Audio Recorders to Zucchini Seeds: Building a Library of Things

Document Type


Publication Date

January 2017


This contributed volume provides a survey of "library of things" projects within the United States, from both public and academic libraries, offering real-world lessons learned from these early experiments with nontraditional collections. The authors offer practical insights from their projects, from the development of their initial ideas to the everyday realities of maintaining and circulating these collections, including cataloging, space needs, safety concerns, staff training, circulation, marketing, and assessment. The contributed chapters are organized thematically, covering "things" collections that encompass a wide variety of objects first, followed by collections with a community-building focus (seeds, recreation, tools) and those that serve an educational purpose, such as curriculum centers, children's toys, or collections that support a university curriculum. The last section addresses collections that support media production.