We have a number of people who have signed up on our website but not completed the process and actually joined the Library of Things. We also have many people who have joined but never borrowed anything.
This piece of work was to contact these people via email and (gently) ask them if anything in particular stopped them from joining up. This information may well uncover objections we have never thought about that we can change and hence reduce the “friction” in our joining up process and help more people to use the Library of Things.
The key feedback that we can act upon is summarised in the infographic below, along with our brief action plan. Detail of the responses and our analysis/recommendations can be found below. If you have any further feedback or ideas on how we can make the Library of Things easier to use please let us know! You can contact us on email@example.com.
The overwhelming characteristic of pretty much all of the replies was the support for the Library of Things. Many people apologised for not joining up and borrowing something. Many have promised to do better after lockdown!
People who have joined but not signed up as members
Total number of replies to this email was 18 out of 72 sent. At 25%, this is a great rate of return.
Here is an analysis of the responses. Some people fall into more than one category, have borrowed from neighbours, and will borrow bigger items as an example. That’s why the total analysis adds up to more than 18 in this case.
4 people said that COVID/lockdown had delayed them from borrowing
3 people moved out of the area before they had the chance to use LoT
2 people said it worked out cheaper to buy the item than borrow from us
2 people said the membership was very complicated and didn’t want to pay monthly
2 people said that the idea of LoT had prompted them to borrow/lend with neighbours
2 people said they intended to borrow larger items from LoT
1 person said we did not have the particular item that they needed
1 person joined up to see how the system worked so they could set one up in their town
1 person joined out of curiosity but has friends and neighbours to borrow from
1 person said they couldn’t remember why they hadn’t joined but would in the future
People who have joined the library but didn’t borrow:
Total number of replies to this email was 87 out of 328 sent. At 26%, this is a great rate of return
Here is an analysis of the responses. Some people fall into more than one category, have borrowed from neighbours, and find it difficult to get to us as an example. That’s why the total analysis adds up to more than 87 in this case.
17 people said they had moved away from Oxford/Jericho
15 people said that getting to the library/opening times to pick up/return was a problem
9 people said they were preparing to borrow and Covid struck – will borrow post Covid
9 people said they registered to be ready for when they want to borrow – and will
8 people said they ended up borrowing from neighbours/work
7 people said the item they wanted was too expensive
6 people joined to see if we had what they wanted but we didn’t
4 people said that they had hired something from LoT (oops)
2 people said they borrowed under a different account/email address
4 people said they forgot/ didn’t know what we have – would appreciate a monthly update
2 people joined to show support but don’t need to borrow anything
1 person said that the signing up process was confusing and they gave up
1 person said the website was very complicated to navigate
1 person said it was easier to hire someone to do minor jobs
1 person said they were interested in borrowing bulky/expensive items
1 person joined to borrow a specific item they then didn’t need
1 person joined to see how it worked and wants to set one up in their town
1 person joined as they thought it was about buying things collectively then sharing
7 auto replies/ undeliverable emails
Here are some highlights from the replies:
Clearly there are a few situations we cannot influence; people moving away for example when they leave Oxfordshire. However, a few people regard moving to other areas of Oxford as too far and we may be able to encourage those people to borrow with enhanced delivery.
Many people cited the difficulty in getting to the Library to pick things up and to return them, particularly when thinking about borrowing bulky or heavy items. My suggestion here is to publicise our delivery service more widely. I suggest we make a video demonstrating our cargo bike. We can also use this video to recruit volunteer deliverers.
Several people mention that COVID has delayed them borrowing so we should anticipate an upturn in borrowing as the restrictions are lifted.
In becoming aware of the LoT, people were prompted to borrow from neighbours. This is a great result and exactly what we are setting out to achieve. It would be great to be able to link up with these groups in some way – or at least recognise these groups in some way as being part of the overall thrust to reducing waste etc.
There is a theme that it is too expensive to borrow some items, particularly small items, when compared with the cost of buying those items. One suggestion is to bundle several items together to enable a borrower to complete a specific job. Putting up a shelf – here’s a drill/screwdriver/spirit level/extension lead kit as an example.
People find the sign-up process too complicated and generally are not supportive of paying monthly with this payment used when they borrow an item. A couple of people thought this was against the values of the LoT
Some people have admitted that they had forgotten all about the LoT or didn’t know what we had on offer.
With only 6 emails being undeliverable, out of 400 sent, we should be confident that our database is very up to date.
We publicise our delivery service much more. One suggestion is to put together a video both to let people know about this service and to recruit deliverers.
We review the cost of borrowing some of our items. One suggestion is to bundle items together into a kit for specific jobs.
We re-design the process people use to join the LoT to be much clearer.
We implement a revised way of paying for borrowing things by eliminating the monthly subscription and only using PAYG.
We have a separate way of donating to LoT to support our cause.
We consider putting out a monthly email to our members with a reminder of the things we have and any new things added in the month.
We follow up with several individuals who have requested information, volunteered to donate things, or help us. We also need to remove the email addresses as requested.
If you have any further feedback please let us know! You can contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
As an alternative to the commercial Black Friday sales, we suggest you could buy used (but working) items from the Library – the money will help us, and so will the space we save.
Over time as we’ve accumulated things and learnt more about the needs of our borrowers, we’ve acquired items in the Library that we no longer need. In the spirit of not throwing things away, we are offering them for sale: see the list below.
Please email us at email@example.com saying what you’d like and if you can come and collect the item(s) during our opening hours that would be great. Or we may be able to deliver… write and ask.
LOOK IT UP ON THE CATALOGUE
Cordless carpet cleaner – G-Tech. Very light weight, battery chargeable
Leaf-blower – blows leaves and sucks them (not at the same time). It has a bag to collect the sucked-up leaves.
… we’ve got some ideas how the Library can be useful to you during the lockdown (and beyond, of course). We have games and jigsaws, we have things to try out such as musical instruments, a breadmaker, and unicycles, and we have tools for you to get on with the jobs that you have been putting off until you had time.
Well, we weren’t sure whether we would have to pause like we did earlier in the year, but we don’t, so, like many others, we are doing click and collect – as normal, I guess. Please do go on using the Library. We have our Covid protocols and you don’t have to come into our space.
But, don’t forget that we also do delivery and collection.
and ending up on the ground, providing shelter for invertebrates over the winter. However, they can also damage your lawn if left lying there all winter. So you could use our rakes or even leafblowers to gather the leaves and leave them in a warm and friendly pile in a corner over the winter.
Visit shareoxford.org, become a member, and borrow away! We can now deliver to you as well (within Oxford Ring Road) – just select ‘shipping’ when you are checking out in the catalogue. We charge £1/mile (each way).
We’ve put together a list of things you could do to make the Summer school holidays loads of fun – all using things borrowed from our Library (*parental supervision required!). We’ve got over 550 items in our Library – but here are just 11 ideas:
Make your own movie theatre at home
We’ve got a projector you can use for your own at home movie experience. If it’s a nice evening you could even set it up outside with a movie under the stars.
Projector Screen (or you can use a blank wall!): £6-8
2. Have a crafternoon
Borrow a sewing machine, or perhaps spend an afternoon making cool badges or painting a masterpiece. We’ve got you covered
Sewing machine: £5-15
Badge Maker: £10
Small Easel: £3
3. Have a board games night
We’ve got over 25 different board games – try a classic like Cluedo, or a game you’ve never tried before!
Board games range from £2-5
4. Dance the night away at your own dance party
Pick a playlist, put on some lights and have your own at home dance party
Disco lights: £3 -7
Glitter disco ball: £5
5. Go on a river adventure
There are lots of lovely waterways around Oxford, and getting out on a boat is a great way to experience them!
Inflatable boat: £5
6. Practice some circus skills
If you get good enough, perhaps you can run away to the circus instead of returning to school in September?
7. Whip up a storm in the kitchen
Want to try something new in the kitchen? Our ice-cream maker can whip up all kinds of tasty ice-cream flavours – delicious on some homemade pancakes or crepes! And if you want to go all out: how about some homemade jam?
Ice cream maker: £5
Pancake/Crepe maker: £10
Big pot (for jam making): £5
8. Have a camping adventure
Whether you pitch your campsite in your backyard or further afield, camping adventures make for great summer holidays memories. We’ve got lots of different camping gear.
Tents (various sizes): £8-14
Air mattress: £5-10 (or our budget camping rolls: £1-2)
Sleeping bag: £3
Camping stove: £5-8
Folding stools or chairs: £3-5
9. Learn a musical instrument Wanted to learn a new instrument, but not sure if it’s for you? Why not borrow an instrument and see how you like it? We’re sure you could master a ukulele song in a week!
Electric Keyboard: £7-15
Electric Guitar: £15
10. Host a fancy afternoon tea
Fancy sandwiches, delicate cakes and a spot of carpet boules is a wonderful way to spend a Summer afternoon. We’ve got you covered for everything you need to bring a touch of glam to your afternoon tea.
Cake Stand: £3
Carpet Boules: £2
Chocolate Fountain: £5
11. Say goodbye to the school paperwork
Want to get rid of all that pesky school work for good, or perhaps some old household bills? You could shred it, and perhaps then turn it into some eco-friendly fuel bricks!
Paper shredder: £5-10
Eco Briquette maker: £4
Prices listed are for a typical 1-week loan collected from our Library. Delivery extra.
We have a new membership scheme: £5/month, but you get this in available credit to spend in the library. Check out our membership page for full details.