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Need equipment? Borrow it from the Essex Library of Things!

A man and woman putting together a piece of furniture, with an electric drill beside them and a table and chairs in the background.
03 September 2021

Don’t buy – borrow!

Customers can now borrow items of household equipment from the Library Service. Tools for home repairs and decorating, kitchen appliances, tents, musical instruments, gardening tools and more are all available for hire.

The Essex Library of Things is a pilot scheme set up as part of BLUEPRINT to a Circular Economy. You can browse through a list of available items on the Love Essex website, and place a hold on any item in the collection, as you would with a book. We’ll let you know when it’s ready to pick up. There are currently five libraries from which you can collect – Chelmsford, Clacton, Great Parndon (Staple Tye in Harlow), Laindon and Witham - and the mobile libraries as well. We hope to add more libraries as the project develops.

  • It’s affordable. Instead of shelling out pounds and pounds for something you might only use over the course of one weekend, pay nothing at all. (This applies during the pilot phase; we may introduce modest charges if the project continues beyond February.)
  • It gets rid of the clutter. Because you can borrow what you want when you want it, there’s no need to keep stuff all year round.
  • It’s good for the planet. Each item gets more use, rather than lying around unwanted for much of the year. There’s far less wastage, too.
  • It's safe. Electrical items will be PAT tested before every loan.

Further details can be found in our questions and answers.

The Essex Library of Things will be reviewed at the end of February 2022, and a decision made whether to continue.

The Library Service has always been about borrowing and sharing. We look forward to sharing the Essex Library of Things with you over the coming months.