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Library of Things is coming to Canada Water!

Canada Water Library of Things is a not-for-profit rental service where you'll be able to affordably hire everything from Carpet Cleaners to Waffle Makers and Projectors to Pressure Washers from self-service lockers inside Canada Water library.

Calling all south east Londoners! Saving money, living sustainably, and ticking off your to-do list just got easier because *drum roll please* Canada Water will soon have its very own Library of Things!

Launching this June, Canada Water Library of Things is a not-for-profit rental service where you’ll be able to affordably hire everything from Carpet Cleaners to Waffle Makers and Projectors to Pressure Washers from self-service lockers inside Canada Water library. Renting reduces clutter, saves you money, and is kinder to our planet too.

Library of Things was founded by Emma Shaw, Rebecca Trevalyan, and Sophia Wyatt in 2016. Inspired by similar projects emerging in cities like Berlin and Toronto, this women-led social enterprise launched its first self-service kiosk in Crystal Palace in 2018. Library of Things is now open in 15 locations across London with more in the pipeline. Over 6,000 people have now hired over 10,000 things, saving over £300,000 from not buying new and saving 124 tonnes in emissions from manufacture and waste reduction.

Through its partnerships with product manufacturers Bosh, Kärcher, and STIHL, councils and community groups, Library of Things is creating an alternative ‘circular economy’ – helping to transform neighborhoods into low-waste, community-powered hubs.

A survey by Library of Things found that 58% of their members said their motivation for hiring was to help the environment, while 60% say they’re more likely to reuse, repair and recycle having done so. But motivations are not purely environmental – renting is also more cost-effective than buying, helps reduce clutter and is a low-barrier way to learn practical skills like repair and DIY.

Emma Shaw, co-founder of Library of Things, said:

“We’ve had lots of interest in Library of Things from Canada Water residents and organisations – so we’re excited that they’ll soon be able to borrow quality items like Bosch drills, Kärcher pressure washers and STIHL hedge trimmers for a few pounds per day. This is an important step for Library of Things, as we expand our work to create a community-led circular economy in neighbourhoods across London.”

Geoff, a member from Crystal Palace, said:

“Borrowing makes sense because maybe you only want it for a day, or to use something every six months. It’s so much easier and it’s cost effective. If you were buying all these things and you only use them once or twice, it’s really common sense that you could get a much better deal by having them hired.”

Councillor James McAsh, Cabinet Member for the Climate Emergency, Clean Air and Streets, said:

 “We are excited to bring the Library of Things to Canada Water – where sustainability meets savings. By encouraging people to borrow household items, we are both reducing waste and supporting residents to save money, by offering them the opportunity to access items they need without the burden of ownership. We look forward to launching this month and encourage residents to sign up”.

The lockers are located inside Canada Water Library – just a few steps from Canada Water station. Community Southwark readers can use the code HELLOSOUTH for 10% off your first reservation. Visit the website to explore the things and make a reservation. Collections are from 27th June.