Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
Bristol Post
Bristol Post
Tanya Waterworth

Don’t buy it, borrow it from Bristol's Library of Things

Whether it’s a specialised tool for a DIY project, a hedge trimmer or a cute birthday candleholder, the Library of Things in Kingswood has over 500 items to borrow and is looking to expand its network of libraries across Bristol. The brainchild of Share Bristol, the innovative library works on the concept of community sharing.

To stock the shelves, residents emptied out their sheds and shelves in their homes where ‘stuff’ had been gathering dust. This created the well-stocked library and with an annual membership of £50, or £20 for low income households, everything after that can be borrowed for free.

The library catalogue is divided into garden, DIY, home, adventure, hosting (party and events), accessories (including safety). There is a repair section in the catalogue, where you can borrow tools to repair your own things from clothing to furniture to bikes, while the team also has volunteers who repair items for the library stock.

Read next: West Country earthquake 'shook' houses as locals heard thunderous rumble

Share Bristol volunteer director Anna Perry said the library is cost effective for anyone whether working on a DIY project or going camping with the kids for a weekend, as it saves residents from each having to buy all the equipment.

She said: “It’s a no-brainer to share all of this rather than each resident buying it new, especially if you don’t have a shed to keep things, or for low income families.” Anna added the concept also fits into the 'green circular economy' where possible waste is being reduced.

Share Bristol volunteer Abi Finch shares information about the Library of Things (Share Bristol)

Now Share Bristol has been offered the opportunity of a free premises on East Street Bedminster and Anna said it is hoping to set up their second Library of Things in that area. Describing the Kingswood library as 'one of the city’s best kept secrets, well-loved by those who know it', she said their team are hoping to 'change all that in 2023' and expand the concept to create a network of libraries and sharing across the city.

Read next: Bristol car MOT tester issued more than 800 passes without examining the vehicles

In order to open Bedminster’s Library of Things, she said they need a few local volunteers to help make it a reality. She added that Bedminster residents are known to be eco-conscious and the team feel the concept will be warmly welcomed.

“Most people have loads of things they only use a few times a year, sitting around and cluttering up their homes. By donating something to the library, you’re getting it out of the house but can still borrow it whenever you want.”

She added that by encouraging people to donate the things they don’t use, which are serviced and repaired by volunteers, are then borrowed and used over and over again contributing to the circular economy. One of the team’s guiding principles is that the Library of Things “should help people to get their hands on the things they need, regardless of income.”

For the planned Library of Things in Bedminster, Anna added that the premises is spacious enough for people to get together and learn how to use the things on offer - whether it’s a tricky DIY tool or to try your hand with a sewing machine. Anyone in Bedminster who is keen to get involved can contact the team here or to go to the website here.

Kingswood Library of Things is open on Tuesday 10.30am - 12.30pm, Thursday 5pm - 7pm and Saturday 10am - 2pm at 1-5 High Street, Kingswood, BS15 4AA.

Read next:

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.