ShareFest 2019: What we learnt

Maurice, Alex and Heather attended the first gathering for established tool libraries and libraries of things in the UK – ShareFest 2019. We had a great day meeting people from every corner of the UK and sharing our ideas and experiences about how we work in our communities to bring people together to promote sharing, reduce waste, and save money.  

Getting a tour of the Crystal Palace Library of Things
Photo: Alex Mates

Here’s our three takeaways from the day:

  1. There’s no right or wrong way to run a Library of Things – we all have different business models, locations, software, promotions, staffing arrangements – but we are all joined by a common passion for promoting a sharing economy and reducing waste in our communities.

  2. The people who work in Libraries of Things are passionate, interesting and come from many different backgrounds – there was a real diversity of skills and backgrounds but a united passion and enthusiasm. And after a name game – we all demonstrated our impressive memory and learnt each others’ names without name tags!

  3. We have great optimism for what the movement of Library of Things could grow into – we are just the start – the first 11 libraries that could soon be just some of hundreds!

The other libraries are both just like us, and so different as well and we look forward to working with the other eleven libraries from:

A huge thank you to the London Library of Things for hosting, to B&Q for sponsoring the event (and bringing all the libraries a £100 voucher to spend – we look forward to thinking about what we’ll use this for!), to Eden Project Communities for being our Network partner and facilitating the day for us, and to Neal from Belfast Tool Library for capturing some great photos of the day.

We look forward to keeping in touch, developing the next steps together, and growing our movement!