Do you have a space that you want to transform into a Library of Things?
Want to take on a challenge and create a new venture?
Want to shape the future of how we consume Things?
Applications for this Bootcamp have now closed – but do register your interest in hearing about the next one!
Why a Bootcamp?
We believe stuff works better when done face-to-face. Imagine the power of 5 teams of passionate citizens coming together to dream, create, eat, share and learn together – co-designing the future of Library of Things Network in the UK.
Why 5 teams?
Because that way, we get a range of people, perspectives and places in the room. Any more would be difficult practically!
Why the UK only?
Our grant from the RSA is paying for this first Bootcamp, which only covers the UK. That will help us work out how the Library of Things Network works on familiar ground first, and then we'd love to invite groups from all over the world to join us too!
What do you mean by ‘a team’?
We mean at least 2 people who have at least 3 days per week between them that they can contribute to setting up a Library of Things over 12 months. Ideally, teams will be made up of diverse people and skills, and will be open to others joining over time.
Do we have to be an official “Library of Things”? What if we want a different name and brand for our lending initiative?
Imagine that whichever village, town or city you're in, you can use your Library of Things membership to borrow what you need - a surfboard for the beach, a toolbox for DIY at home, a printer for those all-important documents... That's the experience we want to create for our members. We think the best way is to have a unified brand that is recognisable wherever you are. Some parts of it we can play around with, like the colours. Other parts, like the logo, are more fixed.
Is there space for us to be creative with our own Library of Things?
Yes! We aren’t creating a McDonald’s franchise here. We want Libraries of Things everywhere to reflect the imaginations of their teams, and the character of their communities. Aside from the name, logo, tech platform and the size and cost of the physical space, there will be very few things that need to stay the same across Libraries. Maybe you’ll create a wacky furniture style, run an item delivery system from a milk float, design a user-friendly app – all of which you can then share with the Library of Things Network.
How will the Network work in the future? Will there be fees to pay?
We want to work this out with our 5 Bootcamp teams. We might decide that every Library of Things contributes 2.5 or 5% of its annual revenue into a central pot, which pays for someone to organise regular team meet-ups and knowledge sharing, for example.
The idea of the Network is that it brings practical benefits to everyone in it. We might do collective fundraising initiatives for example, and access Things more cheaply through collective partnerships with large organisations.
Have you trademarked the name?
I have an existing lending initiative – can I join?
We’re certainly open to applications, if you’re happy to change the name and logo to be Library of Things! And to adopt the same technology as the rest of the Network, so that members can easily borrow from their local Library of Things.
What happens if I don’t get a place on the Bootcamp this time?
We will run more Bootcamps in future!
We will also provide feedback to everyone we interview, suggesting what you can do to get ready to create a kickass Library of Things where you are.
Round 2 sounds intriguing! Can I start preparing for that now?
You can certainly start thinking about who your local partners and volunteers might be, and how you would go about bringing people together in your area. But we will send you more details about this round if you’re successful in Round 1.
I’m part of a small organisation without many resources. Can you help me get funding?
As part of the Toolbox and Bootcamp, you can learn how to crowd fund effectively and efficiently, view our successful grant-funding applications and see a list of grant-funding options. One day, we might have a fundraiser who works on behalf of the whole Network too.
In the short-term, the existing Library of Things cannot directly fundraise on your behalf. But if you’re part of an organisation, there may well be team members who can adopt part of the activities into existing roles.
If I invest in building a Library of Things now, will it pay off financially in the long-run?
According to our models – at the end of Year 3 after launching operations, Library of Things West Norwood will cover its daily running costs (including a part-time Manager, but not rent). This is based on our learnings and context in West Norwood – and may vary substantially according to location. For example, overheads might be substantially lower if you already have an established community-facing organisation with paid staff and volunteers. Overheads might be higher if your space has high utilities and business rates cost. Revenue might be lower in areas of lower footfall. It might be higher due to large existing networks or particular outreach talent on the team.
Still got questions? Book an online Q&A with one of our co-directors using the button above. Or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org