A message from co-directors Emma, Sophia and Bex:
After a wonderful 16 months at Vale Street, we’ve made the decision to wind down the West Norwood Library of Things site this December, and to re-launch an improved version with increased resources in Spring 2018 in Crystal Palace. This will be partnership with Crystal Palace Transition Town and Upper Norwood Library Hub.
We're really excited for this next stage – and as our loyal members, we'd love for you to make the journey with us!
Read on for more details...
Why are we moving?
We heard from you that you wanted:
- longer opening hours
- more events and socials
- more of the Things you love the most
- how-to guides and videos for all the Things
At Library of Things Crystal Palace you'll have all of this and more.
There are 2 main reasons why we can't achieve this at our home in West Norwood:
1. Space: The truth is, we’ve had more demand than our 30 square metre containers can handle!
2. Time and capacity: As a volunteer team, we currently spend the majority of our time doing the daily admin of running a borrowing hub (Thing maintenance and sourcing, volunteer training, bookkeeping). This means we aren’t spending our time radically improving how borrowing works. If we’re to fulfil our mission to make borrowing better than buying, we need to press pause, take a deep breath, raise some investment, and build a bigger, better version that uses technology to solve some of the headaches like maintenance and storage.
What's happening with Community Shop?
Our West Norwood partner, Community Shop, has been fundamental to Library of Things getting started – 3 cheers to them! Community Shop will continue their brilliant work at Vale Street.
Last day for borrowing in West Norwood: Tuesday 5th December
Last day for returns in West Norwood: Saturday 9th December
Estimated first day for borrowing in Crystal Palace (in the Upper Norwood Library Hub): March 2018 (TBC!)
The 3-year plan
We’ve had requests from as far apart as Glasgow to Southampton to Sydney: 'can we have a Library of Things in our library, housing estate, high street?'
We want to see 10 Library of Things in London within 3 years - bringing life to underused spaces on high streets, in libraries and in housing estates.
Earlier this year, we ran our first bootcamp to help three teams to set-up a Library of Things where they are, and we have a further opportunity to create a version of Library of Things so simple to start and run that it works for people everywhere.
We’re working towards a version where you can
Borrow from a collection of highly durable, user-friendly Things that have take-home packaging and how-to videos / manuals
Borrow and return at more times that suit you
Easily connect with other borrowers – to organise events, repair Things and share ideas for new Things
Want to help start a Library of Things where you are? Know a good space for one? Register your interest here: https://www.libraryofthings.co.uk/bootcamp/
Borrowers, can you help us to achieve this?
To build the best possible new generation of Libraries of Things, we’re spending the next 4 weeks researching in West Norwood. What’s worked really well? What ideas do our members have for a better version?
1. 5 minute survey: Fill out a 5-minute survey. You’ll be entered into a prize draw for a crate of Gipsy Hill Beer, the brilliant local brewers.
2. Tea and a chat: Are you a regular borrower? Are you able to share your thoughts and ideas with us over tea and cake?
3. Donate: Want to help us build a bigger and better version of Library of Things? Every donation helps us along the way.