So impressed by this initiative from Colorado libraries where you can check out a backpack with compass and hiking map to explore national parks – see here.
As my friends started to have children I discovered that there are fabulous communal “libraries” out there for community needs other than books – toy libraries, nappy libraries. Spaces that lend items that are only needed for a time and then can be returned to be used by others. Very simply, just by being, they fight the commercialisation culture which tries to insist that everyone yearns to buy and hoard more, more, more.
Which leads on to the wonderful concept of human libraries. The idea that books are not the only information store or key to knowledge. Just as your mind can be expanded by reading someone’s story, so too can your mental world be expanded by hearing someone’s story, meeting the reality behind stereotype’s such as “single, unmarried mother”.
*** Hmmm I think the theme of the power of communication through stories must be fermenting away in my subconscious; it is undoubtedly the winner of most mentioned #blogjune 2016 theme for me. ***
So what else could, should we be lending from our libraries?
What could we lend that would fill the connectivity gaps in our communities?
Someone who listens without judgement (a phone to Lifeline with tissue box and surrounded by cushions)?
Free Skype sessions for people far away from their friends and family
A free hugs stand?
A laughter club
What would add value to people’s lives and create spaces for those who are marginalised?
An open kitchen to cook food for yourself or for others
Could we have stitch and bitch days where the homeless or financially deprived come to choose knitted scarves, hats etc directly from the person who created it?
The Footpath Library explores some of these ideas.
What would you check out to others and why?