The Malden Public Library is excited to announce the grand opening of its groundbreaking “Library of Things,” a unique and sustainable initiative that empowers the community to reduce waste and conserve resources by borrowing a wide range of items rather than owning them. This initiative was initiated by the Malden Public Library and further supported by a generous grant from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) through the Sustainable Materials Recovery Grant program.
The Library of Things concept is simple but revolutionary: instead of buying and owning rarely-used items, residents of Malden may now check them out with just a library card, encouraging a culture of reuse and resourcefulness. This innovative library extension promotes sustainability and provides residents access to an array of items they may need for various projects and activities.
One prime example of how the Library of Things can help eliminate waste is the availability of a sewing machine. While sewing machines are incredibly useful for specific projects and help the environment in their own right, they often collect dust in the back of closets when not in use. By borrowing a sewing machine from the Library of Things, residents can complete their projects (ideally repairing clothing instead of throwing it out) without the need for long-term ownership, ultimately reducing clutter and environmental impact.
Mayor Christenson, who has been an advocate for sustainable initiatives in Malden, was on hand to experience this new service first-hand. “The Library of Things is a solid addition to our community, aligning perfectly with our goals of promoting sustainability and reducing waste,” Mayor Christenson commented. “This resource will undoubtedly make a positive impact on the lives of Malden residents and the environment.”
The Sustainable Materials Recovery Grant from the Massachusetts DEP has been instrumental in making the Library of Things a reality. This grant program provides funding to municipalities to support initiatives that maximize reuse, recycling, and waste reduction, furthering Massachusetts' commitment to environmental sustainability.
Malden Public Library's Library of Things offers a diverse catalog of items beyond sewing machines including audio/visual Items, outdoor recreation, crafting, music, home Improvement, technology and more. The service aims to make life in Malden more convenient and sustainable while fostering a sense of community.
Items from the Library of Things are available to loan to adult Malden residents with a library card in good standing. Each item can go out for two weeks at a time and cannot be renewed. Patrons can borrow a maximum of two items at a time. Holds must be placed one day prior to picking up the item. When borrowing an item for the first time, patrons will be asked to sign a borrower’s agreement and waiver regarding use of items in the Library of Things.
To place a hold, pick up an item, or for any questions, please visit or call the information desk. For a full list of items, or more information, visit https://maldenpubliclibrary.org/services/library-of-things/
Pictured: Information Librarian and Library of Things Project Coordinator Katie Walsh with Mayor Gary Christenson