I can not always find the books I need in my library, but I believe some of those may be stored in a neighbor of mine and she/he might be willing to lend it to me. I just don't know where and who they are. So if people can register with their local library that what books they would like to share and how much to charge for borrowing/renting it, readers like me will have much broader choices than the resources owned by the library. I have a much detailed plan about this idea. Please give me your opinions and let's discuss.

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Interesting idea. If it could be linked to something like LibraryThing, and if LibraryThing could then be set up by location/community - it would be very doable.
That is interesting - I like ideas that involve the community, and get patrons talking to each other (voluntarily, of course). And Bob is right - LibraryThing does sort of do this, by integrating with book swapping websites, and so does http://www.paperbackswap.com/.

LibraryThing does allow people to search by location (see me), though which you could contact them directly to request a loan/trade.

But all of this is email/usps-based. I do like the idea of interpersonal communication, or even using some area of the library as a central drop-off/pick-up point. I'm sure the staff wouldn't be too pleased with the extra workload, and if did happen in the library, I don't think any money could change hands. But still, I've never heard of anything like this. I'm going to have to think more about this.
Thank you, Bob and Brian.

I developed that as a business idea and have been very excited about that. My concern is how much a public local library system would like to be involved, although I can easily convince them that such a 'system' can help library serve the community better. Do you think whether I should contact a director of the library to pitch the idea?

One reason I want to discuss here is to get insights and find friends who enjoy the idea as much as me so we may be able to make it come true. Any question or comments will be much appreciated.
Well, from a public librarian's point of view, I can tell you that most librarians I know become skeptical and reluctant as soon as you start talking "business." For the most part, it seems that libraries and business do not mix - we don't allow anyone to sell anything in the library, or groups to charge admission for programs, and for-profit groups are generally not even allowed to use library meeting space or post flyers on the bulletin boards.

So, I would definitely suggest a soft approach to your library, and try to keep money and business out of your plan as much as possible. As in, it won't cost patrons (or the library) anything to participate in this.

Another negative for libraries is responsibility and effort - if a library has to devote staff time to something, or if staff (or "the library") are responsible for managing or coordinating anything, then it might be a tough sell.

I think you'd be best able to sell this idea to a library if you could walk into the library with a very clear and concise plan that include the words "...and all I need from the library is table space to host it..." or something to that effect.

Really, though, I think it all depends on the personalities in your local library. If you get someone innovative and energetic, they'll probably be excited about it and volunteer to help. But, if you get someone traditional or overworked, then you'll have a tough go.

Also, too, really think this through from the patron's point of view. What'll be the process for them? What happens when the library is closed? If something goes wrong with a book or exchange, who do they contact? If something bad happens, are they going to blame the library, since this program is happening through the library? What about protecting their privacy? Will records be kept on what they borrow, and who they borrow from? Is there a reason to use this system instead of the library's interlibrary loan system? Why would the library offer so many competing ways to get books?

I hope this helps - sorry it's not all that organized, but I'm just typing as I think of things. Good luck.
I have been mulling over a similar idea, too. There are enough sharing book initiatives on the web, where the library could piggyback on.

I'm always sad to see weeded books going to a book sale or the chipper. I know that there is someone, somewhere who wants to read it. Plus, I like the idea of storage being on our member's shelves, lot more room there than at the library.

Would you mind sharing your detailed plan?
It's a bless and pleasure to find like-mind. That's exactly what I was expecting when I registered here. I don't mind share my plan draft at all with anyone who is interested in that. Please send me an email to richardmasonxy@yahoo.com.



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