Know how we've been searching for over a year for a home for Library of Things? We visited garages, sheds, squats, adventure playgrounds, asbestos-filled community centres, old manufacturing spaces that were going for £60,000 a year whilst building works were happening...
And was it worth it?
You betcha. Because we now finally have a home for London's first Library of Things!
We are moving back to where it all began in West Norwood. We'll be living with the wonderful social supermarket Community Shop, who are set to expand across London very soon.
What will the space look like? When will it be ready? Great questions. Here we go:
Phase #1: The Shipping Containers
Once the right permissions are in place, 2 shipping containers will sit on Community Shop's carpark. One will act as a shopfront, and the other will be a storage space.
We're working with carpenters, designers and all round legends Leo, Mark and Will from Lifeboat Studio to design a snazzy exterior and some furniture.
We're also working with Helen from London Wildlife Trust to add a green roof to one of the containers – with wildflowers to keep the bees happy.
What we like about shipping containers is that they can be easily replicated and installed in any community, anywhere. Got a spare parking bay, school yard or park? We're in business.
Phase #2: The Main Space
Once the final paperwork is sorted out, we'll be decking out Community Shop's spare warehouse space and calling it our (second) home. This will be the venue for our long-awaited Launch Party, DIY workshops, Open Nights, the Tool Hospital and potluck suppers throughout the summer.
When will it all happen?
We're spending the next 6-8 weeks designing, building and painting. We'll be inviting friends and local residents in to help us along the way – make sure you receive invitations to our Maker Days by signing up to our mailing list. Ales will be plentiful – our new home is near a brewery.
We should be open for business sometime in June. With the Launch Party and workshops following close behind.
Any other updates?
1. We quit our jobs! It was a bit scary, but now we're our own bosses. And actually have time to build a Library of Things, which helps.
2. Sophia – who tweeted us whilst the Kickstarter was live to ask if she could get involved – is now a Director! Tweet us if you're keen to join too.
3. We won £10,000 through the RSA Catalyst Scaling Award to build a Library of Things toolkit and invite 5 teams in to a Library of Things Bootcamp. In English, that means we're inviting 5 teams to co-found the Library of Things Network with us. Over 3 weekends, we'll share what we've learned so far and make plans to work together as a collective.
Can you help?
YES! Here are some ideas:
1. Join the team: This summer we need everyone on board. Gardeners and graphic designers, community engagers and copywriters, builders, painters, makers photographers, DIY experts, fundraisers, legal pros, accountants...
Got time on your hands this summer? Let us know how you want to be involved.
2. Help us find things: Got non-electrical things in good nick hanging around at home? Know anyone who knows anyone with a power tool / outdoor equipment / digital camera company? Here's a guide to the things we're looking for and how to help.
More from us soon. Any questions, drop us a line: firstname.lastname@example.org