photography of assorted-color shoes lot on box
Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash

Why in a climate crisis and cost-of-living crisis do we all keep buying so much stuff? Well we don’t have to. So much of the stuff we think we need to buy and keep gets used very infrequently. Until recently people didn’t have the mechanism to borrow easily. They’d have had to hope a friend or family member would lend it to them.

What is a Library of Things? It’s a collection of things that people don’t use very often but have to buy. They tend to have tools/DIY stuff/painting equipment, camping equipment, event/party stuff, gardening stuff, fun cooking items and more.

Most of the contents of a Library comes from the community it exists in. People realise that they have stuff that they don’t use very often and that it’s just taking up space and want it to be used for something more useful or they’re downsizing and don’t want to take stuff to the tip if they can help it. Some people lend items to the Library because they are not using them right now but may need them in the future. About 80% of the items at Buy Nowt LS6 were donated or lent to us by the public. One of the things a Library is all about is making better use of the resources that already exist in the community.

We have so far gotten over 2,500 members, We’ve got over 900 items to borrow and have done over 1400 loans in the 10 months we’ve been open. We’ve saved people nearly £50,000 and 50 tonnes of carbon. Most other Libraries have a similar story.

We have so far allowed a single mother to go camping when she couldn’t have afforded to buy all the items, She saved £400 by borrowing from us and simply wouldn’t have been able to go any other way, We’ve helped people who’ve just moved into houses do some renovation, helped communities have events, Birthday parties, helped people fix up their gardens, students do Duke of Edinburgh award. The Library is a resource which makes these amazing things easier to do or allows people to do things they couldn’t’ve before. It’s about unlocking peoples potential by removing barriers.

There are lots of other Similar Libraries all across the country and there’s one or two new ones opening every year.

Leeds – Buy Nowt LS6 – Library of Things 

York – The Recycle Project

Hull – Library of Stuff

Lewes – Library of Things

Plymouth Borrow Don’t Buy – Plymouth’s Library of Things

Oxford – SHARE Oxford – A Library of Things

Frome – SHARE:Frome, Library of Things

Kernow – KLOTH

London – Library of Things

Edinburgh – The Edinburgh Tool Library

Glasgow  – Glasgow Tool Library

Birmingham – The Borrow Shop JQ

Exeter – Exeter Library of Things

Bath –

Bristol – Share Bristol – A Library of Things

Manchester – Manchester Library of Things

Devon – Share Shed – A Library of Things

Liverpool –

Brighton –

Cambridge – Cambridge Library of Things