The Swiss Army Librarian had an excellent post on non-traditional collections the other day. He first talked about the Human Library Project which I found so fascinating I didn’t read the rest of his post. I mean, checking out people to help build understanding and reduce prejudice? I wondered how I hadn’t heard of this before. I then spent a good amount of time wandering around the project website and reading stories. Great stuff.
When I got back to Swiss Army’s post I was surprised to see that there were links to other nontraditional types of collections:
- 11 Most Surprising Items You Can Check Out of a Library
- 20 Cutting-Edge Library Services For Those With Special Needs
- 10 Most Amazing Library Laboratories
These are great lists and really get the brain stirring about the needs of the community and what sort of collections could be possible. Some of the more interesting are farm land, cooking appliances, tools, and hobby supplies. There is also an interesting list of alternative resources like 3D printing and creative labs space. Each one of these collections pushes the boundaries of a library’s purpose farther out. And, I just find the idea of checking out people and land intriguing.
Here is a quick brainstorm of possible collections:
- Umbrellas (for when you get caught in the rain unexpectedly)
- Sports equipment like frisbees (there is an excellent green space just outside the library where I work)
- GPS navigator or other gadgets that users may use on a short-term basis
What are some other ides?