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Check Out a Food Dehydrator or a Ukelele From the Niles Library

Niles District Library


In a day and age when libraries are as much about computer access, music and movies as they are about books, The Niles District Library has gone a step further with a library of things.


In the basement of the Niles District Library the ‘library of things’ takes up about two rows of shelves.

Library Director Nancy Studebaker says they check out about 40 things a month. “We expect it to just grow.”

The collection is kept by Sarah Skinner. She’s the manager for information and reader services at the library.


She walked through the collection which includes tools, “We have like a jigsaw available for checkout. Different kinds of mallets.”

Kitchen items. “This is our ice cream maker that is pretty popular.”

Science.“What’s called a Zoomy microscope. It’s a little kids microscope.”

They have games. A tent. Knitting needles and crochet hooks. Two sewing machines. A telescoping wheelchair ramp. A guitar. A post hole digger. And lots more. Many of the items were donated. All of them can be checked out by library members.

Studebaker said the idea behind the collection came from a trend of young people wanting to live smaller.

“It builds on that idea of a sharing economy that not everybody who needs to take wallpaper off their walls should have to go out and buy a wallpaper steamer.”

They started the collection about a year ago. It’s open to browse on Tuesdays and Saturdays. Skinner and Studebaker say they hope it grows and helps more people in the community.