Florida Public Library opens Library of Things

Times Herald-Record

VILLAGE OF FLORIDA – Florida Public Library is pleased to announce the debut of its Library of Things collection. The Library of Things includes a wide variety of useful, entertaining and unusual objects that patrons may need for a project, cannot afford to purchase, don’t have room to store or may just need to use once or occasionally. FPL aims to save Florida residents the cost of purchasing many such items. Senior citizens and new home owners may find the collection of particular use.

Categories include the Tool Library which includes hand tools (hammer, saw, stud finder, rachets, pliers, stapler, clamps, Allen wrenches, grout floater, voltage tester and many more), power tools (drill, circular saw, sander, etc.) and gardening equipment (pruning saw, spade, shovels, rakes, shears, loppers, bow saw, edger and more.) A complete tool box with commonly used tools for home repairs is also available. Stores closed? Forgot that one essential tool that’s needed to finish the project? FPL’s collection is available seven days a week and just might have exactly what you need close at hand.

Other categories include In the Kitchen which offers a 45-cup coffee maker, specialized cake pans, a chocolate melter, a spiralizer, a juicer and more, Entertainment which has littleBits coding kits, Hero and Droid Inventor Kits, board games, card games, ukuleles and more, and Arts and Crafts which includes a pom pom maker, loom kits, a pumpkin carving kit and more. The Miscellaneous category includes recreational equipment such as adult and child fishing poles and tackle, a 10-foot by 10-foot pop-up canopy and more.

All items are free for borrowing by Florida cardholders in good standing who are a minimum of 18 years old. Check outs are limited to a total of two items and may be kept for seven days. To check items out, patrons must sign the Borrower’s Agreement and Use Policy and a Waiver and Indemnification Form. Photos and descriptions of all items are available on FPL’s website at floridapubliclibrary.org and they may be reserved up to three days before check out.

Library Director Madelyn Folino said “We are excited to offer the Library of Things to our patrons, free, just the same as any traditional library collection and we hope it brings new faces to FPL to explore all we have to offer. We are pleased to partner with two well-known and historic local businesses: Roe Brothers, Inc. and Werner’s ACE to make this collection a reality. Scott Bieling at Roe’s and Alyssa Werner at Werner’s have been most helpful in getting this project off the ground with their advice and they saved us money with discounts, too.”

Funds for the Library of Things were provided by special legislative aid in 2019 directed to the library by State Senator Jen Metzger for programs or equipment and by a generous donation from Marc and Victoria Appel of Warwick. The library staff also raised money through their annual Anything but Books yard sale in May and asked that it be used for the new collection. Early support was also provided by the Friends of the FPL. Staff have been busy figuring out how to barcode, label, store and circulate so many objects of varying sizes. The Library’s full basement has come in handy for storing the items in locked steel cabinets.

In addition to offering the Library of Things, program planners devoted many fall program sessions to using items in the collection to build, make, invent and discover for preschool to adult ages. Volunteers are now being recruited to do presentations on how to use tools, kitchen gadgets, arts and craft items and more. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, in-person programs are likely to be rare for the immediate future, but library staff are eager to record how-to programs for online viewing. To volunteer, or if you have a suggestion for a fabulous addition to the Library of Things, email [email protected] or call the library at 651-7659.

Items from the Library of Things were displayed on FPL’s deck on a balmy Nov. 20, and members of the public were invited to drop by to welcome the new collection. Senator Metzger, Mayor Dan Harter and new Village Trustee Alyssa Werner were also on hand. Senator Metzger congratulated FPL on having such a unique and valuable collection available for the community to borrow free of charge.

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