[Michlib-l] Library of Things, popular items compiled responses

Don Priest dpriest at southgate.lib.mi.us
Sat Feb 27 14:07:32 EST 2021

Compiled answers regarding popular Library of Things items. Thanks to everyone who responded, I've got lots of great ideas to work with now! 

We started in the middle of the pandemic so it's hard to get stuff noticed without patrons browsing. However, there's one item we can't keep on the shelves: a ghost hunting kit 👻 


Sewing machines and snowshoes have been popular. 


VHS to DVD converter! 


Saw that a library in the UP was loaning out sleds 


Most checked out items are a food dehydrator. Lots of use in summer, fall and winter, have one fellow who loves it for beef jerky. The other is an instapot. We have other items, but these are what people check out most. 


Grosse Pointe has a cool tool collection. Info here: [ https://grossepointelibrary.org/special-collections | https://grossepointelibrary.org/special-collections ] 

I think they used to do baking pans and art as well. I remember the art was popular where people could check out paintings and hang in their house for a month, or whatever. 

Don't know if any of that is what you are looking for but I always thought it was neat. 


Our most popular items are ukulele, cubetto, real bugs and magnet kit. Our launchpad tablets are also popular. The link to our unusual items is here: 

[ https://www.highland.lib.mi.us/awesome/index.htm | https://www.highland.lib.mi.us/awesome/index.htm ] 

In 2020 we did not see nearly the same action on our unusual items. They tend to be something people notice and grab rather than something they know to take a look in the catalog to place a hold. You remind me I need to market them again. Thanks! 


We have a metal detector and a scanner at one of our branches at LDL! The scanner is very new and has not gone out yet. I heard it will checkout in a rolling suitcase. I have heard a lot of success with the metal detector though! I think people like to take it to a nearby park that has a beach. 

Back when I worked near a university, I thought power tools or artwork would be interesting things to add. 



If you search ROLOT in CARL you will see what we have added to our Library of Things so far. :-) 

Link to CARL catalog for those unfamiliar with it: [ https://catalog.tln.lib.mi.us/ | https://catalog.tln.lib.mi.us ] 


Corn hole has been really popular. 

Telescope and Ukeleles too! 


We have been building our library of things over the past year and a half. This is what we currently have in our collection: [ https://lyon.lib.mi.us/explore/special-collections/library-of-things/ ] https://lyon.lib.mi.us/explore/special-collections/library-of-things/ 

Next week we will be adding more items including a therapy light, bluetooth speaker, noise cancelling headphones, and 10 Chromebooks. 

The kids Discovery Kits are very popular, as are the mobile hotspots. 

Good luck with your collection! 


Although we have paused most of these because COVID, here is our list 

[ https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__www.dtdl.org_services_things_&d=DwQGaQ&c=euGZstcaTDllvimEN8b7jXrwqOf-v5A_CdpgnVfiiMM&r=-VnIYX9Tid_FwaJ-4wkEtsGiayf038erslqThRZiqB4&m=ArE_JwY0uKXxsMzlWtaLDeIKUYyJshVBdEjlrIe-wn0&s=gny6AZZ0ov4Dvz6b4QwiNe8JjARwm2zcSbXVcdbyzP4&e= | http://www.dtdl.org/services/things/ ] 

and for kids: Little Things 

[ https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__www.dtdl.org_services_littlethings_&d=DwQGaQ&c=euGZstcaTDllvimEN8b7jXrwqOf-v5A_CdpgnVfiiMM&r=-VnIYX9Tid_FwaJ-4wkEtsGiayf038erslqThRZiqB4&m=ArE_JwY0uKXxsMzlWtaLDeIKUYyJshVBdEjlrIe-wn0&s=CmXajQMqFCRr7QKUVoLCzYU_CRvrMx-XWBwxoPSq6YU&e= | http://www.dtdl.org/services/littlethings/ ] 


Cookie cutters 

Metal dector 

Ghost hunting kit 

Radon detector 

Battery cables 



We have fishing poles and tackle boxes (we’re in a town built around a lake), and our cake pans are quite popular. 


Check out our catalog of LoT! 

[ https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__buchanan.biblionix.com_catalog_-3Flot-3D1&d=DwQFaQ&c=euGZstcaTDllvimEN8b7jXrwqOf-v5A_CdpgnVfiiMM&r=-VnIYX9Tid_FwaJ-4wkEtsGiayf038erslqThRZiqB4&m=fm4JlQOnTh37e2ufoFO6mQFibs9Xie6YTIxPr-pGOTQ&s=L8gsepPUUhwhQCPCi_2PZxJzBsbpbKLhbzRqNHnhwCA&e= | https://buchanan.biblionix.com/catalog/?lot=1 ] 


Hi Donald, 

We've been circulating games for about a year and they've been very popular. A recent addition is puzzles and they're gaining a lot of momentum. We had one family call to say that they wanted to pay for the puzzle. It was the first they had done as a family and it was such a nice activity for them, they wanted to have it framed! We're going to allow them to replace it since we think that builds a positive relationship with the library. 

We've also added some SAD lights but I don't know that they've taken off yet but the library was closed to the public when they came in and foot traffic has been light since we reopened a few weeks ago. 

We're relatively new to the LoT game but Brighton District Library has had quite a few things circulating for a while. Here's a link to their options: [ https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__brightonlibrary.info_library-2Dof-2Dthings_&d=DwQFaQ&c=euGZstcaTDllvimEN8b7jXrwqOf-v5A_CdpgnVfiiMM&r=-VnIYX9Tid_FwaJ-4wkEtsGiayf038erslqThRZiqB4&m=O4bOlRS-h7kSJxc05kvwcm6Ns7oPIN17tcko4yie-WU&s=IwTQnAioWYi3xtN7oJ9Hgx9rgtXHsCLZdajFdMnvNIE&e= | http://brightonlibrary.info/library-of-things/ ] 

If you come up with any popular ideas, please share! 


Hi Don, 

We’ve had our Library of Things collection since late 2018 and overall it’s been successful. 

Our most popular item is by far the metal detector. Another is being added now. 

The other top items are: 

- Laser Tag (for 2, 2 kits) 

- Paper Shredder 

- Geocaching kit (GPS, book) 

- Birdwatching kit (2 binoculars, birding books) 

- Yoga kits (mat, blocks, DVDs) 

Our drill and tool kit was popular until it disappeared. 

We have found kits composed of primarily books do not circulate much at all. Somewhat surprisingly, kits with table games (cards, dominoes, cribbage etc.) also do not circulate much. 

We are in the process now of adding new items for the spring with a focus on lawn games like Corn Hole, Giant Jenga, Yard Yahtzee and Bocce Ball. 


We have had a Library of Things collection for a few years now, and it is still growing. We began with hotspots, Kindles, and ukuleles, but now we also have a ton of board games and outdoor games. We also have a telescope. The most popular have been: ukuleles, the metal detector (I had wait list for this before the pandemic hit and I was considering purchasing a second), corn hole, and some of the board games. I try to get Mensa-approved games. Pandemic, Forbidden Island, Zombie Dice, and Exploding Kittens have been the most popular. It seems that there really is no rhyme or reason why some of these "things" are more popular than others... 
Good luck! 


Donald Priest 
Southgate Veterans Memorial Library 
14680 Dix-Toledo Rd. 
Southgate MI 48195 
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