Share this project

Done

Share this project

Done
Help Library of Things open a flagship store in South London that gives people access to useful items, so they don't need to buy them.
248 backers pledged £14,485 to help bring this project to life.

About

Library of Things: Bringing borrowing shops to the UK | #LoT project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
sound

£14,485

248

In a nutshell...

Library of Things is a local space where people can borrow useful items whenever they need them - a power drill, a barbecue or a suitcase for example. This saves people money and brings people together in a friendly place close to where they live. 

We want to bring a Library of Things to every community in the UK, to make the sharing economy a reality for ordinary people.

The organisation has been recognised by Ben and Jerry's 'Join Our Core' 2015 as one of Europe's top 25 social enterprises, and has already attracted press attention from across the world:

What's the need?

We met Mo when we ran our first Library of Things in a public library last year. Mo was a pensioner from an estate nearby who liked gardening, DIY and telling us stories about his childhood.

Each week, Mo would come in to borrow one of our items - one week a strimmer, then garden shears and and the next week, a power washer. 

He had a small garden that he loved tending to but was sick and tired of heading to his local garden centre, forced to buy something he was only going to use once or twice a year. 

The mad thing about this was that people on Mo's road did have tools - tools in almost perfect condition, sitting under-used and gathering dust in their sheds and garages. 

The solution?

Library of Things is a vibrant space in your community that lends out essential items at affordable prices and enables its members to:

1.  Access useful items that they don't want, or are unable, to buy.

2.  Lead clutter-free lives and still access the things they need to run their lives, homes and communities.

3.  Save a whole lot of under-loved, but useful, things from being sent to landfill.

Our story

Last summer, friends Bex, James and Emma transformed an unused community room in a public library into a lively space, with help from local volunteers.

We were open just one day a week for ten weeks, but around 1000 people came through our doors!

Over 100 people donated an item of their own to our collection - and 1 in 3 came back to borrow something.

Building Library of Things 1.0
Building Library of Things 1.0

On the 11th week, we came back to tidy up - only to find a queue of locals asking where we’d gone. 

Queues formed elsewhere too: our inbox quickly filled with emails from people in Essex, Dudley, Cardiff, Frome, Edinburgh, Melbourne, California… all wanting to open their own Library of Things.

Frome has even raced ahead and managed to open Share: A Library of Things with support from the local council. We doff our caps to them for getting lending trending.

What's next?

We want to bring a Library of Things to every high street in the UK, to make the sharing economy a reality for ordinary people. 

To do that, we're creating a social franchise - to help communities open their own Library of Things with low costs and risks. 

But first things first: we need a flagship store. And we've earmarked Lambeth in South London as the perfect spot. It has a vibrant community and is also the place we call home.

Where's the £12,000 going? 

We've worked out we need to raise £12,000 to build and run a Library of Things flagship for 6 months. 

Our main financial strategy is to beg, borrow and share resources wherever possible, keeping our spends low and involving the community in every stage of the build.

With £12,000, we'll be able to afford:

The 3 founding directors will volunteer their time, and will recruit a few handy helpers to keep the place running for our first year - we're budgeting a small amount to keep them fed, watered and to cover their travel costs. In time, we hope we'll be in a position to hire a Store Manager.

We've incorporated Library of Things as a non-profit company, but that doesn't mean we won't be earning any money. We've crunched some numbers: with low membership fees, late fees and skills workshops, we can cover our running costs and break even in our third year.

The Team

Bex, James & Emma
Bex, James & Emma

Rebecca 'Bex' Trevalyan, Operations Director

Rebecca (or Bex) is Community Activator at co-working space start-up, Impact Hub Brixton. She spends her days connecting people, organising events and doing all of the hands-on tasks that a start-up requires. Bex is able to leverage her networks (and her endless pool of energy) to make stuff happen on the ground.

She holds an MA in Leadership for Sustainable Development from Forum for the Future and a BA in Modern Languages from the University of Cambridge.

James Tattersfield, Marketing Director

James is interested in how socially orientated organisations can successfully scale their ventures and generate mass social change. A firm believer in human-centred design and co-creating change with the general public, during the week James works as a Digital Producer at award winning social enterprise, Latimer Group.

He holds an MA in Economic History from the University of Edinburgh.

Emma Shaw, Financial Director

Emma is Strategy Analyst at Future Cities Catapult, where she is regularly called on to advise the executive team. Well-versed in sustainability, cities, enterprise and leadership, Emma is able to make the numbers work - as well as the social impact.

She holds an MA in Leadership for Sustainable Development from Forum for the Future and a BA in Natural Sciences from the University of Cambridge.

Risks and challenges

Risk #1 : Health and safety issues around items

Mitigation:
We have reached out to lawyers and insurers to help us design an insurance package that will give us some protection. We will be stringent about testing all items for safety on a regular basis.

Risk #2 : Items get lost or damaged

Mitigation:
We are designing a registration process that incentivises careful use of items. We have reached out to insurers to design a package based on projected non-return rates.

Risk #3 : Everything costs more than we expect

Mitigation:
We ran a pilot on a shoestring budget and managed to establish a successful retail space. If costs are higher than expected we will inject capital into the project using a match-funding investment initiative.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge £10 or more About US$ 13

    Lend a hand

    + 2 months free membership of Library of Things
    + An invitation to the official Library of Things Launch Party
    + Our undying gratitude and a place in history as a founding member of Library of Things

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    118 backers
    £
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  2. Select this reward

    Pledge £25 or more About US$ 32

    Get branded

    + 2 months free membership of Library of Things
    + A Library of Things branded T-shirt (available in all sizes)
    + An invitation to the official Library of Things Launch Party

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    64 backers
    £
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  3. Select this reward

    Pledge £50 or more About US$ 64

    Make a tool of yourself

    + 2 months free membership of Library of Things
    + Your name & photo stamped on a Thing of your choice (e.g. electric drill, sports racquet, toolbox) and add a personalised message to future borrowers
    + An invitation to the official Library of Things Launch Party

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    16 backers
    £
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  4. Select this reward

    Pledge £100 or more About US$ 127

    Get the skills: DIY

    + 3 months free membership of Library of Things
    + A masterclass with one of our Tool Ninjas: learn to create shelves or planters from wooden pallets
    + An invitation to the official Library of Things Launch Party

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Limited 5 backers
    £
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  5. Select this reward

    Pledge £100 or more About US$ 127

    Get the skills: Sewing

    + 3 months free membership of Library of Things
    + A masterclass with our top Sewing Ninja, Robyn Parker, from Archie Mac London: make your own cushion covers and / or tote bags
    + An invitation to the official Library of Things Launch Party

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Limited 0 backers
    £
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  6. Select this reward

    Pledge £100 or more About US$ 127

    Get the skills: Bread-making

    + 3 months free membership of Library of Things
    + A masterclass with our top cordon bleu-trained Baking Ninja: craft Bake Off worthy fare to share with your neighbours
    + An invitation to the official Library of Things Launch Party

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Limited 2 backers
    £
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  7. Select this reward

    Pledge £250 or more About US$ 318

    Make your mark

    + 6 months free membership of Library of Things
    + Your name & photo embossed on a premium Thing of your choice (e.g. sewing machine, power washer, road bike) and add a personalised message to future borrowers
    + An invitation to the official Library of Things Launch Party

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    0 backers
    £
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  8. Select this reward

    Pledge £500 or more About US$ 636

    Learn the ropes

    + A workshop with the founders on how to set up your own Library of Things
    + An invitation to the official Library of Things Launch Party

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Limited 0 backers
    £
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  9. Select this reward

    Pledge £1,000 or more About US$ 1,271

    Get VIP treatment

    + A special feast prepared for you by the Library of Things founders - listen to them tell the story of the highs and lows of making Library of Things a reality
    + An exclusive tour of Library of Things and the area
    + An invitation to the official Library of Things Launch Party

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    0 backers
    £
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  10. Select this reward

    Pledge £2,500 or more About US$ 3,178

    Silver Sponsor

    + Show your organisation's support for an exciting new social enterprise right at its inception, by sponsoring the Library of Things flagship store
    + Your name and logo will appear as 'Silver Sponsor' on our marketing material
    + An exclusive tour of Library of Things and the area
    + An invitation to the official Library of Things Launch Party

    We are looking for organisations that share our values, in order to build a partnership that works for both of us - so please get in touch before choosing this option

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Limited 1 backer
    £
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  11. Reward no longer available

    Pledge £5,000 or more About US$ 6,357

    Gold Sponsor

    + Show your organisation's support for an exciting new social enterprise right at its inception, by sponsoring the Library of Things flagship store
    + Your name and logo will appear as 'Gold Sponsor' on our marketing material
    + Guest speaker slot at our Launch Party
    + Sharing economy workshop from the founders for you and your organisation
    + Exclusive tour of Library of Things and the area
    + An invitation to the official Library of Things Launch Party

    We are looking for organisations that share our values, in order to build a partnership that works for both of us - so please get in touch before choosing this option

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Reward no longer available 1 backer
    £
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  12. Select this reward

    Pledge £5,000 or more About US$ 6,357

    Chief Sharing Officer

    + Parachute into an exciting new social enterprise just as it's taking off
    + Work alongside the founding team to get first-hand experience at the frontline of the sharing economy
    + Develop a full range of skills, from financial and business planning, through to community engagement, social impact measurement and even a spot of DIY
    + Help shape the direction of an early-stage start-up
    + Become a master of the lean approach
    + An invitation to the official Library of Things Launch Party

    Duration of programme to be determined according to your needs

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Limited 0 backers
    £
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  13. Select this reward

    Pledge £5,000 or more About US$ 6,357

    The Tool de Force

    + Become one of the founding investors of this innovative new enterprise right at the forefront of the UK's emerging sharing economy
    + See Libraries of Things rolled out across the UK knowing you helped us get there!
    + Your name & photo will take pride of place on our Wall of Tools, as one of The Tools de Force
    + A Guest of Honour invitation to the official Library of Things Launch Party
    + Special Library of Things trophy presented to you at the awards ceremony
    + Exclusive tour of Library of Things and the area

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Limited 0 backers
    £
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (30 days)