We all know that libraries are wonderful for checking out books, but the number of non-book related items that libraries now stock may surprise you. Your library may let you borrow toys, clothing, electronics, and so much more.
Here are just some examples of what it’s possible to borrow from US libraries:
- CDs and DVDs
- Musical instruments
- Expensive event clothing
- Gardening materials
- Laptops, video projectors, and digital cameras
- Electronics chargers
- Reading glasses
- Bicycles, scooters, and skateboards
- Cooking pans and other supplies
- Craft kits and sewing machines
- Pens, pencils, rulers, calculators, and other office supplies
- Sporting equipment
- Microscopes and other science supplies
- Toys, games, puzzles, and dolls
- Bubbles machines
The variety is incredible! To see even more things you can borrow from libraries around the country, check out this illustration.
Toy libraries in particular have become more popular in recent years. They are part of a growing green and cost-saving trend as parents discover the convenience and benefits of borrowing toys instead of buying them. Toy libraries not only save money, but also save the Earth. Rather than watch the toys you’ve purchased pile up as they are outgrown or end up in a landfill, why not borrow a few toys every couple of weeks and then exchange them for something new?
There are currently nearly 400 toy libraries in the US. While some charge a monthly borrowing fee, others are available at no charge. The majority are located in regular libraries or schools, and some even cater to specific needs. For example, some have specialized toys for disabled children or important developmental toys for babies. Toy libraries can also go a long way towards teaching children social skills, collaboration, and responsibility. They can play with other kids right there in the library, and borrowing a toy makes for a great lesson on looking after other people’s property as if it were our own.
Interested in borrowing toys or other non-traditional library items? Visit your local library today and ask what they offer. The answer may surprise you.
Check out our other posts about local libraries by clicking here.
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