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Libraries helping you ditch stuff you don't need through shared economy programs

Posted at 5:30 PM, Aug 10, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-10 17:30:33-04

The hay day for libraries seems to be long gone, as electronic books and Kindles have been dominating the industry.

But now, they're making a comeback and you won’t believe how!

Uber and Air B & B can move on over, because there’s a new method in town….

"I contend that libraries invented the sharing economy," said Sari Feldman, Director of the Cuyahoga County Public Library.

Regular household items, like blenders, sewing machines, and vacuums are finding their way into special sections in libraries across the country.

“Oh it's huge,” Feldman said. “It is the trend for libraries...it’s really caught the attention of the millennials."

The trend is catching on here locally too. At the Cuyahoga County Public Library they're sharing toys.

“We have about 4 thousand developmentally appropriate toys for children...that they can take home and play with and when they come back to the library we inspect, clean them, sterilize them and get them ready for the next borrower," said Feldman.

They also offer a music studio and 3-D design printing systems for consumers like James Furcron, wanting to save some cash.

"I know that I'm saving a lot because the epilogue machine itself... Is probably about 18-20 thousand dollars," he said.

He said he uses the equipment at least twice a week for his new keychain business.

“I think it's a great idea I mean if you're not utilizing something why not allow others to. I'm really thankful to have this lab."

That's just one way locals are taking advantage of all the sharing that's going on, others are even more deeply rooted.

“People can come to the Cleveland public library and get very special seeds, organic seeds. We have all kinds of gardeners come in," said Rosemary Hoge, Librarian, at the Cleveland Public Library.

A 2014 Nielsen survey showed 68% of consumers are willing to rent or share their personal item, that in mind, is it possible we could see any toasters and vacuums in our own local libraries? 

“I'm not sure where we're headed in appliances, but I think we're definitely interested in more the sharing around content and creative, creation."

In upstate New York there's a library that shares actual garden plots for people to use in the summer and in Maine telescopes are being brought in for people to share as there's a popular sky-gazing community in that state.