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Check out the Newark Free Library's new 'Library of Things'

A croquet set, a nail gun, a podcast microphone and a sparkly purple record player. These are some of the objects available to rent through the Newark Library’s new Library of Things. 

  

The idea that libraries are “not just for books” has been repeated by government and library officials in Delaware over the past few years, as libraries increasingly become hubs for social services and technology access. 

Pam Stevens, the adult service librarian at the Newark Library, says the Library of Things furthers the mission of free libraries. 

“Free library institutions were founded to provide equitable access to materials not easily obtained by all, that will enrich lives and inspire imagination,” she said. 

The Library of Things contains musical instruments, board games, a wide range of audiovisual equipment and home repair tools—like an infrared thermometer to detect energy leaks and a flexible camera for car repairs. The items available can be found by searching the online library catalog by “subject,” and typing in “library of things.” They can be rented for three weeks at a time. 

New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer promoted the program at a ribbon cutting event Thursday. 

“You can take out home tools, you can take out games and puzzles, you can take out multimedia tools,” he said. “You can find your thing.”

The Library of Things is funded with a $2,500 grant from County Councilwoman Lisa Diller to the Friends of Newark Free Library.  

Members of the Friends of Newark Free Library say if patrons request additional items for the Library of Things, they might be able to fund them.

Sophia Schmidt is a Delaware native. She comes to Delaware Public Media from NPR’s Weekend Edition in Washington, DC, where she produced arts, politics, science and culture interviews. She previously wrote about education and environment for The Berkshire Eagle in Pittsfield, MA. She graduated from Williams College, where she studied environmental policy and biology, and covered environmental events and local renewable energy for the college paper.
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