What is a Library of Things? 

A Library of Things is a space where you can

  • borrow useful items like DIY tools, gardening things, kitchenware, camping kit and events equipment
  • learn how to use items in 1-to-1 sessions and workshops
  • get to know your neighbours at regular open nights

What's the story? 

Library of Things started in West Norwood, South London in 2014, when a community created a Library of Things on a shoestring in the public library. Read the full story.

Since then, the team crowdfunded almost £15,000 – thanks to 248 very generous backers.

After a long property search, Library of Things has found a place to call home. We're being hosted by surplus food heroes Community Shop in West Norwood. Drop in to say hello!

What's next?

We are currently:

  • Recruiting volunteers to be the life and soul of our new shipping container home – find out more
  • Building a toolkit and 'bootcamp' to help others set up a Library of Things, in the UK and beyond – find out more

Who are we? 


Rebecca (or Bex) likes the big outdoors, dancing, and creating projects with other people. When she's not building our community, she's working as Head of Partnerships at Impact Hub Brixton - a community of social entrepreneurs.                                      


Emma Shaw

Emma likes turning good ideas into enterprises that can fly on their own. A stickler for detail, she makes sure the numbers – and the social impact – stack up. She was previously Senior Analyst at Future Cities Catapult.                                  



Sophia was previously a strategist at Calling Brands, and has worked with community organisations like FoodCycle. She tweeted us one day and asked if she could get involved – and we said ooh, yes please. Sophia’s designing the service from the borrower’s perspective – the shop, the tech,
the Things.


Mirela Grubesic

A proud local mum and all round superwoman, Mirela particularly likes borrowing things her 2 children will enjoy. Her favourite thing to borrow is the waffle maker.

Fiona Gonsalves

Fiona was previously a senior librarian in Lambeth and Southwark. She knows what a mean archiving system looks like. She's also a stellar chef, whipping up saliva-inducing pavlovas and apple crumbles..

Chris Twomey

Nat Bialek

Chris is our resident journalist. He can often be found with a dictaphone and notebook prepping our next blog. He's a fan of dog-walking and collecting surprising facts about West Norwood's history.   

Originally from Poland, Nat entertains us with stories of flamboyant weddings and vodka. A digital project managing genius, she's keeping the Library in order whilst she looks for her next project


Maria Passingham

A superstar radio journalist in training, Maria has started her first podcast with Library of Things. She interviews Librarians and members alike, then edits and shares their stories online. She's big into music and writing too.



What are our values?

With each big decision we make, we ask 'how does this fit with our values?' 


We find everyday solutions to everyday challenges. We keep our communications and systems simple and down-to-earth.


We are transparent with our communications and decision-making processes. We welcome people from all walks of life.


We find ways to channel our inner kid, to solve problems big and small.


We strive to keep our promises – with members, partners, investors and everyone else. If we make mistakes (we're all human), we own up and say we're sorry.

How are we governed?

Library of Things is a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee. That means that we can earn money to pay our staff and our rent, but are legally bound to put anything extra we earn back into the company.  

The three legal directors are currently Emma, Sophia and Bex – but we'd love more passionate local people to join us. Drop us a line if you're interested.