Bike delivery update!

We’re really pleased to be partnering with Velocity Cycle Couriers to help us offer a more robust delivery service!

Velocity Cycle Couriers is an Oxfordshire based business launched in 2022 and aiming to normalise the concept of zero carbon delivery. They operate on a fleet of e-cargo bikes and electric vans to safely deliver produce and goods across Oxfordshire in a positive way that is friendly to their customers and to our planet. We’re very grateful to them for trialling a “community” charge with us, aiming between £6 and £10 each way for deliveries in the city depending on what you’re hiring.

We’re also grateful to our volunteers who are happy to jump on our cargo bike to offer this service “in-house” where we can too. As ever, do get in touch if you’d be interested to join our cyclists WhatsApp group!

We can’t offer delivery on all our Things (for example the 4m ladders are too big for the bikes and van, and we’re not able to deliver our petrol equipment as we share the service with local food companies), but we’re looking forward to seeing how it goes and hope this helps make SHARE Oxford more flexible and useful!

If you’d like to find out more about Velocity, do give them a shout at hello@velocitycc.co.uk

New Saturday hours

A quick note to let you know we’re changing our hours on Saturday. We’re now open 10:00 to 13:00. (Thursdays are still open 12-6 as before).

We hope that the earlier start will be convenient for those collecting things, to be able to make good use of the weekend. The shorter hours also help us as we work to be financially sustainable, now we are dependent on a paid Project Coordinator. As ever, we would be delighted to hear from people interested to volunteer as librarians to enable us to open more often through the week.

We look forward to seeing you soon!

Sharing in Oxfordshire’s Arts Community

We’re delighted to be joining up with the Green Arts Oxfordshire Network (GAON) and ShareBee for GAON’s first monthly Action Group next Wednesday 20th April at 12pm (on zoom), which will be focusing on how the arts community in Oxfordshire can share more.

Green Arts Oxfordshire Network is a community bringing the arts and cultural sector together in this climate emergency to collectively work towards climate justice and a zero carbon future. Have a look at their charter, resource kit and opportunities on their website. We are excited to meet some of key groups and organisations in this space, looking to implement libraries of things or equivalent setups to share their resources and make use of arts materials that are no longer required.

ShareBee is a new platform offering a peer-to-peer model for sharing, making it really quick for people to set up their own libraries of things, or just share a few of their own items, either to the public or a “hive” of friends or neighbours. We’re excited about the potential for this in Oxfordshire and we feel this sort of lending could complement what we do here at SHARE Oxford well, hopefully starting with some artists sharing hives soon!

GAON will be hosting monthly online or in-person meetings open to everyone. Each month, they will explore a different creative topic with the intention of forming dedicated Action Groups that act in response to the conversation.

This first Green Arts Action Group meeting will ask: How can we share? Creatives of all kinds face challenges sourcing materials and resources for projects sustainably. Join the conversation on how we can work together to source, transport and dispose of materials sustainably and locally where possible, thinking of creative solutions and factoring this in at the project planning stage.

Whether you’re in the arts community or not, we’d be delighted if you’d like to join to discuss building our sharing community here in Oxford and beyond. And if you can’t make it, do feel free to add comments below or get in touch with ideas or questions!

A Zero Waste Community

As the new team settles in at SHARE Oxford, we’re really enjoying learning about all the local initiatives helping people to reduce waste and consume less. We hope that, as well as doing our bit with our Library of Things and Repair Cafes, we can develop our more ways to borrow page and become a “hub” helping people find solutions. We came up with the picture below as a view of the challenge, so we can think about where SHARE fits in and what gaps we can help people to fill.

We would love to hear from you if you’d like to let us know about a service or event we can share with the community, if you’ve got questions on where to share things or how to save waste, or any other thoughts and ideas. Do feel free to add to the comments on this post, or, as ever, drop us an email!

Maurice is moving on

As we pass our Third Birthday, we want to say a big thank you to Maurice, who co-founded SHARE, building up to an official launch on 16 Feb 2019. Since then, he’s continued to build a fantastic community of volunteers and sharers, as well as acquiring a unique and useful collection of things!

Having made the move to a new town, Maurice will stay involved as a director, helping guide us with his knowledge of the world of Libraries of Things and circular economy. Ben continues as Project Coordinator, and we are grateful to Chris and Philippa for joining the Board, as well as all our volunteers, meaning we have a great team to take things forward. Thank you for everything you’ve achieved, Maurice, and here’s to the next chapter!

Happy birthday, Oxford Library of Things

Today makes three years since SHARE Oxford officially launched the Library of Things. That was at the end of several months of acquiring ‘things’ (thank you all those donors of their unwanted items) and a group of volunteers creating our style, and setting up processes and trialling them.

The momentum has built ever since and we’ve learnt so much since then, had a changing group of helpers, added to our stock (there are now some 750 items in the Library), and made coming up to 1,900 loans (despite the downturn during lockdown).

With yet more newer volunteers, a recently constituted Board of Directors, and the evidence that the Oxford Library of Things is a going concern, we look forward to more years – alongside that growing number of Libraries across the UK and in other countries (we look forward to more ‘twinnings’ too).

Huzzah!

Alex Mates

We are very sad to have learnt today of the death of our co-founder Alex Mates at her home in Romania earlier this week.

Alex brought the idea of a Library of Things to Oxford, called the meetings that brought it into being, and was instrumental in setting it up, inspiring it with her enthusiasm and devotion. She also started up and ran our Repair Cafés for a couple of years.

Alex was young, energetic, and very committed to the issues that underpin SHARE Oxford. Waste was her enemy. She worked in the waste team of the City Council. She set up the Circular Collective as a local manifestation of how the circular economy should work. And she saw repairing and sharing as causes to both promote and implement.

Alex was full of ideas, too many ideas sometimes, and had a strong sense of community. I’m sure that many people will have benefitted from knowing Alex and doing things with her. That’s certainly true of me.

Maurice, co-founder with Alex of SHARE Oxford

Alex’s former employers, ODS, have put together a page to raise money for Mind. Donations in her memory would be very welcome. https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/alexandramates

Buying less

I’ve just been in town and there’s a pop-up market selling all sorts of meaningless tat, for christmas I suppose, and getting in before the obscenity of Black Friday. We’ve just had COP26 and yay! we can all look forward to driving electric cars by 2035, or is it 2030 now? but we go on consuming so much unnecessarily.

Talking of Black Friday, for years, since long before Black Friday became a thing in this country, there has been Buy Nothing Day around the start of the big advertising push towards Christmas. It may not sound like fun, but we hope to encourage you to get involved…

Do your bit by resisting the allure of Black Friday and by supporting Buy Nothing Day 2021 on and around November 26th as a detox from consumerism and an opportunity for you to tune into the impact we have on the environment through shopping. People in more than 50 countries around the world will make a pact with themselves to take a break from consumption as a personal experiment or a public statement, and the best thing is – it’s free!!

…and repairing more too

We are again this year doing SHARE Oxford’s bit to combat the consumerism of Black Friday and holding a Repair Café. Our Repair Cafés encourage saving money and resources by keeping the things that you already have going, in preference to throwing them away and replacing them. “The greenest thing is the one you already own”
 

A conversation about the Library of Things

We were delighted when Caroline Wood, a local freelance science writer and podcaster, came in to speak to Maurice and Susan about how the library works. We hope you enjoy having a listen and learning a bit more about the library, the wonderful collection of things people have donated and ways you can live more sustainably by sharing rather than buying, as well as our experiences in the extraordinary last year.

September 4th (Saturday) early closing

For one day only, the Library of Things will be closing early. Hours that day will be 11.30 until 3.30 ONLY.

If you want to reserve items for collection on that day, please be sure to collect them by then, and if you have items to return, please bring them back by then. Very grateful.

All other days are will have normal opening hours.