Want a Library of Things in your London neighbourhood?
Are you based in London? Want to help start a Library of Things site with your community?
We've been busy developing our smart borrowing kiosk in partnership with local people and a community library in Crystal Palace.
We've received requests from around the world for help to start and run a Library of Things.
And now we're almost ready to expand – and we're starting with our home city, London.
In order to Get London Sharing, we're looking for 9 brilliant communities and partners to start and host a Library of Things site with us.
We always works in partnership with local communities. That means we only start a new site where we are invited in by the people who live and work in the neighbourhood – who will be the borrowers, volunteers and ultimately the leaders who make it work.
To express your interest and find out more, fill in the Register Your Interest form below – and join one of our tours.
But first, some information on how it all works.
How it works: Getting started
We've designed this process to make sure we find enthusiastic, collaborative people to work with, and to make sure everyone knows what to expect:
What you need in place: Core ingredients
1. An Initiator team: A group of well-networked local people
Representative of the neighbourhood
With large local networks
With time and energy to spare
With some track record of delivering a successful project
With a positive, can-do attitude & a commitment to working collaboratively
2. A Host Site: A community space to host the borrowing kiosk
This might be a library, sports facility, church, shared space in a housing development...
With high footfall
With a collaborative decision-maker keen and able to join the Initiator team
With at least 10m x 1.5m space available along a wall
Able to provide space at no or very low rent for at least 2 years
Open and staffed at least 40 hours per week (ideally)
Welcoming to everyone in the neighbourhood and a positive reputation
3. A Local Community: A mixed local community who want to use a Library of Things
With a demonstrable appetite for borrowing useful Things
With a culture of local volunteering and making ideas happen – or an openness to starting one
How it works: Up and running
Once a new Library of Things site has launched, there's a lot of ongoing work to do to make sure that the Things stay in good nick, that local people come to borrow on a regular basis and that the day-to-day admin is sorted. We as Library of Things do the lion's share of this work. The host community & site does some of the work too –so we give a percentage of every daily borrow fee back to that community.
Library of Things' responsibilities
We take care of the boring stuff. We operate the fully insured Thing borrowing service, including:
Thing sourcing, maintenance & repair
Ongoing ‘smart borrowing kiosk’ development
Online volunteer & events platform
Digital customer service
Bookkeeping & administration
Host Community & Site responsibilities
Hosting, promoting, caring for & making key decisions around their Library of Things site, including:
Light-touch decision-making eg. reviewing sales performance
Local marketing & outreach
Volunteer recruitment & coordination
Maintaining a clean, lit, staffed, welcoming host space
Get started today!
Join a tour at Library of Things latest site in Crystal Palace to learn how it works (book here)
Put yourself on the map using the form below – so you’re friends & neighbours know you’re keen
Find local supporters – residents, businesses, networks, the local council – anyone that might benefit from having a Library of Things in the neighbourhood.
Who wants one?
Click the icons on the map to see the names of the people who've signed up to show their interest in starting, hosting, sponsoring or borrowing from a Library of Things near them. Add yourself to the map via the form below!