If our library is any indication, library services aren’t entirely what they used to be. We only have around 1,200 or so physical books, but did you know that the items that get borrowed from our library most frequently are actually technology related? Librarians are working really hard to expand the functions of libraries, and find new ways to attract patrons. One way to do this is by providing innovative new technologies in order to bring the library into the 21st century. We wrote a bit last year about two Florida Libraries expanding their range of services, the Melrose Center at the Downtown Orange County Library, along with the University of South Florida’s library, to include cool things like recording studios, camera equipment, and drones. It’s not just about providing books anymore!
In case you weren’t aware, patrons in our library (that’s students, faculty and staff) can check-out laptops, laptop chargers, mice, and even camera tripods from us (amongst a slew of other things – email firstname.lastname@example.org for details). In fact, this past month, the items that circulated the most out of our entire collection of books and technology were Dell laptop chargers – they were borrowed 89 times!
Another way to re-energize a library is to start providing things that one wouldn’t necessarily associate with libraries. Recently, a survey was sent out across the mailing list of the Florida Library Association, asking about what sort of things our fellow libraries let patrons borrow that could be considered “non-traditional”. The responses received were pretty unique, and a far cry from just electronics; here are a few of the really interesting answers:
- Vegetable seed packets
- Exercise equipment
- Power Meters
- Museum Tickets
- Cake Pans
It’s not just libraries in Florida either. Plenty of other libraries are finding ways to connect with their communities by providing them access to things they may need, but never thought to ask for. At one point in the Toronto Public Library, you could even check-out a person for half an hour.
We’ve just finished preparing to start lending out our first “non-traditional” item. Here’s a picture of our stylish new Rolling White Board!
This board has a 24 hour checkout period and can leave the library (but not the Medical Education building itself). It even comes with a package of markers. An item like this really speaks to the “Information Anywhere” part of our library motto.
What are some non-traditional items you’d like to see our library let you borrow? Leave us a comment on this post, or send us an email at email@example.com!