How the Library of Things Works
You can browse the inventory without joining, and if you’d like to hire something, here’s how it works:
- On the inventory page, just above the item lists you’ll see two links on the right hand side.
- Click the link to ‘Create Account’
- Choose pay-as-you go or pay-monthly supporter membership (which really helps us!).
- Confirm your email address.
- Browse the inventory whilst logged in and choose what you want to borrow by clicking reserve.
- Select the time & date that work for you and pickup or delivery (minimum of 48hr notice for delivery and you’ll need to add a card to your account to be charged on courier pickup).
- This adds the item to your cart at the top bar. Click the cart icon and select cart from drop down.
- Check the dates and items are correct and add any extra information to the notes for us.
- Click ‘Submit reservation’ to finalise.
- That’s it! You’ll be emailed details of your reservation and we’ll know to get it ready for you.
Need to cancel? That’s fine, plans change! Please remember to go into your account to cancel your reservation. This lets us know we don’t need to spend time to get the item(s) ready for you, and frees it up for other borrowers.
- Visit the Library at any time during opening hours on your reservation date.
- If it’s a popular item (e.g carpet cleaner, gazebos, Apple pressing kit, beach wagon), we ask that you pick-up later in the day and return as early as possible. This helps gives us time to get the items ready to go back out to the next borrower!
- If it’s your first visit, please bring proof of identity and of your address.
- A friendly volunteer will get your Thing for you and explain any extra details about it you need to know.
- Pay by card or cash in person, or we can charge to a card if you have one added to your account.
- Take your item away and complete your project!
- Bring the Thing back with all its parts and packaging on the day it’s due back – clean and ready for the next borrower.
- Notice any damages? These things happen. Please call or email us ASAP so we can warn the next borrower.
Common Questions about Using the Library
Where is the Library of Things and when are you open ?
Please see our Contact page for our opening hours and location.
If you need to come by car, there is parking for people visiting the LoT. Note: approach from the north (Hayfield Road) as there is no access to the parking from Kingston Road or Aristotle Lane itself.
How do I pay for my items?
You pay when you come to collect your item. If you’ve stored your card on the website, we can charge that, or we accept cash or cards in person.
How long can I hire things for?
The hire period for most items is one week, and if you need longer we charge in multiples of this. If you need a long-term hire and want to discuss a special rate, please get in touch.
What if I can’t return my item on time?
If your item is not reserved, you can extend your hire by renewing it online, or asking us to renew it for you. If you fail to return your item on time there is a daily overdue charge of double the daily hire rate. Please let us know if you are having trouble getting it back to the Library on time and we will be as flexible as we can.
Will you show me how to use my item?
Our Librarians will do their best to help with questions about using the things. Please remember it’s your responsibility to use the items safely and without damaging them. We provide instructions online or on paper, and where we find useful guides and videos, we add these to the item listings. Please let us know if you find good online resources or have tips we can add to our listings to help others.
Does it come with everything I need to use it (consumables etc.)?
We aim to provide the consumables you need, such as fuel, strimmer wire, carpet cleaner tablets, a basic selection of sandpapers, saw blades and drillbits etc. Our listings will let you know what we have, and do get in touch with any questions.
Is this thing guaranteed to work?
We test everything works and is safe before hiring out. That said, things do sometimes break down. In this case we would of course apologise and refund what you have paid.
What happens if the thing breaks while I’ve borrowed it?
We, of course, ask that you only use things as intended and follow instructions. You will be liable for damages caused through misuse. However, we are aware that sometimes things just wear out or break unexpectedly. Please get in touch if something breaks an we’ll have an honest conversation about it and agree whether a contribution to wards the replacement cost is appropriate.
Where do you get the Things from?
The great majority of the items in the Library have been donated by kind individuals or organisations. A small number we have bought or acquired at Swapshops.
Do you need more Things?
We have a list of items that we are hoping to acquire at www.shareoxford.org/donate. If you have suggestions of other items that you think we should consider having, or have a better-quality version of something we already have, please let us know.
We are also always very grateful to those who choose to support us financially, as hiring fees do not cover the costs of running the Library.
Background on Libraries of Things
What is a Library of Things (LoT)?
A Library of Things is a collection of things other than books that are loaned out to members of the community, like books traditionally have been. A Library of Things might loan out kitchen appliances, tools, gardening equipment, electronics, toys and games, art, science and craft equipment, musical instruments, recreational equipment, and more – anything that you might want to have access to or the use of but not necessarily to own.The Library of Things movement is a growing trend in public, academic, and special libraries in many countries.
Do you accept financial donations?
We are very grateful for everyone who contributes financial donations to cover the cost of running SHARE Oxford.
What can I do to support SHARE Oxford?
Using the Library of Things is a great way to support us, bringing in vital hiring fees. Joining as a site supporter helps us even more with a monthly £5/£10 donation.
Donating things or funds to the library is of course a huge support.
We are dependent on all the wonderful Volunteers who deliver our services and run the charity behind the scenes.
And finally, anything you can do to spread the word makes a great difference, sharing on social media or checking in for case studies. and stories for the media.
Can you help me set up a Library of Things where I live?
We have talked to a number of people from across the country who want to set up their own Library of Things. Please get in touch and we’ll help if we can.