The MRCPL “Library of Things” program is popular among patrons

The Mansfield-Richland County Public Library has been checking out more than books for years including videos, music CDs, audio books and hundreds of magazines.

But recently, since COVID-19 restrictions were lifted, the main library has been seen an increase in the number of patrons who borrow everything from various cake and muffin pans, power tools, sewing machines and telescopes, to musical instruments and more in the “Library of Things” program.

The “Library of Things” can be found in the media room on the second floor of the main library at 43 W. Third St.

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Librarian Allison Howell and library employee Kevin Kellenberger, who is studying to become a librarian at Kent State University, said patrons with library cards have been enjoying borrowing such items as WiFi hot spots, Rokus, vinyl records, Launch Pads (similar to preloaded Kindles) and more.

Power tools are available for borrowing at the Mansfield-Richland County Public Library Main Branch.

100 wi-fi hotspot devices available

“There’s 100 wi-fi hot spots (devices) and they’re always all checked out,” he said of the device enabling people to have internet access to their computers at home or to take on vacation.

Some items require a signed borrowers agreement, like power tools. Borrowers must be age 18 and older for some items such as tools and telescopes.

The library is also working to get microscopes, STEM interactive toys, Kellenberger said.

The list of items in the “Library of Things” includes giant, over-sized Connect Four and portable cornhole games.

There’s binoculars, cake pans including a Spider Man and Elmo, board games, jigsaw puzzles and more at the library to borrow.

A variety of baking pans can be borrowed from the Mansfield-Richland County Public Library's

Tools include an air compressor, leaf blower and more.

Howell said the tools and cake pans in particular are a great help to someone who is using them just for one time and don’t really want to purchase such items.

“There’s board games for all ages,” Howell said, including such favorites as Escape Room, Pandemic, Outfoxed and Trash Pandas, the latter a board game with raccoons in garbage cans, and traditional favorites such as Monopoly and Candy Land.

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