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Library of Things Collection Development and Circulation Policy


The Library of Things is a collection of non-traditional library items that complement the Cary Memorial Library’s mission to ignite curiosity, facilitate lifelong learning, and connect our community. Patrons who borrow a Thing agree to abide by the Cary Library’s Library of Things lending guidelines below.

Types of Materials Included in Collection

The purpose of the Library of Things is to provide diverse opportunities for learning and engagement. To further this goal, the Library of Things may include:

  • Home Improvement and Assistive Devices, such as a Kill-A-Watt meter and a hotspot (internet service) Music and Audiovisual Equipment, such as a portable record player, digital video camera, analog to digital conversion equipment, and musical instruments
  • Science and Technology Kits, such as a digital microscope, telescopes, simple robotics, and beginner computer programming kits
  • Crafting Tools, such as a sewing machine and a lap loom
  • Puzzles and Games, such as board games, card games, group games, and jigsaw puzzles
  • Children's Learning Kits: kits that circulate out of the Children's Room designed to promote early literacy skills such as talking, writing, playing, a critical thinking, and problem solving.

The Library of Things is not intended to be comprehensive and the library is limited by a finite amount of storage space for these items. For a full list of items available, visit Cary Library of Things.


The library staff will select materials for the Library of Things based on the needs and interests of library patrons. The library welcomes input from the community concerning the collection. A suggestion for purchase procedure enables users to request that a particular item or subject be purchased by the library. All suggestions for purchase are evaluated using the same selections criteria as for other materials and are not automatically added to the collection. The Suggest a Thing for Purchase form is available.

Due to limited storage space and the staff time necessary to evaluate, test and maintain each Thing, the library can accept only a limited number of donations. The library does not accept materials that are not outright gifts, and cannot guarantee the permanence of a gift in the collection. Materials donated to the library are received with the understanding that they are subject to the same selection, evaluation and disposal criteria as material acquired for purchase. To suggest a donation please email with a description of the Thing and your contact information.

Not all library materials may be suitable for all members of the community. Responsibility for a child’s use of library materials, regardless of format or content, lies with the parent or guardian, not with the library.

Due to the nature of the items contained in the Library of Things, these items will not be shared via delivery with the other libraries in the Minuteman Library Network. All library patrons are required to check out and return Library of Things items to the Main Desk and Children’s Learning Kits to the Children’s Room at the Cary Library in Lexington, MA.

Evaluation of Collections

The library will use circulation data and community suggestions to guide future selections for the Library of Things collection. Items that are not popular and do not circulate will be withdrawn from library collections according to the Collection Maintenance portion of the Collection Development Policy.

Library's Use of Things

The library reserves the right to take a Thing out of circulation temporarily to use for library purposes (workshops, demonstrations, or other programs), or to repair a damaged item.


Policy Approved by Library Board of Trustees — 12/7/2016
Last Updated — 1/8/2020

Library of Things Guidelines for Borrowing and Use 
Library of Things Lending Agreement