Although the concept has been around for decades, an “object library” has only recently become more popular in communities across the state. Defined as a collection of items to borrow that go beyond traditional books and reference materials, an “object library” is a sustainable way to share resources while providing equitable access to all members of the community. community. These non-traditional collections often contain items needed only a handful of times that can be difficult to stock and allow customers to try before they buy.

Mad River Valley Libraries Directors wish to highlight some of their ‘Library of Things’ collection, with many items available through donations from businesses, individuals, our groups of friends and funded support through grants. All three libraries have HappyLights® courtesy of Verilux and plenty of puzzles for the upcoming colder and darker months. In the spring, visit their Little Seed Libraries through a community partnership with shareMRV and Sculpture School, or check out an Amphibian Road Crossing kit to help animal friends on their annual migration. On the technology front, Chromebooks and laptops are available with a variety of loan periods at all three libraries.

New to the Moretown Library is a collection of sports equipment, lawn games and nature exploration kits courtesy of the Vermont Children’s Trust Foundation. Try sports like tennis and pickleball, or check out bocce ball, puck toss, giant Jenga and more for a party. Binoculars and other resources help borrowers explore birds, insects and trees. Thanks to a partnership between Big Heavy World and the Library Department, a new RØDE USB microphone is also available, perfect for recording music and podcasts for a variety of online platforms.

Joslin Library recently added a GoPro to the collection for outdoor filming enthusiasts, along with a Bluetooth music system. There’s an Orion telescope available to better enjoy the night sky, and maple grove and blanket fort kits to enhance children’s play.

The newest addition to the Warren Library is a 10ft x 10ft pop-up tent. To improve household energy efficiency, they offer a moisture meter for wood through a partnership with the Vermont Library Department and the Department of Environmental Conservation, as well as Kill-A-Watt meters. For those who don’t have an internal CD drive on their devices, an external CD/DVD drive is available to access photos and other files. Customers also have many different educational kits to choose from, ranging from different fiber arts to nature exploration and early literacy activities. Finally, there are a variety of cake pans to borrow, including a soccer ball, candy cane, giant cupcake, and fleur-de-lis Bundt pan. More will be added soon.