The library at 154 Market St. NE, housed in an 1880s former home, long has had the policy of loaning items other than books and CDs to its patrons.
Humane animal traps are loaned. Slide projectors are circulated. Telescopes are borrowed.
We must be at Canal Fulton Public Library.
The library at 154 Market St. NE, housed in an 1880s former home, long has had the policy of loaning items other than books and CDs to its patrons. Less literary pieces of equipment also pass through its circulation desk.
Computerized chess, a digital camera, and Guitar Hero World Tour are among those things circulated in Canal Fulton that are not normally available to borrowers at libraries.
“It’s gone on since the 1970s,” said Marsha Wagner, library director. “Tom Brownfield started it because he wanted to attract more people and have things for patrons that were practical.”
More tools used to be loaned out, Wagner said, but many have been dropped from the equipment list. Gone, as well, is the metal detector.
“We still have the videoscanner, which is a stud finder.” said Wagner. “Some of the old things that break, we aren’t having fixed. Sewing machines for example, because people seem to have what they need.”
The library also loans out two telescopes, she noted.
“One is a reflector and the other is a refractor,” said Wagner. “They’re both very high-powered, a little above the hobby telescope.”
Four different kinds of e-readers also are on the list, so patrons “can try them out to see which one they want to buy,” said Wagner.
Janet Deans, head of the circulation department, said patrons can check out equipment for one week on a valid adult Canal Fulton Public Library card. Anyone in Ohio is eligible to apply for a card, she noted.
One week might be just long enough to trap an irritating critter and relocate the animal.
“We have human animal traps that are popular, especially in the fall when the squirrels try to get in your house or the spring, when animals are trying to get into your garden,” she said. “It doesn’t hurt them and you can release them somewhere else.”
A carrousel slide projector also is still on the equipment list.
“That goes out a lot,” said Deans. “People having reunions often check that out. A lot of people still have slides, but not the projector.”
Other items on the equipment list that are borrowed regularly are the library’s Wii system and Guitar Hero. The Zumba Fitness system also is popular, said Deans.
For most of the items, patrons leave a deposit that varies with the value of the item being borrowed. That money is returned when the equipment is returned, Deans said.
Some other libraries in Ohio circulate similar items, but not many, said Deans. So, why does the Canal Fulton Library continue to loan out such useful but unorthodox equipment?
Page 2 of 2 - “We’re here to serve our patrons,” said Deans. “I like to think that this is the heart of Canal Fulton.”