About Us
💡

About Us

Mission & vision

The Thing Library is a space where Londoners access equipment and training to share, repair, create and learn together.

Our vision is to reduce waste and facilitate skill-sharing among community members to build resilience and belonging.

What is a Thing Library?

Just like a library is a place where you can borrow books, a Thing Library (also known as a library of things or a tool library) is a place where you can borrow things.

Thing libraries have been around for many years, and there are hundreds of them around the world, including in Toronto, Guelph, and Kitchener-Waterloo.

In April 2022, a not-for-profit Thing Library opened in London, Ontario, located downtown at 206 Piccadilly St.

Why a Thing Library?

The sharing of tools and other household items allows community members to borrow from a large inventory of items to use at home. This pooling of resources benefits the environment through saving energy, natural resources, storage space and money. At the same time giving equitable access to these items to those who would not have another means of affording them.

The Library concept promotes a circular economy, moving from the traditional “take-make-waste” approach of buying unnecessary items to an interconnected community ecosystem that provides a support network for small homes, food preparation, and garden projects.

When did the Thing Library open?

The London Thing Library launched in April 2022. We are currently accepting donations – see our

page to donate. We began lending with over 350 things available for loan, with the intention of increasing our inventory to 500 things by the end of 2022.

What kinds of "things" will the library offer?

Most of the things we offer fall into the following categories::

  • Food Processing Tools
  • Garden Tools
  • Tools for DIY and Repairs
  • Important, but less frequently used, household items, such as outdoor gear and arts and crafts equipment
  • Low waste community event items such as cutlery, serving plates and coffee makers.

Who is the Thing Library for?

The London Thing Library is for anyone who is looking to reclaim space in their home, save money on expensive equipment, generate less waste and be a part of this community.

If any of these ideas resonate with you, the London Thing Library is for you!

The London Thing Library is perfect for the weekend warrior looking to tackle projects around the house. It is perfect for the prepper, with lots of food storage equipment to store fresh foods for longer. It is perfect for the gardener whether you need an extra shovel or equipment to turn your bounty into jam or pickles. With workshops and events, you can learn about things that interest you and borrow the things you'll need to see them through. Whatever your hobby is, the London Thing Library is here to support you!

We also strive to support those who lack access to home equipment that other Londoners may take for granted. The London Thing Library helps eliminate barriers to accessing equipment that may be too expensive, heavy or large, by allowing people to borrow it as needed.

Where is the Thing Library located?

The London Thing Library is housed in the same building as Reimagine Co's package-free grocery store at 206 Piccadilly Street in downtown London, Ontario.

You can browse and reserve our inventory of things online and pick them up during store opening hours.

How does it work?

For a monthly membership fee, you will be able to borrow several things at once, for up to a week at a time. There is a reduced rate for those on a low income.

The Thing Library's lending function will be paired with training workshops for all skill levels, repair café events, and other events and programs that facilitate skill-sharing among community members to build resilience and belonging.

Who is running the Thing Library?

The Thing Library is operated by the Reimagine Institute for Community Sustainability (known as Reimagine Institute or RICS for short), which is a federal not-for-profit.

The Thing Library is the result of a partnership between Reimagine and Thames Region Ecological Association, with support from the City of London, Libro Credit Union, London Community Foundation, SSHRC, Westminster College Foundation, Tuckey Home Hardware, the Signal Boost Initiative and the Government of Canada.

The Thing Library relies on grants and sponsorships from $1,000 upwards to support our work in these early days, and intend to be fully self-sufficient in 3-5 years. We are in conversations with other potential partners, sponsors and funders. If your organization would be interested in sponsoring or partnering with us, please email info@thinglibrary.ca

About Reimagine

The Reimagine Institute for Community Sustainability is a federally incorporated not-for-profit whose goals include:

  • Developing and operating programs promoting the protection and preservation of the environment through re-use, reduction, recycling and recovery of waste
  • Operating Thing Library, Repair Cafés and related programs in order to preserve household items and to keep them from disposal in landfill
  • Educating the public on the subjects of reducing waste, reusable and refillable alternatives to single-use products, supporting composting, and living more sustainably

Reimagine Co is a social enterprise that works closely alongside Reimagine Institute and operates a package-free grocery out of the same building as the Thing Library. Learn more about Reimagine Co:

About Thames Region Ecological Association (TREA)

TREA’s main goal is to educate its members and community to protect the environment, stay informed and take personal action. We also have an entrepreneurial streak given that TREA encourages citizen participation and innovative projects from and for the community.

Much of TREA’s work is one-on-one to help mentor citizens over barriers toward sustainable behaviours through more informed decisions. TREA supports new community leaders, and their innovative projects from and for the community, and TREA moves forward collaborative efforts to bring about change. This has included activities such as workshops, curricula, measurable projects, conferences, outreach, training, position statements, and public policy.

TREA projects support TREA’s strategic goals of increasing waste diversion, active transportation and reducing fossil fuel usage. TREA has been a pioneer in the community and looks forward to continuing a leadership role. Most of TREA’s work is done by volunteers. TREA funds its activities and operations primarily through membership fees, partnership projects, grants and donations.

Learn more about TREA here:

How can I get involved?

  • Memberships are now open! Visit the
    🖋️
    Membership
    page to learn more about how to become a member.
  • If you have any things that you would like to donate to the Thing Library, please visit our
    🛠️
    Donate Things, Funds or Time
    page.
  • If your company or organization is interested in sponsoring, donating to or partnering with the Thing Library, please email info@thinglibrary.ca
  • If you would like to volunteer, donate to or become a member of the Thing Library, visit the
    🛠️
    Donate Things, Funds or Time
    page. Or Join our Mailing List on the
    ☎️
    Contact Us
    page to be the first to hear about any developments and new opportunities.
  • Follow Reimagine Co on Facebook or Instagram for news and updates

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