Butchers and Books

The Wall Street Journal has a front page story, January 7, 2013, "Check These Out at the Library: Blacksmithing, Bowling, Butchering To Draw Crowds, Some Facilities Offer Much More Than Books; Expanding the Tool Selection." by Owen Fletcher. Public libraries have long served as gathering places and offered a range of nonliterary programs. And those who predicted their demise "have been proved wrong," says historian Wayne Wiegand, emeritus professor of library and information studies at Florida State University. Community-focused activities at libraries aren't new developments, he says, but rather "repetitions of what happened in the past." Librarians say they are increasing the number and variety of programs they offer—and people seem to be responding. Attendance at public library programs rose 29% from 2004 to 2010, as overall visits to libraries also rose, according to the most recent survey by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Read more about it at: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324677204578187901423347828.html?mod=WSJ_hp_EditorsPicks


In regards to this story mentioning people checking out tools in a library. I saw a TED talk that as part of the talk they mentioned that the average consumer power drill is used for a total of 15 minutes in it's lifetime.

Just think of the waste. A drill designed and built to be used for years is used for 15 minutes. Because what people really need is a hole not a drill.

If libraries are not loaning tools I think that many cities would benefit from some organization in town loaning tools.

Atlantic Wire piece that links to and discusses the WSJ article.

Ask a Librarian About the Odd Things Happening at Libraries

That is a very interesting piece of information that I am bound to use in the future.

And libraries lending out different things are great. But as with many things that's great but in some places there wouldn't be the possibility of doing anything but the basics in libraries due to circumstances/legalities/responsibilities/costs etc. I've seen some where even toy libraries collapse after a while due to damage and loss and a lack of ability to replace the collection.
But for some it would be an amazing thing to provide and would be possible and heavily used.

Sounds more like something local councils or charities would be well situated to offer rather than Libraries though.

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