Twenty-first century libraries look different from the hushed and dusty stacks many of us remember from our childhoods. Luckily, librarians have turned out to be rather resilient and, indeed, forward thinking. (Okay, we still have some dust, but we’re working on it.) You see, books are most certainly the stock-in-trade of librarians. (One local friend calls us bookslingers, and we love it.) However, our fundamental purpose is to seek out the information, education, and entertainment needs of the community and provide for them however we can. In recent decades, those needs have changed alongside the technological changes that have altered the course of our lives. And library patrons need more than books. They’d like audiobooks, movies, computers, and wi-fi, if you please, along with free classes to make sense of it all. So, libraries offer all of those, as well as many other programs, venturing outside the walls of the building to better engage our citizenry.
In the last year at NPL, we have had a lot of fun developing a Library of Things. We started with a Seed Library and then added tabletop games and telescopes that could circulate, along with STEM Kits for teachers and families. And we’re adding more “things” all the time. You can now check out a cake pan, a food dehydrator, a bike repair kit, a breadmaker, a drill, a sewing machine, gardening tools, and more. Have you ever wanted to learn how to solder? To make fresh pasta? To sew? You can check tools out to practice those skills. Plus, you can Book-a-Librarian to teach you how to use them or give you some beginners’ tips. Drop in and take a look at what we have to offer and let us know what else you’d like to see in your Library of Things.