Massachusetts Local Libraries Offer More Than Just Books – NBC Boston

You can’t beat free. And the latest chapter in library lending is one that can save you hundreds — even thousands — of dollars a year. So dust off your library card and check out the growing library of items.

During the Minuteman Library Network in Metrowest – there are 12,000 items you can borrow. All you need is a library card. And it’s free for anyone who lives, works or studies in Massachusetts.

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Of course, you can still find your favorite mystery book on the shelf. But now you can “write” your own creative story with tools, tents, musical instruments, sewing machines, saws, cake pans, karaoke machines, podcasting equipment and more! You just need to be 18 or older.

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Why are “things” part of the library’s mission?

“The Library of Things is a collection of unconventional materials for lending, and it just fits into our core mission of increasing equal access,” said. Kim Hewitt, library director at the Needham Public Library.

In Brooklyn, public library director Amanda Hurst explained, “For many people, the last time they were in a library was when they were kids. And we still have books and everything else you might expect. But we have also kept pace with all the latest technology.

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Over the years they have added DVDs, audiobooks, cell phone charging stations and chrome books.

A bunch of cake pans in bags in the library


NBC 10 Boston

“Now we’re adding tools and cake pans and things for our patrons to use. We want to be the center of the community. We want people, when they need information or content, to go first. Think about us and. So we want to provide things to our community and connect them with information and now tools,” Hirst said.

Creating new capabilities without breaking the budget

In Brooklyn, “It was our intention when we created this collection that we would have materials that people could use to learn a new skill and then be able to provide them with the equipment to do that,” Hurst said.

And if you want to paint a room, you can also find a book for design inspiration.

In Needham, Hewitt said “this is a really great opportunity for consumers to try before they buy and save money. “SIt seems that this passion is indeed established. It’s seeing if their child really wants to play the ukulele before committing.

Many also borrow items that are needed for home projects, which can save you money. Home appliances can add up to hundreds of dollars.

Various items on the table including a sewing machine


NBC 10 Boston

Or think arts and crafts. A Cricut craft machine is over $300. No need to invest in something you will only use once. And it is also a space saver. A $25 gingerbread cake pan also takes up a lot of kitchen space. This way you can clean it and send it back to the library.

There are occasional hiccups.

“We’ve had something weird happen where someone wasn’t quite sure how to use the cake pan and they actually put the bag that it came with the pan in the oven. And just like that, a bad one happened.Hirst said.

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It’s one thing to know the ins and outs of the Dewey Decimal System – the way books are organized. It’s another task to master in the do-it-yourself world. But library directors who spoke to NBC 10 Boston say their job is to connect you with the information you need to figure out how to make these things work.

“As librarians,” Hewitt said, “we are experts in helping people find information. Tools and other ‘things’ come with instructions and links to videos to explain how they work. And if reading is really your thing remember: you don’t have to pay to read or listen to a book. Many libraries offer free subscription services for e-books or downloadable audiobooks.

For more information visit the minuteman library network website: www.minlib.net. Click on a handy library – to see if they have a library of items available. If you are from the city of the library you can save the items. If not, you can show it with your card and borrow what is there.

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