A library of things is a collection of items (not books), that can
be borrowed, used and returned to be used again. ‘Thing Libraries’ exist all over the world, some specialise in tools, others in toys, but they are all a way to put ‘things’ into the reach of more people – and they are mushrooming in our Covid world.

Hastings Library of Things, a community project supported by Heart of Hastings Community Land Trust, describe themselves as a practical community organising project, with decent eco-credentials, who plan to be hyper-inclusive, affordable and accessible. It is currently in the planning phase, with the library expecting to open this spring in 10 Claremont, a building currently being renovated by the team behind Rock House and the Observer Building. 

Once open, members will browse online, reserve and pay for their things, then collect from the library or be able to arrange delivery through Hastings Cargo Co. It will be Covid secure, and the librarians will check everything is clean, safe and ready to use every time.

The team are currently building a list of items that people in the community say they would like to borrow and asking others to donate things that they have but rarely use. So far, the wish list includes such things as a rotavator, carpet cleaner, cake stands and teacups; offers include drills, sewing machines, kids fancy dress costumes and a hedge trimmer.

Shelley Feldman, one of the organisers says: “This project is about mutual aid and community-led regeneration. There are no leaders, but there are organisers, please get in touch if you want to help.”

She points out that right now they are particularly in need of a communications person who can write press releases and act as a spokesperson. Later on they will be looking for people to help staff the library and look after the items in the library.

Hastings Library of Things has been invited to be on the panel of the Common Treasury’s Emerging Futures Sustainable Hastings event on 23rd February, so you can learn more about what they are doing and ask questions at that event. 

To ask a question, offer to help or join the mailing list contact  [email protected] 

To find out more about Sustainable Hastings, go to the Common Treasury Facebook page and to book a free ticket go to www.tinyurl.com/ihcuegtc


We hope you have enjoyed reading this article. The future of our volunteer led, non-profit publication would be far more secure with the aid of a small donation. You can also support local journalism by becoming a friend of HIP. It only takes a minute and we would be very grateful.