Artist’s Rendering Credit – Kara Burman
Back in 2011, I worked with an amazing group of community organizers to co-found the Vancouver Tool Library Co-operative (VTL). It was the first of its kind in Canada and has since gone on to inspire several lending libraries throughout the country. While working the front desk at the VTL, I was often asked “What about sharing other things?”. To be honest our answer was never good enough. We knew there was an appetite for the sharing of other goods, we knew that it could be done but we wanted to focus on what was working at the time and that was tools.
Well five years later we can say that not only do tool lending co-operatives work but that neighbourhoods are ready to share more than just tools. Currently the Sharing Project is piloting a new type of lending library called a Thingery. A Thingery is a lending library of things housed in a modified shipping container.
It that acts as a micro-lending library for your community. A place where neighbours can donate their excess goods to allow other neighbours to put them to good use. We’re expanding what can be shared by including things like event & recreation equipment, musical instruments and other household items.
A Thingery incorporates some of the insights we gained from The Sharing Project research, like that people want to share within a close proximity to one another. That’s why we plan to host a Thingery in a shipping container. The shipping containers can be placed right in the heart of any community and will be conveniently located for neighbours to access.
Thanks to the generous support of Vancity, The Sharing Project will be hosting a pop-up Thingery in three neighbourhoods in Vancouver this coming fall. Neighbourhoods interested in participating should fill out the form and we’ll be in touch. If we hear from enough members of your community, we’ll be in touch and host an open house about a Thingery to determine where to hold a pop-up and the types of goods the community wants to share.
In August of 2016 we will be holding our first pop-up Thingery in the Grandview-Woodland community to test the concept. Thanks to the generous support of Vancity and Modo, we will use a Modo cargo van to pick up donations; then, we’ll set up a pop-up library using the Modo van instead of a shipping container as a pilot for the program. All the donated goods will be available on certain days to anyone from the Grandview-Woodland community that is interested in borrowing an item.
For more information on getting involved please visit the Thingery page.
Location: The Modo vehicle will be parked out front of Mosaic Creek Park (McLean Drive, between William and Charles St) on the days listed below.
Co-Founder, The Vancouver Tool Library
Lead Researcher, The Sharing Project