Check Out the Library of Things


Libraries Have Books...And So Much More!

The Library of Things

When you say the word “library,” what do you think of? Bookshelves? Quiet reading nooks? 

What about cake pans, knitting needles, or build-your-own-robot kits? 

Whether you need outdoor games for your family reunion or a hole saw to finish building that birdhouse, you can save some bucks and borrow them from the library. 

Why? Because libraries are all about access. 

Access to information, access to tools, access to resources and expertise…when you walk in the door looking for something, we hope to provide it or find it for you, in order to make your life a little easier. 

That’s why the libraries in Waukesha and Jefferson counties have added unique and helpful items to their collections for anyone to use. Each library offers different things, but with your library card, you can search and pick up any item you want, no matter which library owns it. 

Family Fun

Let’s start with items that are guaranteed to keep the family fun going into the fall, like free adventure passes that allow your family to visit local zoos or museums. 

You can borrow family movie kits, projectors, DVD players, or portable movie screens to create your own outdoor movie theater and enjoy a family flick under the stars. 

Board games, video games, and outdoor yard games like giant checkers and giant Jenga are also free to check out for family fun for all ages.

For the Wild At Heart

Want to get even more adventurous? Enjoy time out on the water when you borrow a kayak or pick up a pair of snowshoes when the cold weather blows. In spring, you can start your garden with packets of free seeds or grab an adventure birding backpack for a trek through the wild.

Let Your Creativity Bloom

Get in touch with your creative side at the library. Make some music on a ukulele, create something new with a craft kit, breathe deep with a mindfulness kit, or dip into fiber arts with knitting and crochet materials for your new fiber project. 

If you’re looking for something a bit more gadget-y, some libraries have tech items like tablets, GoPro cameras, Fitbits, STEM kits, tools like saws and nail pullers, and more. 

Find the Library of Things

Did any of these items catch your eye? Search for the phrase “café library of things” in our online catalog or on the CAFÉ Libraries app to see the full list of unique items. You can also talk to your librarian about how to find an item you want. 

Remember, even if your home library doesn’t have an item you want, you can still pick it up or order it because your library card works at all 24 libraries in Waukesha and Jefferson counties. Pretty cool, huh? Yeah, we think so too. See you at the library!

Written by Jill Fuller. A version of this article appeared in several local newspapers in August 2021. We are sharing those pieces here on our website a few weeks after each piece has been printed.