Library of things opens at Goethe-Institut

There is no need to buy something that you only want to use a few times

With so many books and articles available online, libraries have been facing an existential crisis. A new concept is a library of things, and the first one in Prague has opened at the Goethe-Institut.

And it is not just a place for you to look at stuff, you can also borrow items for up to a week if you are a member of the institute's library and have a card and an ID.

The library of things (knihovna věcí) is described by the Goethe-Institut as a place to meet people interested in sharing knowledge and useful information. Right now, the library has 50 appliances, tools and toys.

“Too often we buy expensive items that we only rarely use. These items not only occupy space in our homes, but also due their to large-scale production put considerable pressure on the earth's limited resources,” Goethe-Institut said on its website. “The library of things offers an innovative, practical, financially low-cost and environmentally friendly option for using these things.”

Items include, for example, metal balls for the game boules, a kite, a skateboard, car seats for children, a home planetarium, various cameras and camcorders, a telescope, a machine to make advertising buttons (aka badges), a sewing machine, bike and other tool sets, a picnic basket, and a disco ball and turntable, among other items.

The Goethe-Institut will also have workshops on how to use some of the items, though the disco ball is likely to be self-explanatory. People can borrow up to three items at once. The library also welcomes people who want to share their knowledge about things.

Items can be reserved at the library or by e-mail, and the staff will tell you when the items are available.

The library of things at Goethe-Institut was created as part of the project Shared Cities: Creative Momentum, and was inspired by a similar library in Bratislava.

For more information visit www.goethe.de (CZ / DE)

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