Podcast: Library of Things

| Anna Eaton

We are excited that this summer, the team behind social enterprise Library of Things have released their own podcast sharing stories from their borrowers and volunteers. The Library of Things is a space in South London where you can go to borrow useful items and learn how to use them. Instead of buying and storing drills, sewing machines, carpet cleaners and more, you can borrow them at affordable prices when you need them. The first two episodes of their podcast series are available to listen to now.

We’re big fans of Library of Things here at the Ideas Alliance. We’ve previously featured their video and interviewed team member Rebecca Trevalyan to get the low down on how they started and what they are about.

What’s the podcast about?

Their new podcast tells more of their story from the people involved in the project. Produced by Maria Passingham, the four weekly episodes and accompanying bonus features look at the impact Library of Things has had on the community, the people that have come to borrow, and how the enterprise might develop in the future.

What is clear is that Library of Things has become much more than a community borrowing space. They are currently homed in two bright blue shipping containers “tucked away in a corner of West Norwood” and as Maria explains:

These industrial shipping containers are being transformed into spaces from which the community is benefiting in a way that no one really foresaw.

The series explores how Library of Things is connecting local people and helping to tackle loneliness. It features stories and reflections from members of the team and community borrowers about the impact it has had on them.

Future episodes look at the environmental impact Library of Things is having on the neighbourhood. You can learn about their living roof on top of one of the Library’s shipping containers. It was installed by the London Wildlife Trust to attract bees to its wildflowers, reduce local flood risk, and provide a talking point for local people young and old with its colourful periscope.

More than a transaction

The wonderfully uplifting, local experiences told through the podcast highlight the power of social interactions which many of us miss or are lacking as we get stuck daily behind a screen, at home or in an office. It’s a reminder that having a nearby place to go, where you feel welcome, is something to be cherished.

It’s about going into a space where you’re not just seen as a transaction.

The episodes are around 8 minutes long making them perfect to listen to on a walk to the shops or during your lunch break. I very much enjoyed listening to the first instalment over a cup of tea. It’s a perfect snippet of inspiration and a quiet reminder of what is possible when people get together to realise a small idea that grows and grows. They are well worth a listen.

The first episodes have left me keen to know how I can set up my own neighbourhood Library of Things…

The podcast is available to listen to via the Library of Things website. You can also download and subscribe from iTunes / Apple Podcasts / Android podcast apps.

Photo provided by the Library of Things.

Share this article:

Similar articles

by Mel Parks

Grenfell Memorial Community Mosaic: Collective Power Awards

Celebrating and learning more about CHWA Awards joint winner, The Grenfell Memorial Community Mosaic, which has brought almost 1,000 local people from North Kensington together to make large scale public artworks. Co-created with individuals and local community, resident, faith and school groups under the guidance of mosaic artists Emily Fuller and Tomomi Yoshida.

Read article
by Mel Parks

2.8 Million Minds: Collective Power Awards

This blog features the 2.8 Million Minds project. Between November 2021 and May 2022, over 120 people contributed to A Manifesto for 2.8 Million Minds, a youth-led, artist-centred, and Disability Justice-informed approach to how young Londoners want to use art to begin to radically reimagine mental health support, justice and pride.

Read article
by Mel Parks

Union Chapel: Collective Power Award

Union Chapel share their experiences of their community leaders project which was shortlisted for the Collective Power Award with the Culture, Health and Wellbeing Alliance’s (CHWA) annual awards which focus on collective power (partnership and co-production), practitioner support and climate.

Read article