Comment for Essex Library of Things launches today:

Corinne McGee
2021-09-09 06:52:20

What an amazing project, part funded of course by the EU. Look forward to using it!

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