Ireland's first pop up library of things
As part of Reuse Month 2017 VOICE teamed up with WeShare, ShareCity and the Dublin Food Coop to host a pop up Library of Things. A Library of Things is a place where people can borrow items needed only on an occasional basis or that are too bulky or costly to own. By sharing these items it reduces the need for material production and consumption, and allows people to free up space in their homes and try new hobbies without the need to buy new supplies.
The Dublin Library of Things pilot aimed to get people thinking about consumption, to raise questions and start conversations about the possible alternatives to our current throw away, single use, wasteful society. What was intended to be mostly conceptual became surprisingly fully functional, we were blown away by people’s enthusiasm and participation. Each day we opened we were greeted with new members, volunteers and items for the library. People loved the idea and jumped at the opportunity to try out new things.
The library was run by a team of volunteers and was open for the month of October every Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. In just four weeks we established a community of over 50 people participating as lenders, borrowers and volunteers. The library had over 150 donated items ranging from gardening tools and kitchen ware to knitting needles and board games.
We received such a great response and we hope this is the start of something new where every town and community in Ireland has its own library of things, promoting reuse while reducing consumption and waste on a larger scale.
This project was kindly sponsored by the Eastern Midlands Waste Region as part of Reuse Month.
If you'd like to know how to set up a Library of Things in your community, we'd be happy to share some tips and advice.