Libraries just loan books, right? Wrong. Libraries across the country contain more than just books. Recent University of Iowa SLIS program graduate Beth Paul conducted research about the unique, non-book, “non-traditional” library collections that are currently active in libraries across the country.
“I was really interested in how the library is more than just books and how they [interesting collections] can bring in interesting people.” -Beth Paul, 2016
These unique library collections allow community members to borrow anything from artwork done by local, high quality posters, seeds, musical instruments, gardening tools, and board games, among other items. In addition, Iowa libraries have led the way in the establishment of a cake-pan lending system.
In this podcast we talk to Beth about what she discovered in her research regarding the popularity of these unique collections, why these libraries went about adopting these collections, how they maintain them, why these collections might be controversial, and how they might complement a future of maker spaces in libraries.
Check out these sites for additional inspiration :
- Unique Collections (Iowa City Public Library)
- Unusual Stuff to Borrow (Ann Arbor District Library)
- Fishing Poles and Tackle Boxes for Loan (Woodward Memorial Library)
- Furs, Skulls, Bird Mounts, and Fish Mounts (Alaska Resources Library)
- Borrow a Librarian (The Cleveland Law Library)
- The Human Library
- Borrow a Museum Pass (Fairfield Public Library)