Sports equiptment for check-out: “Our Library checks out basketballs to be used on the courts near the library. We also have frisbees, jump ropes and hacky sacks available to borrow. The balls have been replaced many times through the years and have resulted in much good will with the kids afterschool. When they (the kids!) start bouncing off the walls, we suggest they bounce a basketball instead. We don’t require a card, just something of value like a backpack, instrument, cell phone, laptop. This is never a problem because the kids are only too happy to off load their stuff and let us keep an eye on it.” link
“The Portland Public Library, Curtis Memorial Library in Brunswick and Raymond Village Library in Maine
offer telescope checkout for patrons. As part of the program, local
astronomy clubs, who serve as the caretakers for the telescopes, host
sky gazing parties, sidewalk events and other programs at libraries on
how to use the telescope and how to look at the night sky.”
York Library (Maine)
There was a time when the main purpose of the local library was as a
place for students to get books for book reports. But today families
often use the library together. The York Public Library loans out 10
nature backpacks, each filled with maps, books, nets and other items.
Each is designed to let the family explore their local forests, ponds,
marshes or beaches together.
“I was surprised, it didn’t seem like a resource I’d expect a library
to have, yet it is a wonderful extension of what they do,” said Amy
Burke of York, who has borrowed the backpacks five or six times with her
two sons, ages 3 and 5. “It’s fun because they inspire you to explore.”
At York Public Library, patron Sandy Lovell came up with the idea of
nature backpacks, mainly as something that grandparents could do with
visiting grandchildren. Lovell said she’d rather not talk about her role
with the backpacks, but Robert Waldman, director of York Public
Library, said Lovell donated 10 of them, each filled with about $100 to
$200 worth of items.
The backpacks are designed for exploring specific local natural
areas, like marshes or beaches. They come filled with maps of the area,
of trails, as well as books, DVDs, scavenger hunt lists and equipment
ranging from a magnifying glass to a mini aquarium.
“What you’re supposed to do as a library is give people the means to
go out and explore their world, and these backpacks do that,” said
Waldman. “Libraries will always be relevant if they provide what the
community can learn from, what is of interest to the community.” link
McArthur Public Library, Biddeford Maine
The McArthur Public Library in Biddeford is the first library locally
to offer recreational equipment as part of its regular circulation of
Library Director Jeff Cabral said this week that the idea
of adding recreational equipment – including snow shoes, binoculars,
fishing poles, lawn games and more – came from a committee he created
last year to “research innovative collection-building ideas.”
“We had seen other libraries in Maine and beyond generating interest
through loaning non-traditional items,” he added. “We wanted to find
items that complemented our mission and ones that would encourage new
and existing visitors to frequent the library.”
He said the recreational materials have only been available for a
couple weeks, but already the library is getting requests to hold items,
which then go out again as soon as they are returned. For now, Cabral
said, the recreational equipment is only being made available to adults
and are only for McArthur patrons, meaning the equipment is not
available for interlibrary loans.
“We are excited about this new
initiative, and we all look forward to the spring and summer when the
lawn games such as volleyball and croquet will no doubt be in demand for
graduation parties, family get-togethers and cookouts,” Cabral said.
The Limerick Maine Library loans out 30 jigsaw puzles. They loan about 2 a month. They also loan board games.