Library of Things

We heard you! Oak Park’s new Library of Things is our response to your requests for nontraditional library items. This new collection supports the library’s mission to share the information, services, and opportunities that fulfill Oak Park’s aspirations. It also has the potential to build capacity for literacy and education, prepare people for continuously changing technology, improve patrons’ lives through opportunities to create and learn new skills, and provide equitable access to resources.

Library of Things wall display

What Oak Park cardholders ages 18+ can borrow

All items are now available in the catalog for checkout and return—only at the Main Library. Items are grouped into four categories:

  • Do It Yourself (DIY): For creating, crafting, and home improvement. Includes a wall stud finder, laser level, electric drill, sewing machine, and embroidery machine.
  • Entertainment: For fun at gatherings and block parties as well as with individual interests and hobbies. Includes a karaoke machine, projector screen, and telescope.
  • Outdoor: For recreation and gardening. Includes tennis rackets, bocce ball game set, tiller, and utility wagon.
  • Technology: For creating and connecting with electronics. Includes laptops loaded with creative suite software, WiFi hotspots, projectors, and GoPro action cameras.

How it works

  • All checkouts and returns happen only at the Main Library Lobby service desk. Items are not available, nor are returns accepted, at branch libraries, in book drops, through the automated materials return, or in lockers.
  • Three-week checkouts, no renewals. Most items can be placed on hold (in person or online) and borrowed for up to three weeks. 
  • Fines and fees. While our library does not charge overdue fines, the library card used to check out a Library of Things item may be blocked if an item is overdue. Replacement fees for lost or damaged items are shared upon request. 

Before you check out

With each item, the Oak Park borrower must sign a paper copy of a lending agreement in person. This happens with a library staff member at the Main Library Lobby service desk. Preview the lending agreement and waiver (pdf) »

Individual item instructions

Individual item user manuals, setup instructions and/or directions (if available) can be found in the catalog as pdf files. Here’s where to look:

  1. Find the individual item in the catalog, then click on that item to open the individual item’s page;
  2. Once on that page, scroll down to see the “Links” section in the dark gray bar; and
  3. Click on the words (link) to read what you need.

Return items to Main Library Lobby staff only

Return items ONLY to a library staff member at the Main Library Lobby service desk.

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