Would you like to help guide SHARE Oxford?

SHARE Oxford is aiming to form a group of interested people as trustees who will:

  • help with the strategic direction of SHARE Oxford
  • provide accountability for the coordinator and the volunteers
  • bring specific expertise where needed
  • represent SHARE Oxford to external stakeholders where possible

They may take on specific roles to support the volunteer team. We are specifically seeking people with skills in any of the following areas:

  • Social enterprise governance
  • Marketing
  • Finance
  • Fundraising

To have at least one of these positions covered by somebody who has previous experience of establishing a community action group or a social enterprise would be invaluable.

To find out more please email us at libraryofthings@shareoxford.org or read more details here.

Your Feedback – A Report from our recent survey

Introduction

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.

Findings

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 libraryofthings@shareoxford.org.

Replies

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 through interest in our repair café
  • 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

Analysis

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.

Recommendations:

  1. 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.
  2. We review the cost of borrowing some of our items. One suggestion is to bundle items together into a kit for specific jobs.
  3. We re-design the process people use to join the LoT to be much clearer.
  4. We implement a revised way of paying for borrowing things by eliminating the monthly subscription and only using PAYG.
  5. We have a separate way of donating to LoT to support our cause.
  6. 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.
  7. 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 libraryofthings@shareoxford.org.

Allan Smith
Feb 2021

If you’ve gotta buy on Black Friday, help the Library of Things out

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 libraryofthings@shareoxford.org 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.

WHAT  PRICELOOK IT UP ON THE CATALOGUE
Cordless carpet cleaner – G-Tech. Very light weight, battery chargeableWithdrawn
PickaxeSOLD
Leaf-blower – blows leaves and sucks them (not at the same time). It has a bag to collect the sucked-up leaves.£10https://shareoxford.myturn.com/library/inventory/show/314030
Bike carrier – for one or two bikes on the rear of a vehicle. SOLD
Bow saw – approx 55cm wideSOLD
Edging shears – the kind with vertical blades, eg for edging a lawn.£5https://shareoxford.myturn.com/library/inventory/show/294740
Electric chainsaw – Performance PWR 1750CSASOLD
Heat gun – Wickes£6Not on the catalogue
Hedge trimmer (corded) – Challenge Hedgemaster 370SOLD
Extendable ladder (2 x 4m approx.)£20https://shareoxford.myturn.com/library/inventory/show/301293
Electric drill – Bosch GSB 12vSOLD
Horse-riding helmet – size 6 7/8£10https://shareoxford.myturn.com/library/inventory/show/319284
Ski goggles – Oxylane£5https://shareoxford.myturn.com/library/inventory/show/270217
Electric strimmer (battery-driven) – Challenge Xtreme£10https://shareoxford.myturn.com/library/inventory/show/379369
Petrol (2-stroke) strimmer – McCulloch TrimMac 210SOLD
Tool box – approximately 55 x 20 x 20cm with a carrying handle, and a removable tray inside£4https://shareoxford.myturn.com/library/inventory/show/287191
Tool box – approximately 36 x 13 x 13cm with a carrying handle£3https://shareoxford.myturn.com/library/inventory/show/291094
Socket set – KamasaSOLD
Steam mop – Shark ProfessionalSOLD
Shredder and laminator set (both A4) – Texet£15Not on the catalogue
   

Not locking down

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.

New Items added recently

We’ve been adding some new things to our inventory – we have acquired some additional duplicates of some favourite items – like a pressure washer and strimmer – but new Things to our library include:

Fan heater |£5/week

Piano Accordion | £20/week

Dehumidifier | £6/week

Junior tennis rackets set | £10/week

Torque Wrench | £3/week

Powered Cool Box | £10/week

Shredding scissors | £2/week

Jewellery Cleaning Kit | £5/week

Hand scraper | £1/week

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).

SHARE the school holidays with SHARE Oxford

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:

  1. 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: £8-10
  • 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
  • Speakers: £7-25

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
  • Kayak: £20

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?

  • Poi: £3
  • Unicycle: £15

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!

  • Ukulele: £5
  • Electric Keyboard: £7-15
  • Electric Guitar: £15
  • Accordion: £12

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
  • Bunting: £3

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.

Visit shareoxford.org to reserve.

Back SHARE-ing

We are re-opening the Library to borrowers from this Saturday (July 11th).

  • New opening times (Thursday and Saturday 12-6 only for now)
  • New membership – £5 (or more) a month, usable as credit against borrowing
  • Covid19-safe procedures
  • Trialling a delivery service

Been missing us? Get in here now then !