Conceived during lockdown, it has taken time to plan and to
find the perfect venue. But the community group behind Hastings Library of Things thinks it has struck gold by getting space in Eagle House for its project. It will open its doors on 1st August.

Spokesperson Shelley Feldman says: “Eagle House, the building opposite ESK, is perfect for us. It’s central, accessible, and the ethos of the place is very much in line with ours: it’s about people doing things for themselves. 

“While lockdown was all about making do and borrowing and sharing what we had, the Library of Things just makes that easier for members to borrow safely and to keep reusing it. Just a very positive community project to be part of.”

Eagle House as created for Hastings Commons
CREDIT: Rachel Bright

Libraries of Things (LOTS) are popping up all over the place. They have major environmental benefits, as things can be used many times and repaired before finally being disposed of. Some LOTs are linked to repair cafés that fix and mend their own things as well as members’ items. Other benefits are saving money and saving space. 

Hastings Library of Things is modelled on principles of community organising, so members are encouraged to get involved and support the library in any way they want – from paying the modest annual £3 membership fee to becoming a librarian checking the ‘things’ in and out. 

It works like this: members choose what they want to borrow online,, then arrange to pick it up from Eagle House for a standard lending period of one week. The library has decided to suspend borrowing fees for the first six months at least, so members only pay to join. There are plans to offer a delivery service, working with Hastings Cargo Co for people unable to get to the library, and to work up to opening two or three times a week to make it more convenient for members. 

People who would like to join, or have a ‘thing’ they think they could donate, can email [email protected]

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