Royal Oak, Mich. (Michigan News Source) — Imagine borrowing tools, games, and equipment for hobbies and home projects from your local library. This is now a reality as libraries across Michigan introduce “Library of Things” sections, offering an array of items for loan to their patrons.

The Royal Oak Public Library has been at the forefront of this movement since 2021, providing a variety of items beyond the traditional book or DVD. From gardening tools and musical instruments to craft kits and sports equipment, the selection is vast.

MORE NEWS: Gov. Whitmer on Trump Shooting: ‘No Place for Political Violence’

“(Patrons) get to try something different or maybe have access to something that (they) normally wouldn’t have access to at home,” Sandy Irwin, director of the Royal Oak Public Library, said to The Detroit News. “There are times when there is barely anything on the shelf.” 

Wyandotte’s Bacon Memorial District Library has tailored its offerings to suit its riverside location. 

(Services from the Library of Things) get checked out a lot,” Laura Gramlich, the library’s director, said. “We’ve been doing the fishing poles for about a decade, and we have a lot of families that come in and get them, and they’ll go over to the park and fish at the park.” 

Bloomfield Township Public Library has taken a different approach, focusing on kits that promote hands-on learning for all ages. 

Katherine Bryant, Bloomfield’s assistant library director, explained to The Detroit News, “While we highly value books and reading as methods of learning and discovery, we also know that a lot of people need and prefer hands-on learning,” Bryant said. “We think that kits, or a ‘Library of Things,’ are a great way to provide that to people.”

The “Library of Things” concept has been spreading throughout Michigan for about a decade.

MORE NEWS: BREAKING: Possible Shots Fired at President Trump at PA Rally

Deborah Mikulah, executive director of the Michigan Library Association, notes the growing popularity. “They’re now places where we have access to the things we want,” she said. “We’re very much looking at libraries responding to their community’s wants and needs.” 

Access to these services typically requires a library card. For instance, residents of Royal Oak need a Royal Oak library card to borrow items from their library, while neighboring city residents can check out items from the Bacon Library in Wyandotte. Bloomfield Township Public Library extends its services to cardholders within its network.

As libraries continue to adapt and expand their offerings, patrons can anticipate an even broader range of items to borrow.