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'Library of Things' aims to get islanders to borrow not buy

'Library of Things' aims to get islanders to borrow not buy

Tuesday 06 June 2023

'Library of Things' aims to get islanders to borrow not buy

Tuesday 06 June 2023


There are hopes that Jersey could get it's very own 'Library of Things' – an initiative which aims to reduce waste and increase affordability by encouraging people to borrow rather than buy items they only need occasionally.

Following a visit to the 'Borrow Don't Buy' Library of Things in Plymouth, Grouville Repair Café founder Jennifer Bridge said that she planned "to research if there is an appetite for this in Jersey".

The Plymouth Library of Things – which boasts over 700 'things' – describes itself as "like a normal library, but with things instead of books!"

The website explains: "Perhaps you’re doing some DIY and need a drill? Having friends over and want a projector to watch a film on? Fancy a spot of camping and need equipment? These are just a few of the things you can find at Borrow Don’t Buy!"

Jennifer said: "I am now going to research if there is an appetite for this in Jersey. This could be ideal for those living in apartments in town with very limited storage."

Jennifer, a former St. Helier Deputy, explained that a Jersey Library of Things would focus on "inclusivity".

She said: "I would like it up be in St. Helier to service the needs particularly of people in flats and those without transport. The key point being inclusivity."

Going forward, Jennifer said that she is hoping to meet with a number of organisations who could help make the Jersey Library of Things a reality – including Jersey Development Company, the Parish of St Helier, Andium, Jersey Library and others.

She explained: "I will be pulling ideas together over the coming months and arranging meetings. Ideally, I’d like to partner with an organisation such as Acorn as they have the skills to check electrical items which would be a key component before lending them out."

"I learnt a fun fact today from Simon Finch – the average drill is used for 13 minutes in its lifetime!" added Jennifer.

Commenting on Twitter, St Helier South Deputy Sam Mézec praised the Library of Things as "really good idea".

"This is something I would like to see in town," the Reform Jersey leader added. "Lots of people living in flats without much storage, or money to buy items that they only need for a very rare odd job."

At the end of last year, the Government committed to develop a plan to make Jersey a ‘sharing and repairing' economy to reduce the amount of waste the island creates.

As part of a set of ‘Ministerial Plans’, Infrastructure Minister Tom Binet committed to work on a strategy to create a 'circular economy' to help "deliver against wider environmental and carbon reduction aims".

Elis Joudalova – who brought the OLIO app, which lets people share out-of-date or surplus food, to Jersey – also used the example of a screwdriver when explaining how crucial sharing is in a circular economy.

“Take the simple example of a screwdriver,” she said. “Lots of households have a screwdriver which is only used occasionally. With the circular economy, a community would share that screwdriver so only one would need to be manufactured."

Pictured top: The Morden 'Library of Things' in London. (Seb Rojas)

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