Explore a ‘Library of Things’ at Holland library’s open house

Ottawa County

HOLLAND, Mich. (WOOD) — The Herrick Public Library in Holland is offering some unique items to check out beyond its collection of books.

The “Library of Things” has 34 items available to borrow ranging from bocce balls to a ribbon-cutting ceremony kit that includes oversized scissors.

Dan Zuberbier, the curator of the collection, says the idea is to help community members broaden their interests or get more into an existing hobby.

“(The goal is) to create their own stuff and share it with the community around them,” Zuberbier said. “We’re trying to lower some financial barriers and interest people to new technologies.”

The program allows people 18 and older to check out items to try instead of spending hundreds of dollars on something they may never use again.

“We started circulating items back in December of 2019 and then by March things just got shutdown because of the pandemic, and so we just started circulating the items again in June,” Zuberbier said.

The library uses its own funding to purchase and maintain the items. If an items is not returned within the grace period, the person who checked it out is billed for the cost to replace it. While the collection is continuing to grow, the focus is not about the number of items available but whether those items can make an impact.

“We’re not looking to be comprehensive,” Zuberbier said. “If there’s a community need and the community expresses that need to us, we’ll certainly take a look at it and try and make it fit into our collection.”

Collections like this have become more popular over the last decade with bigger libraries typically offering a greater selection.

“It’s been kind of emerging, and I think it will become more and more common as the years go by,” Zuberbier said.

If you are interested in viewing the items, many will be available to see at a special open house on Dec. 7 from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the main branch, located at 300 S. River Ave.

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