Temple Terrace library adds 'things' to its shelves

- Where books once were libraries’ only business, a new trend is taking over nationwide.

Libraries are becoming more than just a place to check out books, CDs and movies. A Bay Area library is hopping on the bandwagon, hoping to supplement its book collection in an ever-increasing online world. The Temple Terrace library now rents out things.

Teressa Fraser is the library division director for the Temple Terrace Public Library. She hopes the new, beyond books program is a hit.

“A lot of people will go to family or friends to borrow items, but sometimes if they don't have those items, and they don't have the funds to purchase those items, this is an alternative,” Fraser explained.

The library’s list of rentable things is quite diverse, ranging from a sewing machine to baking pans, jumper cables, an ice cream maker, an iron, and more.

So how does it work?

Similarly to checking out a book, anyone with a library card can borrow something they need or want to use. The difference is, these items are on a 7-day checkout schedule and carry a slightly higher late fee.

For Teressa and the library, the potential beyond books - teaching new skills - is priceless.

“This is also a good way, if you want to learn a new hobby, or start a new project, you can try it out first, instead of spending a lot of money on knitting needles or yarn, how-to videos, come here and borrow it,” she explained.

And while the stash of items behind the counters is small right now, the library sees massive potential.

“We hope to grow it as large as possible, and we're looking for ideas from the community, as well. What would they like to see?” Teressa said.

The library said it is looking for donations from residents and businesses. The only requirements are: the item is in good, working condition; be able to fit on the shelf; and not require batteries or gasoline.

Donations can be dropped off at the library during business hours.

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