Expensive Vacation Items You Can Check out at Your Local Library

2022-10-09 03:54:18 By : Mr. Tengyue Tao

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Did you know that you can save up to hundreds of dollars on your next vacation by paying a visit to your local library?

“Libraries of Things”—or special public library collections of useful, infrequently used items that can be borrowed just like a book—are one of the easiest, most eco-friendly resources to help you rack up vacation savings. From giant lawn games, camping gear, and inflatable kayaks to high-end cameras, travel scales, and universal travel adapters, there’s a treasure chest of travel-friendly treats at your local library. Check out these weird, wonderful, and expensive items you can check out for free to enjoy on vacation. All you need to enjoy them is a library card.

Library patrons in Tallahassee, Florida, will think they hit the Library of Things jackpot when they check out an inflatable kayak from the LeRoy Collins Leon County Public Library. Weighting in at just 22 pounds (or 33 pounds total, including kayak, paddles, and air pump,) the portable kayak conveniently converts from single to tandem and comes with everything you need to get on the water. The retail value of this beginner-level boat is $600.

Details: The loan period is two weeks. Loans are available to library patrons ages 18 and older, with a signed liability waiver and photo identification. Borrowers must agree to pay replacement/repair costs for lost or damaged items. A $5 daily fee ($50 maximum) will be assessed for late items.

For first-time tent campers, set-up is a breeze with a Core Nine-Person Instant Cabin Tent, available from the Library of Things at Elting Memorial Library in New Paltz, New York. The 14’x9’   tent features poles attached to the tent body, so all you need to do to set up camp is unfold the tent and bring out the marshmallows. Situated 90 miles north of New York City, New Paltz is within an easy drive of the Mohonk Preserve and numerous campgrounds. The tent’s market price is $324, making it a valuable item to check out from your local library.

Details: Loans are valid for one week and are non-renewable. Holds are permitted. Borrowers must be 18 years old, Elting Memorial Library card holders, and agree to pay the replacement cost of stolen, damaged, or lost items.

Host a spontaneous backyard blast with an outdoor movie party-in-a-box, available from the Library of Things at Barrington Public Library in Barrington, Rhode Island. The portable kit includes a movie projector, an amplifier, and a 16-foot inflatable screen, along with a blower (for inflating the screen,) tent stakes, and a wheeled carrying case for streamlined transport and set-up.

Details: The loan period is one week, with no reservations or renewals allowed.

Sure, you could borrow a beach umbrella, a luggage scale, a white noise sound machine, or even a karaoke machine and disco light from the Waltham Public Library in Waltham, Massachusetts, a Boston suburb. However, if you want to encourage family harmony on an extended road trip, the Nintendo Switch is the Library of Things item that should be at the top of your request list. The retail cost of the hybrid video game console is $300. The value of sanity (in other words, sweet silence in the backseat) is priceless.

Details: Available to borrowers in the Minuteman Library System. The loan period is three weeks.

At the Henrietta Public Library in Rochester, New York, an upstate city where total snowfall last year measured a whopping 87 inches, popular Library of Things items include snow shoes, a maple sugaring collection kit, board games, and hands-on activities to help residents make the most of a long winter season. According to staff, the library’s lemonade stand is in frequent circulation during the summer, while international power adaptors, a ghost hunting kit, and kitchen gadgets are perennially popular. Finger Lakes area residents can take a virtual cooking tour of Italy with the library’s “pasta making kit,” which includes a sheeter-style pasta machine, a ravioli maker, and a pasta machine cookbook.

Details: “Discover it Yourself” items are available by in-person reservation to Monroe County library card holders. The loan period is three weeks.

Take a trip to Machu Picchu by way of Los Angeles County, California, with a borrowed virtual reality headset available from Altadena Libraries. Borrowers can meet penguins in Antarctica and explore ancient and present-day Peru in a National Geographic game that’s included with the headset.

Details: Available for a one-week loan, with up to two renewals to library card holders with Good Neighbor Status (cardholder for 21 or more days, no late fees, and good return history.)

Known for skiing and spectacular mountain scenery, Vermont is a popular New England winter vacation destination. Springfield Public Library, in the centrally located town of Springfield, helps locals make the most of the snowy season with a seasonal lending library. A large collection of snowshoes in kids’ and adults’ sizes is available. Snowshoes come with trekking poles and a carrying bag.

Details:  Loans are valid for four days and are available to library patrons ages 18 and older. Holds are not permitted.

From kitchen gadgets, tools, and electronics to character costumes, sports equipment, and musical instruments, the extensive Library of Things collection at James Kennedy Public Library in Dyersville, Iowa, is truly impressive. Patrons on the go can take a GoPro Hero 7 action camera for a test run while capturing special vacation moments like a visit to the Field of Dreams, the legendary Dyersville ballpark.   

Details: The loan period is one week for most items. Renewals are available. Regular items are available to patrons in good standing. Patrons must be over age 18 to borrow specialty items.

The mission of “The Thingery”—”the Library of Things at Mukwonago Memorial Library in Wisconsin Lake Country—is to help patrons learn new skills and explore new interests. Borrow the Thingery’s stand-up paddleboard, and you can accomplish both. Patrons need only an adventurous spirit and a library card. If paddle boarding isn’t your “thing,” the library also offers sit-in kayaks, snow sleds, a toboggan, snowshoes, and a snow fort kit.

Details: The loan period is one week, and items are non-renewable. Holds are unavailable for most items. Borrowers must be 18 years old and a current CAFÉ Library card holder in good standing. Signed agreement forms are required for certain items. There is a $1 daily fine for overdue items.

If you can’t take your beloved pet along with you on vacation, Hillsboro Public Library in Oregon’s Silicon Forest has a comforting tech travel solution. A robotic cat, available for lending through the local branch’s “Library of Things,” feels and sounds like a real cat, but it doesn’t require food or a litter box. Hillsboro Public Library’s extensive Library of Things features 265 unique “things” and 350 board games. 

Details: The loan period is one week, and items are holdable and renewable. A $5 cleaning fee will be assessed for any item that is returned soiled. Patrons agree to pay the replacement cost for lost or damaged items. 

Salt Lake City area residents can view Utah in detail, thanks to a partnership between Salt Lake County Library and the Salt Lake Astronomical Society. Available through the Library of Things, Orion StarBlast telescopes may be borrowed at all Salt Lake Country branch libraries. The portable telescopes come with a fanny pack and accessories, including headgear, an eyepiece, a base, and batteries.

Details: One telescope may be borrowed per library card, The loan period is one week, and holds are permitted. Accessories and telescopes must be returned together.

Learn to take pictures like a pro by test-driving a high-end camera from the “Library of Things” at Sacramento Public Library. Available models include the Bluetooth-enabled Nikon D3500 and D3400 DSLR Cameras, GoPro Hero 7, and GoPro Hero 8. Camera packages include an instruction manual, lenses, and a battery. a charger, and a carrying case.  

Details: The loan period is two weeks. Users must provide their own SD or memory card. Patrons must be 18 years or older and in good standing, sign a lending contract, and agree to pay the cost of any lost or damaged items.

Are you looking for a good way to keep kids of all ages entertained on vacation? Kick technology to the curb for a spell when you get the whole traveling crew involved in a giant kick darts soccer game! Available through the Ridley Township Public Library’s Library of Things, a six-foot, double-sided inflatable Kick Darts/Soccer Set includes two soccer balls, six darts, electric and manual air pumps, instructions, and a storage bag. The southern Pennsylvania library offers more “big fun” for borrowers, including a Giant Connect Four Game, a Giant Jenga Game, and Giant Lawn Dice (Yardzee game).

Details: The loan period is one week, and renewals are permitted. Borrowers must be Delaware County Library cardholders 18 years of age or older and sign a lending agreement. Items must be returned to the Ridley Township branch library. A late fine of $3 per day will be assessed.

Kids will have a literal field day with a “Field Day Kit” from the Library of Things at Richland Public Library. The entertaining goodie bag from the Columbia, South Carolina library branch includes all standard game equipment for an old-fashioned field day, including tug of war, sack race, bean bag toss, egg race, and three- and four-legged races.

Details. The loan period is one week. Borrowers must be library card holders 18 years of age or older in good standing and must sign a waiver and present photo identification. Reservations are permitted. Items may be renewed one time per reservation period.

Patrons of Oregon’s Jackson County Library System can tailgate like a Food Network star with a portable camp kitchen, available through the Medford branch Library of Things. The deluxe portable kitchen includes a fabric pantry, a spice rack, a divided washing/cooking space, and counter areas for prepping and serving. While you’re there, check out the library’s giant dinosaur sprinkler, portable picnic table, fishing rods, and a 360-degree camera.

Details: The loan period is three weeks. Items may be reserved for pickup at any designated branch library and may be returned to any branch. Borrowers must be library patrons ages 18 or older in good standing. A signed waiver and photo identification are required. 

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