1-Create a starter library collection of recreation items to loan. Short of funds? Ask for Donations or skip to 6.
Starter Collection: Maine Model
“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 after school. 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
Cost of a set of items for the Maine Collection:
Hackey sack $4.00
Jump rope $1.49
These items can be bough from Amazon for $31.37. Shipping is free with orders over $25, or an Amazon Prime membership.
Have It Your way Model
2-Place a suggestion box at libraries and/or online suggestion form for additional items (Snowshoes anyone?!)
3-The suggestion form should have a check box to signify if item is special needs equipment
4-Many special needs items need not be special, they just need to be available. For example Lego or puppets for autism, a hula hoop for the blind or strokes. FatBrain toys offers ideas like these for many disabilities.
5-Based upon patron suggestions and actual usage, additional items can be purchased
6-Items will loan for the day only. For special needs people items may loan for longer periods.
7-Rather then store items in open stacks, display laminated placards with pictures of items to represent items are available, and store library cards as “ security”, attached to the placard when an item is borrowed
8-These placards might also contain a liability waiver statements if allowed under state law.
9- For speedy on-demand acquisition items should be purchased at the branch level. If ordered via Amazon Prime, they can be delivered in 2 days. These items may not be part of the regular library catalog and will only be returnable at the branch that loaned it. ( this idea does not preclude also having cataloged copies of items)
10-Signage will let patrons know about this collection, and about nearby parks where equipment can be used.