Milpitas Library has ‘Things’ to check out

The Milpitas Library recently launched a pilot program called “The Library of Things.” The program allows patrons to use their library card to borrow a variety of items including kitchen equipment, hobby kits, health and wellness items, technology items and cool things for kids.

“The Library of Things allows patrons to discover new tools and devices to help them learn, create and connect,” said Milpitas Community Librarian Kelly McKean. “Perhaps you only want to try something once, or you want to try something before you buy; these things can save you money and space.”

Popular items include a hot pot with grill, sous vide equipment, Go Pro 11, Tonieboxes, and kits for birdwatching, sewing and making music. The collection may be modified at a later date to meet the community’s needs.

Milpitas Library staff reached out and worked with libraries all over the Bay Area to find their best practices regarding Libraries of Things. Staff also attended conferences and webinars, learning from others who have developed similar programs.

“The ‘Library of Things/Lending Library’ concept has grown in popularity throughout the U.S.,” County Librarian Jennifer Weeks said in a statement. “Milpitas Library is spearheading this new effort as part of our strategic plan, which allows us to explore the feasibility of this special lending library at one location before possible expansion.”

Patrons age 18 and up can check out things one at a time for up to three weeks after signing a lending agreement. Things cannot be put on hold, sent to another library or renewed. Patrons can see what items are available at or at a display station in the Milpitas Library lobby.

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