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Sewing kit, projector, croquet set, laptop – meet Lansing’s ‘Library of Things’

LANSING, Ill. (June 27, 2023) – A sewing kit. Twister. A projector. Five or six Rokus. Giant Jenga. These are just a few items now present and available for checkout at the Lansing Public Library’s “Library of Things.”

The Lansing Public Library’s new “Library of Things” features various items that patrons in Lansing can check out — ranging from a simple pair of headphones to carpet cleaner. The program began in the spring, and includes a growing collection of around 20 items. The goal of the program is to make practical items accessible — and to help patrons avoid expensive purchases.

library of things
Some of the items in the entertainment section include a bluetooth speaker, a bocce set, and a croquet set. (Photo: Reena Alsakaji)

Three items from the “Library of Things” may be checked out one time, and this does not impact any book check-outs. All items are available for renewal after two weeks — with the exception of Rokus (streaming-enabled devices) due to features such as Netflix.

Some of the items include:

  • Laptop
  • Wi-fi hotspot
  • Museum Adventure Pass
  • Cricut cutting machine
  • Keyboard stand
  • Projector
  • Giant yard dice
  • Folding wagon
  • VR headset

Lisa Korajczyk, Lansing Public Library Director, and Denise Benson, Head of the Information Services Department, were inspired to begin the program as other local libraries followed the same trend of the “Library of Things.”

According to Korajczyk, the Lansing Library had undergone several renovations in the past few years, and the opportunity to create a program like this was not feasible until now. Funding more projects and purchasing more items in the future is a goal both Korajczyk and Benson hold.

“The idea has been happening in the libraries around us,” Korajczyk said. “So, Denise and I had put our heads together and decided that we wanted to try small, and I think the reception has been pretty good.”

In the weeks to come, items such as blood pressure cuffs, cooking supplies, and further electronics will make their way to the shelves. In determining what products to put out, both Lisa and Denise use this program to check in with Lansing residents and their needs. Talking to patrons about what they would like to see serves as motivation to continue the program; the library is always looking for input via email blasts and its newsletter.

If an item in the “Library of Things” is checked out, as shown by the red, you can scan the QR code on the back to place the item on hold. Items can also be placed on hold at the library’s website, www.lansingpl.org.(Photo: Reena Alsakaji)

“The program makes things interesting,” Benson said. “I work in collection development with books, and this is more interesting and more fun. Seeing what our patrons are looking for — DIY, tech.”

Not only does the program include feedback from Lansing residents, but all the department heads in the library contribute to deciding which products to purchase. According to Korajczyk, for example, the Youth Services Department puts in ideas as some items can be more family-oriented. In addition, there are certain items that have gained more popularity after further advertising; items such as the Rokus have always been available at the library, but this project provides an opportunity to draw more attention to them.

Items are divided into the sections Entertainment, Crafting, Home, and Technology. To place an item on hold that can be picked up at the library, visit www.lansingpl.org.

The Lansing Public Library is located at 2750 Indiana Avenue.

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Reena Alsakaji
Reena Alsakaji
Reena Alsakaji is a freelance writer and a senior at Munster High School. She is the Editor-in-Chief of her school’s student-run newspaper, Crier. She is also involved in Munster Speech & Debate, Student Government, HOSA, Philosophy Club, and Poetry Club. Over the past two years, Reena has fallen in love with the Lansing community as she watched her mother go through the process of opening up a home decor business on Ridge Road (Cadou Decor). Reena hopes to broaden her coverage all over Lansing. Her favorite story so far is, “South Holland neighborhood group hosts Juneteenth event for hundreds.”