A Library of Fun- Discover the Collection of Things

Libraries Offer More Than Books

Check out a kayak. Try a new board game. Test baby carriers before you buy one. Take home a craft bag. If you thought libraries only offer books, it’s time you stop in and check again!

We’ve gotten a lot of questions lately about the huge collection of “Things” our member libraries offer to library users. While we don’t have a comprehensive list of special items to hand out (since the libraries are adding new things to their collection every day!), we wanted to put together a guide for you. And here it is!

A Handy List of Available Special Items

(Lending library locations are not included because there are so many! See below about how to search for these items in our online CAFE catalog).

  • Kayak (with paddles and life jackets)
  • GoPro camera
  • Board game
  • Outdoor lawn game
  • Ukulele
  • Baby carrier
  • American Girl doll
  • Cake pan
  • Nintendo Switch
  • Roku device
  • Snowshoes
  • Craft bag
  • Museum and zoo pass
  • Sewing machine
  • Jigsaw puzzle
  • Adventure backpack kit
  • Hotspot
  • Vegetable and flower seeds
  • Knitting needle
  • Crochet hook
  • S.T.E.A.M. kit
  • And much, much more

F.A.Q. Time

  • How can I search for a Thing I want?
    • Each special item is available to search and find in our online CAFE catalog. If you type “kayak” and choose “Three dimensional object” from the format list, you’ll find it. But this only works if you know what’s there. To solve this and allow for browsing, we are in the process of adding a tag so you can find special items by searching the phrase “CAFE library of things.” Some items are already labeled with this tag so you can go ahead and try it. More will be added soon. You can also ask your librarians about what’s available!
  • Who can check out these special items?
    • Anyone with a library card from a Jefferson or Waukesha county library. (How awesome is that?!)
  • Is it free?
    • Yes, special items (like all materials at the library) are free to anyone with a library card!
  • How long can I have a special item checked out?
    • The loan period depends on the library that owns the special item. Ask your librarian for specifics.
  • Can I put the special items on hold?
    • Usually, no. Most special items must be picked up directly from the loaning library.
  • Where do I return the items?
    • Most of the special items require you to return them to the library they belong to. This is different from our traditional collections of books, movies, or magazines- for those, you can return them to any library in either county.

Have more questions? Please contact your public library or email Jill at jfuller@bridgeslibrarysystem.org. Thank you!