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

Our mission

Our mission is to make borrowing better than buying. By better, we mean

  • more affordable
  • more convenient 
  • more socially rewarding

We believe that people, communities and neighbourhoods are happier and healthier when they have access to the things, skills and people they need, when they need them. So far, Library of Things has helped people start their own company, create shared gardens and orchards, organise local markets, and put on parties and festivals bringing people together around South London.     

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 found a place to call home hosted by surplus food heroes Community Shop in West Norwood. Listen to our podcast to get a feel for what borrowing is like day to day.

In December 2017, we waved a fond farewell to our turquoise containers in West Norwood. We will be re-launching an improved version of Library of Things in Crystal Palace in Spring 2018 - keep your eyes peeled!

What's next?

We are currently building a 'plug-in' Library of Things to help others set up a Library of Things quickly, easily and affordably – find out more.

Join a tour or workshop to find out more about starting your own Library of Things.

Who are we? 

#team #resources

Rebecca (or Bex) likes the big outdoors, dancing, and creating projects with other people. She previously worked as Head of Partnerships & Programmes at Impact Hub Brixton, starting and growing social change projects.                                      


Emma Shaw
#Strategy #Finance

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.                                  


#DESIGN #Tech Sophia@Libraryofthing

Sophia thinks every business should be joyful - she's designing the service from the borrower's perspective. She previously developed business innovations at Engine and worked with community organisations like FoodCycle


Alys penfold
#community #events

Alys is a self-proclaimed bird nerd, enjoys exploring new places and is constantly trying to find areas in her life where she can go zero waste. She was previously Communications Assistant at Green Alliance.               


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 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.




Ollie’s a bit of a nomad, he’s thinking about ways to live without paying rent in London for a year. He’s also super practical, and when he's not fixing things in our tool hospital, he's busy being a handyman elsewhere. 

joel davies

A second year student at Central Saint Martins, Joel uses his creative genius to transform words on a page into wonderful designs. When he's not working you'll find him either on an outdoor adventure or planning the next one.