Homewood's Library of Things offering games, electronics for check-out

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Homewood's Library of Things offering games, electronics for check-out

September 18, 2021 - 22:06

A ukelele is one of a number of items that can be checked out from Home Public Library's Library of Things. (Marilyn Thomas/H-F Chronicle)

Did you know you now can check out the handheld gaming Nintendo Switch, or a ukulele, or a backyard game from the Homewood Public Library?

The newly established Library of Things gives library patrons a chance to experiment with or enjoy any of the 20 items in the new collection, including a volleyball/badminton set, a bocce set, giant yard dice and even a turntable. All the items were purchased new.

“They circulate like anything else in the collection, it’s just a nontraditional item,” said Nathan Hare, director of adult services. Checkout is limited to one week with no renewals, and late fees — $10 for the Nintendo and $5 for other items — will be imposed.

Nathan Hare, head of adult services at the Homewood Public Library, checks in a Nintendo Switch game. It is one of the items included in Library of Things, a new service offered at the library. (Marilyn Thomas/H-F Chronicle)

“We started this because we wanted to do something that allows patrons to experiment with an item before purchasing it,” said Nathan Hare, the new director of adult services, who credited the library’s staff with building the collection and getting it ready for check-out.

Taking something home and trying it “would be especially helpful with musical instruments for children, or people that want to learn to play an instrument but aren’t ready to buy one,” he said.

Taking an item on loan can help make a decision on whether an expensive purchase, like a Nintendo Switch, is a good choice. The yard games can be great for family play, or used at parties, he added.

Hare knows of other libraries that have experimented with the concept, but added: “I think what makes ours cool is the emphasis on taking it to the community and driving home that what we want is to hear from patrons on what they want in the collection. We want this to be very much to help fulfill community needs.”

Hare said the library would consider expanding the collection based on patron survey results. The survey is on the library’s website at homewoodlibrary.org.

“The library certainly is more than just books. Of course those will always be important, we’ll always have those. It’s just if the community need is out there, we would like to help,” he added.