NOTE: The IsLenders Library was folded into Buy Nothing Bainbridge and the Buy Nothing Project, where the idea first used here has been used to create person-to-person lending libraries all over the world. You can still access a lending library using this model – Join your local Buy Nothing Project group, start your own group, or read The Buy Nothing, Get Everything Plan to incorporate lending and borrowing into your daily life with ease.
We have edited this website to leave the description and a couple of sample posts as an example of how this model works. If you start your own, please leave us a comment to let us know how it goes! – Liesl Clark & Rebecca Rockefeller, March 2020
Do you have gear taking up space in your pantry, closets, or garage? A food dehydrator you use twice a year, or an electric hedge trimmer that is fired up once a summer? Ever wish you could borrow an ice cream maker for a back yard picnic, or a drain snake for the evening?
We’ve created the IsLenders Library so that local Lenders and Borrowers can unite to put our collective stuff to good use.
Here’s how it works:
Lenders: Lend what you have and be happy knowing it’s being put to use, helping someone out. It also prevents the unnecessary manufacturing of yet another item that will eventually enter our waste streams.
Know that your item will be used by the person who checks it out, and it might undergo some wear and tear. If you’re okay with that, then this IsLender’s library is for you!
We’ll help you create your own personal library collection page where you can list the items you have to lend, and Borrowers will be able to post in the comments section to let you know they’re interested in using something. You can add or remove items from your collection as you see fit, and you get to determine the due date for each item you loan out. You can choose whether or not to loan to any particular person as you see fit, and you can also limit the loan of your items to those you know personally, people with a recommendation from a friend, or to anyone – You make the call about about who can borrow your stuff.
When you’re ready to loan an item out, send the due date and directions to your pick-up location to the Borrower, set the item out, then look forward to its return by the date you’ve selected.
Borrowers: Post a comment to a Lender’s page if they have something you’d like to use. If the item is still available, you’re responsible for picking it up, using it in a respectful and mindful way, and returning it by the Lender’s due date clean and in working order.
If something catastrophic happens to damage the item, we hope you’ll let your conscience be your guide, leading you to find a way to make it right with the Lender – The same sort of remedy you’d offer if you had borrowed the item from a dear friend.
You can use the search box at the top of each page to enter in the name of any item you’d like to borrow, click on a word in the cloud in our right margin of our home page, or simply scroll down to view each collection.
If you can’t find the item you’re looking to borrow in our collections, please post it to the comments area of our Wish List page. With a bit of luck, one of your island neighbors will have one they’d like to lend.
Everyone: Loan things only if you’re comfortable with the fact that there will be regular wear and tear. Borrow things only if you’re ready to be responsible for using them as if they were your own, returning them on time in good working order.
We make no claims as to the quality of the items being loaned or the trustworthiness of the people lending and borrowing. You participate at your own risk. Yes, it is entirely possible that someone will run off with your item. We don’t believe that’s likely to happen, but it well could. There is always a risk when you share with others. The more we borrow from each other, the more we’ll get to know each other, the more we’ll trust each other, the more we’ll be connected to each other. There is risk here, yes, but there is benefit, as well.
Don’t forget that you also risk feeling better and better with each item you share. Participating in a gift economy such as this will strengthen your personal connections to your neighbors and will bring you joy as your sense of true wealth grows.
Get Started: Contact us via a comment below to share your own collection of items. If you’re looking to borrow, peruse our Collections and leave a comment when you see something you’d like to check out from a neighbor.