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MPL Launches “Library of Things” and Seed Library

MONTCLAIR, NJ (April 24, 2023) — Books, magazines, and movies may be the conventional offerings of a public library, but starting today, the Montclair Public Library will lend a variety of other useful and recreational objects as part of its new “Library of Things.”

“We are always looking for ways to be a better library,” says Library Director Janet Torsney. “Beyond books, there’s a whole world of things we can lend out to our community! Special thanks to Bellevue Avenue Branch Manager Kristen Comeaux and Head of Borrower Services Tom Hoesly for their hard work getting these new collections started.”

The list of “things” offered will expand as donations and funding allow. Currently two dozen objects are available for borrowing, including:

  • mini bass and amplifier
  • ukulele starter kit
  • speaker and microphone
  • cassette to CD converter
  • video to digital converter
  • telescope and microscope
  • robot kit
  • board games
  • bedazzler

To see the full list and place a reservation, visit montclairlibrary.org/borrow/things or call 973-744-0500 ext. 2232. Borrowers must present a Montclair Public Library card at the designated pickup location (Main Library or Bellevue Avenue Branch). Only one thing per library card may be borrowed at a time, and the loan period varies per thing. Late fees and replacement costs for damaged things apply.

In addition to the Library of Things, MPL launched a Seed Library in March that offers a variety of free seed packets to anyone, no library card required. The Seed Library focuses on plants that are native, pollinator-friendly, and/or edible, with the goals of fostering resilience, preventing hunger, and promoting nutrition in the community. To see a list of available seeds, which are currently available at the Bellevue Avenue Branch only, visit montclairlibrary.org/borrow/seeds or call 973-744-0500 ext. 2283.

The Library of Things and Seed Library add to a nationwide trend of circulating non-traditional items, expanding the role of libraries as community hubs and spaces for sharing. For several years now, MPL has offered other non-traditional items such as Wi-Fi hotspots, Chromebooks, Kindles, museum passes, and activity kits for senior citizens.

The Library of Things is supported by the Montclair Public Library Foundation. The Seed Library is funded by Friends of the Bellevue Avenue Library and includes seed donations by Hudson Valley Seed Company.

About the Montclair Public Library
Founded in 1893, the Montclair Public Library serves the residents of Montclair, New Jersey. It has two facilities: the Main Library at 50 S. Fullerton Avenue and the Bellevue Avenue Branch at 185 Bellevue Avenue. The Library has been changing lives every day for over 125 years through words, ideas, and community building by providing unlimited opportunities for lifelong learning, discovery, and community engagement. Visit montclairlibrary.org for more information.

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The Library will be closed on Monday, May 27 in observance of Memorial Day.

The elevator at the Main Library is out of service until further notice. Staff can retrieve materials for patrons from the 2nd and 3rd floors if needed.