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Library of Things: Lending to Reduce Consumption

When you think of checking something out from the library, you probably think of books. Why wouldn’t you? Books are, and probably will always be, the number one item patrons borrow from libraries. But did you know that there is a growing initiative in local communities around the world to lend objects as well? This is called the Library of Things.

The Library of Things is a collection of non-traditional materials which might include tools, games, camping equipment, sports gear, electronics, and more. All items in the Library of Things are available to check out for free with your library card, just like you’d check out a book.

Wickson’s Library of Things (LOT) began with Chromebooks and hotspots during Covid. Since then, Library Director Michelle Duclos has been working to expand Wickson’s LOT.

I want to focus on reducing consumption,” states Duclos. “A bottle of carpet cleaner, for example, is something that people only use once, maybe twice a year. Why own it when you can check it out? Or a disc golf set—I only play disc golf once, maybe twice a summer with my kids. How nice to check out the set versus cluttering up my house with those possessions.”

Duclos wants to expand the LOT to include items that are helpful to patrons, with priority for items that patrons don’t necessarily need to own.

Of course, establishing a well-stocked Library of Things raises the issue of storage. Where will the library put the things once they’ve obtained them? Duclos is working on a solution for this, as well as setting up a direct link to the Library of Things in our catalog so that patrons can browse the collection online and better see what’s available.

Our current LOT includes: hotspots, Chromebooks, Giant Checkers, Giant Connect Four, Giant Sorry, two disc golf sets, a Mah Jongg set, an adult ukulele, a kid’s ukulele, a duct tape craft kit, Yardzee, and multiple sewing machines.

We are slowly growing our collection and would love feedback on non-traditional items our patrons would like to have available. We also have an Amazon wish list. For a complete list of items we’re considering, visit

We want to expand our offerings, and you can help with things you already have. Please contact the library at (989) 652-8323 prior to donating. Items must be in good working condition, with all required parts, and be easily reusable. Please do not drop off items without checking with us first. If we cannot use an item, it may be sold at our annual sale or otherwise disposed of.

For more information regarding Wickson’s LOT, head to our website and click on the “Services” tab. From there, click on “Library of Things” on the drop-down menu. Or stop in and chat with us personally. We’re here to answer any questions you may have about our Library of Things, and we’re excited to step deeper into the nationwide movement of lending to reduce consumption.

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