Another Library of Things opens in Prague

People can borrow items for up to one week so they don't need to buy them

A new Library of Things (LoT) has opened in Prague in the courtyard at Hybernská 4. The concept is the same as traditional library, but instead of lending books it lends out physical items. This follows on a similar project that opened in the Goethe Institute in May.

The concept is in part to promote sustainability as many people own items that they use only on rare occasions, and if these items were shared then fewer resources would have to be used to make them all.

It also is intended to be useful for people who won't live in Prague for a long time, and who don't want to buy a lot of items just to sell them again.

“We’re creating a place where you can borrow things. Various things. Tools, sport or outdoor equipment, musical instruments etc. Things you don’t need very often and so prefer not to buy,” the LoT page on Facebook states.

So far, the library has 70 items, with games and sporting goods prominently featured. There are also more practical items like pots for cooking, tools for home renovations and hair dryers. Musical instruments can be borrowed so people can see if they have any talent before buying one. The items were almost all donated by people who didn't want to throw then away. They are still accepting donations, but don't want to become a dumping ground for items that are not useful.

The organizers also want to create a meeting space in the downtown courtyard that hosts the LoT. “We will also organize workshops and other similar events; we would be happy to turn LoT into a community space, where you will like spending time and meeting new people,” they said.

Using the library is easy. “Come, choose and borrow. Objects can be borrowed for one week for a voluntary contribution, which will be used for our further development,” they said. Users also have to present an ID such as a passport of residency card, and leave a refundable deposit.

Petr Žabka, one of the organizers, added that the vision was to help create a world without unnecessary costs and where people could pursue leisure activities with friends, without the need to acquire expensive things that are then lost in the closet and not used.

The concept of a library of things began in the UK and Germany, and has been spreading worldwide.

For more information about the Library of Things, visit www.facebook.com/libraryofthingsprague or www.libraryofthings.cz

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