Friday, August 21, 2015

Thoughts on a Simple Branch Library Acquisition and Lending System for Sports Equipment

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

0-get people from the parks department and people from the library in the same room talking to each other. The topic, "How can we partner together to better increase Physical Literacy and Reading Literacy in our city". 
  In NYC, a community board parks committee meeting would be a great place to start.

1-If well funded go to 2. Cautious? Low on funds? Offer a small initial group of low cost sports items, skip to 5.
2-Place a suggestion box at libraries and/or online 
suggestion form for additional items (Snowshoes anyone?!)
3-The suggestion form might have a check box to signify if item is being requested for special needs
4-Based upon patron suggestions and actual usage, additional items and copies can be purchased
5- If you are short on funds, items are for day loan only. If you have enough funding for multiple copies of items, some copies would be be for day loan only, some copies for longer period loans also. 
6-Where security is a concern , 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 (the Maine idea of having them leave their laptop as security is great too!)
7-These placards might also contain a liability waiver statements if allowed under state law. 
8- For speedy on-demand acquisition, items could be purchased at the branch level and not cataloged. If ordered via Amazon Prime, they can be delivered in 2 days . Items will only be returnable at the branch that loaned them. 
9-Fun signage at both library and nearby parks will co market Library and parks offerings and attract more attendance at each.
10-This was cobbled together with helpful ideas from libraries around the world, modify to suit your needs