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What is the Library of Things at Lake County Public Library?

The Library of Things is an alternative lending program established at the Lake County Public Library in August 2020 through generous grant funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The Library of Things features kits available for checkout: patrons can learn to knit, play an instrument, or learn about STEAM-related topics such as coding and science. Kits will include the materials necessary to learn a skill as well as relevant books and/or movies. The Library of Things also has kits that are intended to give patrons access to different healthy living experiences: for example, birdwatching (including a book on techniques, species identification, and binoculars), hiking (including maps and safe hiking guidelines), light therapy (including mental health information and a lightbox to treat Seasonal Affectedness Disorder), or playing disc golf (including discs to play with and a map of local courses). This lending program will meet immediate needs in the community for meaningful and educational activities that are in line with COVID-19 health regulations, and additionally, mobile hotspot kits will meet a direct community need for internet access.

 Our lending kits will allow patrons to borrow materials and books curated to increase:

  • Exploration, learning, and creativity

  • Literacy in technology, science, and information 

  • Maintenance and repair of items

  • Learning and practicing new skills

How do I use the Library of Things? 

Lake County Public Library patrons who have no outstanding fines are able to borrow kits from the Library of Things. 

Step 1: Read our Guidelines for Borrowing and Use and fill out the Lending Agreement, Liability Waiver, and Informed Consent Form at the library to become eligible to borrow from the Library of Things. During this process, library staff will check that you are in good standing with the library (no missing materials) and verify that your phone number and address are up-to-date. 

Step 2: Browse our Library of Things catalog in-person or on our website. Some items, such as craft kits, will be displayed for browsing; large and/or expensive items, such as telescopes, will be displayed in a laminated browsing packet. Once you find a kit you’d like to check out, you can bring the kit (or the laminated card describing the kit, for large items) to the front desk of the library. A staff member will check the kit out to you, including a storage case and all necessary supplies. 

Step 3: Return the kit by its due date (one week from the date of check-out). Kits must be returned at the front desk of the library, not in the book drop. 

How long can I check out a Thing for? Can I renew it? Can I place a hold? How many Things can I check out at once?

Things may be borrowed for a one-week period. Things are not eligible for renewals or holds at this time. Borrowers may check out one Thing at a time. 

Can I use the Library of Things as a temporary Lake County resident? Can I request a Thing through interlibrary loan if I am not a Lake County Public Library patron?

Temporary residents of Lake County are not eligible to check out items from the Library of Things at this time. Library of Things materials are not available for interlibrary loan.

Can my child check out items from the Library of Things?

Borrowers under 18 years of age are eligible to check out certain items from the Library of Things. These items are marked with a green border on their laminated tag. 

To borrow a specialty item, the borrower must be 18 years or older. Specialty items are marked with an orange border on their laminated tag and have higher replacement costs. Specialty items may include cameras and technology, instruments, birdwatching kits, projectors, and telescopes.

What happens if an item gets damaged or lost while I have it checked out?

Use care when handling the kits and items in the Library of Things collection. Details on care for specific Things are included on the laminated tag on the case. The borrower is solely responsible for the borrowed Things and will be billed for reasonable repair or replacement costs associated with damage or loss due to neglect or abuse. The Lake County Public Library has sole discretion in making these decisions. A list of replacement costs of item components is maintained by the library, included in each case, and available upon request.

Lake County Public Library is not responsible for any injury, loss, or damage that may occur from the use of an item in the Library of Things. Lake County Public Library is not responsible for the loss of any data while using this equipment.

The responsibility to protect against loss is the borrower’s. Staff will inspect items upon return. Borrowers are expected to return the item with all parts and components in the original library container to the main desk of the library. Items must be returned at the main desk, not in the Book Drop. Patrons will be responsible for any damage to an item while in their possession.

How do I return my item?
Library of Things kits must be returned at the front desk of the Lake County Public Library, not in the book drop. 

Policies and Procedures