It’s not just about books

The Lynnfield Public Library carries a lot more than just books these days.

The Library of Things allows library-goers to check out DVDs and CDs and now makes available everything from birding kits to board games and luggage scales to Wi-Fi hotspots.

Items can be borrowed and renewed by anyone who has a Lynnfield Public Library card, just like any other book or piece of material in the library, with more expensive items requiring a replacement agreement to be borrowed.

“Library services are changing, and we want to be giving people what they actually need,” Library Director Abigail Porter said.

The Library of Things has grown from a few shelves in 2019 to its very own section of the library, a collection that Spencer Stevens, head of cataloging and tech services, said now includes about 150 items.

“We have several different collections. The game collection is probably the most popular,” Stevens said.

The growing collection includes pieces of technology like film scanners, microphones, and Nintendo Switches while also including accessibility devices and wellness devices, which the library purchases through the town and through grant funding.

“The philosophy behind all of this is that they are things you might want to purchase, but you don’t necessarily want to invest the money in,” Porter said. “You can try it out here before you buy it, or you can just use it and then return it.”

As for the future of the Library of Things, Stevens and Porter, both said that the collection is a living one that can change with library members’ needs.

“We’re always looking for recommendations and suggestions from the public of things they’d like to see here,” Porter said. “It’s growing and changing all the time.”