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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 may years, and there are hundreds of them around the world, including in Toronto, Guelph, and Kitchener-Waterloo. Now, a Thing Library is coming to London.

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.

What kinds of "things" will the library offer?

We anticipate over time offering:

  • Food Processing Tools
  • Garden Tools
  • Hand Tools
  • Building Tools
  • 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 will the Thing Library be located?

The London Thing Library will be housed in the same building as Reimagine Co's package-free grocery store at 206 Piccadilly Street in downtown London, Ontario. You will be able to reserve tools online and pick them up during certain hours.

How will 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 will be reduced rates for students, seniors and those on a low income, as well as gifted memberships distributed through partner organizations.

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 the result of partnership between Reimagine and Thames Region Ecological Association, with support from the City of London, Libro Credit Union, London Community Foundation and SSHRC.

We are in conversations with other potential partners and funders. If your organization would be interested in sponsoring or partnering with us, please email info@thinglibrary.ca

About Reimagine

Reimagine Co is a package-free grocery store located at 206 Piccadilly Street in downtown London, Ontario. We carry over 800 items and offer a wide selection of package-free groceries as well as a refillery with home, health and beauty products.

The Reimagine Institute 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

Learn more about Reimagine Co and our package-free grocery store:

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:

When will the Thing Library launch?

We are opening the library in September of 2021. We are currently accepting donations, see our

page to donate. We intend to begin lending with a minimum of 100 things available for loan, increasing our inventory to at least 200 things by the end of 2021.

How can I get involved?

  • 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, please
    ✉️
    Join our Mailing List
    and you'll 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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