Eight county libraries wll brand out to provide instruments, board games and other items

The Canby Public Library offers lots of books, eBooks, DVDs and information. But sometime in the coming months, it will also offer things. Wait a minute, it already does offer lots of things, but this will be different.

Canby is one of eight libraries in Clackamas County that will offer a "Library of Things."

Currently, the library has a survey online at or at a local Clackamas County library to help determine what patrons want to see in such a collection. The survey is anonymous, quick and easy asking six questions about categories people want to see; specific items; zip codes; LINCC card holder; weekly, monthly, annually library visitor; and age, several of which are required answers.

The Canby Public Library will soon be offering some unique items for its patrons.

"This project has been in the works for a long time," said Irene Green, Canby's library director. The process started when the Clackamas County libraries released the survey. Now library officials can determine what people would like to see. And the surveys also provide opportunities for people to show what they would like to donate and/or take out.

"Our libraries are always looking for new and innovative opportunities to stimulate the imagination and promote lifelong learning, particularly where money, space or other issues may hinder a person's ability to do so otherwise," said Sarah McIntyre, director of the Sandy and Hoodland Public Libraries. Like Green, she's excited to join the Libraries of Things undertaking.

A Library of Things opened in Hillsboro's Public Library four years ago starting with board games. It now has more than 200 items including an air fryer, karaoke machine and VHS to DVD converters. Also in Washington County,

"We don't need a lot of space to house these items because they're in such demand and they're always checked out," said Michele Caldwell of Beaverton's library. In order to meet demand, some libraries offer multiples of popular items.

Green says the Canby Library won't be offering anything that has to be sanitized because she wants to stay away from items that could pose a liability risk. She expects to start with things like binoculars and games.

The library of things offers another bonus to residents. Those who want to declutter their homes or downsize have a place to donate items that haven't outlived their usefulness. This joint program between the County's libraries and its Sustainability and Solid Waste program allows people to recycle and reuse items.

"It takes natural resources such as land, water, fossil fuels and metals to grow and manufacture the items people buy. However if 10 people share one item, the energy and resource consumption needed for everyone to enjoy it decreases significantly," said Stacy Ludington with the Sustainability and Solid Waste program.

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