Library of Things: The Platform

We’re raising over £1 million to build a Library of Things ‘in a box’ that can easily start and run in any local library, housing block or high street.

We’re working towards a version of Library of Things where you can

  • Borrow around the clock Pre-book the hedge trimmer, sewing machine or pressure washer for an hour, day or week

  • Borrow highly durable, user-friendly Things With take-home packaging, simple how-to videos and quick maintenance solutions

  • Connect and organise with other borrowers Organise events, repair Things, and share ideas for new Things with your neighbours

So far, we’ve piloted one such sharing hub for 16 months in West Norwood, South London, accumulating a user base of 750 members who borrowed Things 200+ times monthly (hear the stories via this podcast).

From Glasgow to Southampton to Bolivia, from councils to housing developers to grassroots groups, 100s of groups have asked us for help to create a Library of Things.

We’re growing the borrowing movement in partnership with a community-led library in Crystal Palace, a community trust regenerating a North West London high street and a housing association bringing life to an underused community space in Peterborough. 

Want to join us for the ride? Start by sharing your ideas below. Or by donating what you can here

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participatory governance

People look after and invest in things they own – their house, their personal possessions, their pets.. Everyone using Library of Things will be a co-owner of the Platform – and therefore a co-owner of the Things. Borrowers will run their local item sharing hub, sourcing & fixing Things, hosting events, inviting their neighbours to join...

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Smart hardware + software

Well-designed technology is a powerful way to set a culture of sharing. We're building secure, self-service, ‘smart’ furniture to display and store Things in hubs like libraries or housing estates – and intuitive software so members can borrow Things, connect to each other & organise their sharing hubs between them.

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Lean supply chain

Building your Thing collection from public donations doesn't work, because many consumer goods aren’t designed to last. Plus it's hard to demonstrate Things / source spare parts if they're all from a different manufacturer or era. After lots of trial and error, we now have a 'top 60 Things' list – and are building partnerships with manufacturers to reduce the cost of sourcing them.