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Community Library Offers All Kinds Of "Things"


The library got permission from Dr. Seuss Enterprises to use Thing 1 and Thing 2 for the Library of Things. (Steve Burns, WFIU/WTIU News)

The Pendleton Community Library had been looking to create a library of things since their reference librarian Chris Bellesis saw the library of tools in Berkeley, California. Director Lynn Hobbs says that when their full-time custodian retired, the perfect opportunity appeared. 

“We hired some landscapers and some cleaning crews instead of hiring another staff person, so that left us with all this equipment that was owned by the library but not being used by the library," Hobbs says. "We thought that was a perfect example of some things we could put into the library of things.”

Those items included ladders, a wheelbarrow and some loppers. The library of things also received donations of household items like a juice extractor and a crockpot. Bellessis says that they might purchase a metal detector once the library of things gets its own budget this year.

We may get a photo scanner," Bellesis. "Things that people don’t need every day, but they would like to try or they would like to use, like the loppers, just every couple times a year.”

Some of the more unusual items available are an electric typewriter, internet hotspots and a telescope. The library also offers its patrons binge kits, which contain classic television shows and popcorn.

Hobbs says she wants the community to see that “this is not your mother’s library” anymore. She says that they try to fill gaps that appear in a smaller community like Pendleton. And if a power washer in the library of things is what draws new customers in, she’s okay with that.

“Even just our spaces. We don’t have a Starbucks here or anything like that. So when people wanna come and they wanna get on wi-fi and just have a nice place to work, and visit and meet, they can do that here in the library," Hobbs says. 

The library is also home to a community garden, a pantry and a seed library. Patrons can check out seeds, return seeds they harvest from their plants and pick up harvest from the community garden on the library's "Read & Feed Mobile."

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