New 'Library of Things' to open at Dalston CLR James Library

A new ‘Library of Things’ – offering affordable rentals of tools for DIY, and appliances for gardening, cooking and cleaning – is set to launch at Dalston CLR James Library this summer.

The object lending library will be run in partnership between Hackney Council and social enterprise Library of Things, and will help residents to borrow useful items for the home, projects and trips for much less than a high street rental or the full purchase cost.

People will be able to borrow a power drill for as little as £7 per day, which is less than half than the average high street rental, sewing machines for £7, a steam cleaner for £8 and a sound system and microphone for £10 per day.

The library will also support residents to divert waste from incineration by borrowing rather than buying.

At the Library of Things site in Crystal Palace, borrowers have already prevented nearly 23 tonnes of waste from disposal.

Ahead of the launch, the Council and Library of Things are asking people what they’d like to be able to borrow at Dalston CLR James Library.

Cllr Jon Burke, Cabinet Member for Energy, Waste, Transport and Public Realm
As far back as 2017, I made it clear that reuse, repair, and the sharing economy are very much part of how we will live in the future if we’re to address the looming climate crisis. We took this a step further by committing in the 2018 Manifesto to exploring the feasibility of an object lending library, to reduce unnecessary consumption, resource depletion, material waste, and people’s living costs.

Now, in 2020, I am delighted to announce that the new Dalston Library of Things is being launched to help realise our vision of a prosperous, low-carbon Hackney.

This is the first Council-funded and hosted Library of Things in London, delivered in line with our manifesto commitment and our climate emergency declaration last year, and we want residents to help decide what items should go in it before it launches.

Choosing to locate the Dalston Library of Things in an area of the borough that is both central and well-served by buses and trains means it is highly accessible for pedestrians, cyclists, and public transport users, further enhancing the borough’s decarbonisation efforts. Taken alongside Dalston’s forthcoming 21st Century Street, Low Plastic Zone, and new drinking water fountains, the Library of Things will make an important contribution to this emerging low carbon community.
Cllr Jon Burke, Cabinet Member for Energy, Waste, Transport and Public Realm
We’ve had lots of requests from local people and community groups who want to see a Library of Things in Hackney – so we’re delighted to be able to partner with Hackney Council to bring affordable item rental to the neighbourhood.
Rebecca Trevayan, Library of Things Co-Founder and Community Director

Residents can choose items they’d like to see in the Library of Things by responding using the following form: http://libraryofthings.co.uk/dalston 

Information about Library of Things

Library of Things is a women-led social enterprise affordably renting out useful items like drills, sound systems and sewing machines from high street hubs like libraries. Having developed the service in London since 2016, the team are now working with local authorities and communities to bring borrowing to every neighbourhood that wants it – and with manufacturers like Bosch, Stihl and The North Face to source high quality items at a low cost. This is all part of fulfilling the enterprise’s mission to make borrowing better than buying – for individuals, communities and the planet. 

Sample borrowing prices (discounts are available for those less able to pay): 

  • DIY hand tool: £1 per day 

  • Waffle maker: £3 per day 

  • Bosch power drill: £7 per day 

  • The North Face 3-person Tent: £9 per day 

  • Kärcher carpet cleaner: £20 per day