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.
We have received a grant to buy the time and expertise of someone who can help us develop – we are looking for applications from people of an entrepreneurial bent to work with us. Look here for the role profile for a Business Development Co-ordinator and see if it would suit you. And/or please pass it on to anyone you know who might be up for it. Thanks.
Looking to be greener and less wasteful this Christmas? Even the Queen is said to reuse wrapping paper and ribbons, so there are many things we can all do…. Here’s a whole range of ideas from very small to much bigger.
~ Decorations ~
Use what you already have!
Already have an artificial tree? Use it as long as possible!
If you do need a few more bits, ask your family if they have spares, check out the charity shops and buy second-hand, or make your own…
Create your own decorations
**Start now** save your waste paper, cans, jars, loo rolls and cardboard now to use for your creations!
Look in charity shops and your local scrapstore (Orinoco in Oxford) for more resources.
There are lots of ideas online, here is one selection.
Make your own advent calendar or invest in a re-usable one
Make something unique! You may be surprised just how many ways you can make one – recycle some old card, coloured envelopes, wood or fabric – some ideas here.
~ Buying Gifts ~
Get what they need
**Start now** find out what your family and friends really need!
Consider gift vouchers or cash so you don’t give gifts that go to waste.
Quality over quantity
Resist the plastic stocking-fillers and multiple cheap gifts – try to focus your spending into fewer, higher-quality items that will last.
For kids who have everything – try a “one-gift” policy, or a family “Secret Santa” buying one thing each.
Not very crafty? Try home made things from your kitchen: jams and marmalade, sauces and dips, pesto, oils with added herbs, vegan parmesan, baking mixes, chocolate, or home-made cosmetics.
Try swapping things you no longer need for things you do with friends, neighbours, or at a community swap shop such as this one for children’s toys and books in Florence Park, 1st Dec.
Gift zero-waste to inspire your friends
Re-usable cups and water bottles, bars of soap and shampoo, cleaning products, plant cuttings… You can even support environmental charities when you buy them e.g. Surfers Against Sewage.
Avoid “things” altogether – gift experiences instead
Your loved ones might appreciate theatre tickets, arts or cookery courses, repair courses, getting out into nature, or other experiences. There are lots of options in Oxford.
Consider sponsorship for a tree or animal via environmental charities.
Avoid excessive packaging – you could pack smaller items into your own reusable or recycled wrapping – selection boxes are a great example.
Support environmental charities – e.g. Sustrans sell lots of cycling items in their online store.
**Start now** Think about what you really need and let your friends and family know – they’ll appreciate the ideas, and you’ll get less of things you didn’t need!
Don’t need/want anything? Request “no gifts”
Tell people you’re trying to be greener!
You could ask for donations to a good cause as an alternative.
~ Wrapping ~
Invest in some fabric for family gifts – tie it with string, ribbons or rubber bands (or tie it up as a furoshiki), and re-use it year after year.
Heather says…. My mum made lots of different sized pieces and all our presents would be wrapped in material and held together with ribbons, rubber bands and safety pins (all re-usable!) It is the only Christmas wrapping that I remember having!
Freya says… I sewed bags for presents some years ago and my friends are still using them, for example, as sponge bag, or as produce bags for zero-waste shopping.
Save brown paper bags, newspapers, magazines and calendars
Newspaper picture pages make particularly good eco-wrapping, but any pages will do!
Spruce it up with some foraged items
Prepare for next year
Keep those pretty cards to make gift tags, advent calendars and other decorations
Save your used wrapping paper instead of throwing it away – use it for decorations next year or just use it again (no one will even notice!)
~ Tableware ~
Use the tableware you already have
Think before you buy those tempting Christmas plates, tea towels, table covers that will sit in the cupboard for 11 months of the year.
Consider renting if you need extra glasses/tableware
Avoid single-use plastic for your large gatherings
“Don’t forget that the invertebrates that keep your garden healthy need somewhere to shelter for the winter. But they surely don’t need all those leaves that have fallen on the paths, lawns, patios. So if you need the kit to sweep them up, you could borrow one or other of our leaf-blowers. Or you could even go back to basics with one of our rakes. But either way, leave some leaf litter for the creepy-crawlies, do.”
As you’ll know if you’re a regular borrower, we moved into our new, larger space in Makespace a couple of months ago. This has increased our storage space to expand our collection, and given us more comfortable work space, and we’re settling in nicely.
Our new neighbour, using our old space, is Paint Buzz, run by Mary Zacaroli. They’ll be opening at the same times as the Library, so next time you’re nearby, why not drop in and say hello to us both!
Like our repair cafes, Paint Buzz can also help you reduce waste: bring new life to some tired old furniture with their upcycling workshops, run for individuals and organisations. They are also selling Frenchic eco-friendly furniture paint and finishes to help you upcycle.