Library of Things

Oak Park’s Library of Things is our response to your requests for nontraditional library items.

Library of Things wall display

Fully funded by a generous gift to the library from former Head Librarian and beloved Oak Parker Barbara Ballinger, Oak Park cardholders ages 18+ can browse all items in the catalog here or search by category:

  • 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.