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News & Events
2018.04.05 To Increase Membership, US Libraries Become Libraries of Things
On March 30, 2018, California-based newspaper The Orange County Register (OCR, digital version) reported that some libraries in the suburbs of Los Angeles have been lending out things other than books and holding unique events. These undertakings have contributed to an increase in new memberships, the report says.

For example, at the Yorba Linda Library, a member can borrow a backpack with a compass, binoculars, and a hiking guide. The A.K. Smiley Library in Redlands has framed paintings on loan. At the Placentia Library, there is a bubble machine, a commercial kitchen mixer, a drone, and musical instruments, among others. In addition, libraries host unique workshops and events, such as a 10-week DJ class providing the use of real equipment.

Such efforts by US libraries have been happening for years, as “Libraries of Things.” A library in a small town has been lending out cake pans since more than 30 years ago, when such items were difficult to obtain. Libraries have been able to stave off forecasts of declining membership and closure through the provision of various services. Placentia Library, for instance, added 10,000 new members from the 2006 to 2017 fiscal periods, resulting in 42,173 registered members, and the number of adult members that took part in library-hosted events grew twelve-fold.

Also in the past ten years, according to the OCR article, while libraries in Los Angeles County have witnessed a 20% decline in the number of books being loaned out, there are 49,000 more people taking part in library programs. Libraries now loan e-books in keeping with the times, but as venues which are ever responsive to local needs, they continue to transform to be a place where people can learn and enjoy in different ways.

For details, please visit:
 
https://www.ocregister.com/2018/03/30/books-shmooks-your-library-card-can-get-you-a-drone-violin-or-sewing-machine/

http://current.ndl.go.jp/node/28161

http://current.ndl.go.jp/node/21732